The Seahawks defense bends and bends, then finally breaks the Rams
Once again the Seahawks fell behind in the first half. This time, the defense more then held its own in the comeback win.
I have to say, I haven’t enjoyed an escape from L.A. this much since Snake Plissken pulled it off in the 90’s. Actually, the Seahawks escape was much more exciting. John Carpenter and Kurt Russell partnered for a lot of great movies, but Escape from L.A. just isn’t one of them.
As for the Seahawks, they didn’t have the greatest start on offense. Sadly that’s become a familiar storyline for Seattle. Just as they did last week against Indianapolis, Seattle fell behind in the first half. Their first five offensive series ended like this: punt, punt, interception, punt, interception. The defense had already given up a touchdown on a long Rams drive that bridged the first and second quarters.
Now, just as in the Green Bay game, the defense was asked to hold in a short yardage situation. This time the ball was at the Seattle 16 yard line. This time the defense held the gift score to a field goal. Unlike the Packers or Titans game, there were no lapses after that score as the Hawks throttled the Rams for the rest of the game.
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Offense comes to life just in time
Maybe coming to life is stretching the definition a bit. The offense at least started moving after falling behind 10 – 0. In perhaps the biggest surprise of the season, the Seahawks remembered they had a former All-Pro tight end on the roster. Even better, it all came flooding back in the red zone, as Jimmy Graham pulled down a four yard touchdown pass.
After the defense forced a three and out, Seattle ran a 1:28 drill and tied the game up on a Blair Walsh 48 yard field goal. Walsh would hit two more field goals in the game. He’s now six for seven on the season. Not bad for a guy who was released for a bad case of the yips just last year.
The offense still has a lot of problems, there’s no doubt about that. When your leading rusher only manages 20 yards, that’s not good. When the longest run of the night is a nine yard scramble by your quarterback, that’s not good either. And when that quarterback is sacked three times, only throws one touchdown and tosses a near pick-six, it isn’t a good sign at all.
There’s a funny thing about that interception. The only reason it was a 69 yard return and not a pick six is that Russell Wilson made the tackle. J.D. McKissic doesn’t get credit for an assist, but his hustle held up safety John Johnson just enough for Wilson to bring him down. And the defense did the rest, keeping the Rams out of the end zone.
Seahawks defense snuffed out Rams threats throughout the second half
Near the end of the third quarter, the Rams were threatening. The nimble, lithe Sheldon Richardson intercepted the ball when Jared Goff tossed the ball too high for Todd Gurley to handle. Later, Earl Thomas snuffed out another drive with an interception at midfield. Richardson came up big again when he recovered the ball on a fumble forced by Frank Clark. At that point the Rams were near midfield again, and the Seahawks were protecting a three point lead.
After Seattle went up 16-10 on Walsh’s final field goal, Rams quarterback Jared Goff moved his team to the Seattle 20 yard line with two big passes. With no timeouts and 35 seconds left, Los Angeles had to spike the ball to stop the clock. Just as they had throughout the second half, Seattle’s defense wouldn’t yield. Goff took three shots, but came up empty each time.
Okay, I’ll admit it. That third down pass to Kupp in the end zone wasn’t a happy moment, as he put a sick move on Justin Coleman. If the pass had been on target, Coleman’s heroics last week would have been erased. Of course it was Sheldon Richardson with a spin move that put him in Goff’s face just as he released the ball. So it wasn’t so much a dropped pass, as just enough of a quarterback hurry to preserve a Seahawks win.
Related Story: More on the Seahawks big road win in L.A.
Here’s the crazy thing. Next up for the Seahawks is their bye week. After that, it’s their chance to improve on Sunday’s effort with – that’s right – a road trip to New York. And as everyone knows, Escape From New York is the superior film. Snake Wilson, anyone?