Seahawks grind out a 24-7 win over Rams
It wasn't a pretty win, but a strong defensive showing helped Seattle beat St. Louis
Seattle Times staff reporter
Can Hawks make a playoff run?Over the final six games of the season, the Seahawks play a winning team just twice:
vs. St. Louis
vs. S. Francisco
ST. LOUIS — The Seahawks' longest completion was thrown by a wide receiver, quarterback Tarvaris Jackson was intercepted on his first two throws, and Seattle was called for 13 penalties for the second successive week.
And after all that, Seattle still beat St. Louis 24-7, which gives an idea of just how remarkably complete the Seahawks' defensive effort was Sunday.
Seattle went on the road and made St. Louis look like exactly what it is: the lowest-scoring team in the NFL. No surprises, just 60 minutes of stout defense that turned the Rams' offensive flow into a puddle.
"In the big picture, nobody is going to care a whole lot about it," coach Pete Carroll said. "But for us, it's a very big deal."
Yes, it is. It means a certified winning streak, and Seahawk fans can be excused if they've forgotten exactly what that feels like. This is the first time Seattle has won consecutive games this season, and only the second time it has won back-to-back regular-season games under Carroll.
The Seahawks' next three games are at home, all against teams with losing records.
"This was important," Carroll said. "We're coming home."
The Seahawks have proved themselves capable of surprises this season. They've won as a double-digit underdog at the New York Giants and beaten the division-leading Ravens, who were favored by a touchdown. But Sunday's was a much more methodical victory over a much less imposing opponent.
St. Louis' offense crossed midfield just three times, the Rams' only touchdown was set up by Jackson's second interception, and the Seattle 31 was as close as they came to the end zone in the second half.
"I'm beyond frustrated right now," quarterback Sam Bradford said. "I've never been on a team that has been in this situation."
The Seahawks seemed determined to help the Rams turn things around in the first half. Besides the interceptions, the Seahawks also had a punt deflected and allowed four sacks.
Seattle entered the game 0-6 when its opponent scored first. That changed in St. Louis. The Seahawks found some resiliency after Brandon Lloyd's 30-yard touchdown catch put St. Louis ahead 7-0 in the first quarter.
"They knew it was the start of the football game and it didn't matter," Carroll said. "Something that we always preach is that we just keep playing. You could just feel it change."
Leon Washington returned a pair of punts into St. Louis territory in the second quarter. Sidney Rice scored on a 14-yard touchdown pass to tie the score, and Steven Hauschka kicked a 19-yard field goal on the final play of the first half.
Marshawn Lynch and Justin Forsett each ran for touchdowns in the second half.
Meanwhile, Seattle's defense followed its formula perfectly, a plan that started with stopping running back Steven Jackson. He carried the ball 15 times and gained 42 yards, his second-lowest total of the season.
"You stop him and put the ball in the hands of Sam Bradford," Seahawks defensive end Chris Clemons said.
Then the Seahawks — or more specifically, Clemons — took the ball out of Bradford's hands, forcing two fumbles.
By the time the game ended, more than half the announced crowd of 56,400 had left, and the Seahawks were packing some momentum in their carry-on bags for the flight home.
"It was a great win for us, especially for a young team," defensive end Red Bryant said. "But like we said at the end, let's not get carried away with it. We'll get back to work Monday."
Danny O'Neil: 206-464-2364 or firstname.lastname@example.org. On Twitter @dannyoneil.
|Jackson vs. the Seahawks|
|Historically, the Seahawks have done a good job defending against star running back Steven Jackson.|
The Morning Memo
The Morning Memo jump starts your day with weather, traffic and news
Career Center Blog
Your Opinion Matters
Take our survey and enter to win $100. Enter Now!