Skip to main content
Advertising

Originally published October 6, 2014 at 10:25 PM | Page modified October 7, 2014 at 3:06 AM

  • Share:
             
  • Comments
  • Print

Seahawks bottle up Alfred Morris

Washington running back Alfred Morris is limited to just 29 yards on 13 carries, with a long of 11 yards.


Seattle Times staff reporter

advertising

LANDOVER, Md. – On a night when a lot of things didn’t go as planned for the Seattle Seahawks, one thing unfolded more perfectly than even they might have imagined.

And when a most inartful game had finally concluded, the Seattle Seahawks pointed to their ability to make Washington running back Alfred Morris a complete non-factor as being as big a reason as any for their 27-17 win.

Well, that and Russell Wilson’s 122 yards rushing, a record for a quarterback in the 45-year history of Monday Night Football.

Or, maybe, the five-yard run by punter Jon Ryan on a fake field goal that led to a fourth-quarter touchdown that pretty much sealed the deal.

“It wasn’t pretty, but it got the job done,’’ said Ryan of his run, a quote that pretty much summed up the entire game, as Seattle often was its own worst enemy with 13 penalties, three of which nullified apparent Percy Harvin touchdowns.

Ryan could crow later that he had a longer run than Morris did in the second half of the game, as Seattle’s run defense forced Washington coach Jay Gruden to second-guess himself later.

“Alfred is obviously one of our better players,’’ said Gruden of Morris, who rushed for 1,613 yards in 2012 and 1,275 last season. “So we can’t just abandon him, although we probably should have.’’

That’s what Seattle dearly wanted to have happen. They knew Kirk Cousins, filling in for the injured Robert Griffin III, was unlikely to win the game by himself through the air.

So take out Morris, and they were likely to also take away a win.

“We allowed 32 yards rushing against a really good running game,’’ said Carroll of a Washington squad that came into the game averaging 123 yards rushing, 12th in the NFL. “I really liked the way we played there.’’

Morris finished with just 29 on 13, and only one carry of longer than five yards.

And when the game was over, Seattle could lay the title of having the best run defense in the NFL, allowing just 249 yards on 95 carries in four games this season, just 2.6 yards per attempt — no other team in the NFL is allowing less than three yards per attempt.

“We just don’t want to be known as a defense that can’t stop the run,’’ said linebacker Bruce Irvin. “That’s our biggest thing is dominating people and making them play our style of football and I think we did a great job of that tonight.’’

The key against Washington, Seattle players said, was to stay in their gaps. Washington likes to get the flow of the play going one way, then let Morris cut and find open lanes on the backside.

“The key to their stretch run game is to get everybody to outrun the play,’’ said Seattle middle linebacker Bobby Wagner.

That was something Seattle struggled with a few times last year, notably a two-game stretch at midseason when St. Louis and Tampa Bay each rushed for 200 yards or more.

But this year, the Seahawks appear to rarely be out of position in their run defense — the Seahawks longest run allowed this year is 16 yards, tied for the lowest in the NFL.

“I think we are just trusting each other,’’ Wagner said. “Everybody is in their position and everybody is doing a great job of being in their gaps and we are doing a great job of making tackles.’’

Indeed, it was a total team effort Monday night. Tackles Brandon Mebane, Tony McDaniel and Kevin Williams clogged the middle, and ends Michael Bennett and Cliff Avril kept everything inside.

“We did a great job of setting the edges and turning the ball back and then the tackles were running down the line and making plays,’’ Irvin said.

And then Wagner and the other members of the back seven cleaned everything up.

“They’re just very active,’’ Morris said. “They were doing a good job of shedding blocks. They would shed guys and fall back into holes. It was definitely causing problems in the running game.’’

And as big a reason as any for why Seattle ended the night 3-1, having moved into a tie with Arizona in the NFC West.

“The line of scrimmage was really well coordinated,’’ Carroll said “We were fired up the way we played their run game.’’

Bob Condotta: 206-515-5699 or bcondotta@seattletimes.com. On Twitter @bcondotta.



Four weeks for 99 cents of unlimited digital access to The Seattle Times. Try it now!

Also in Sports

News where, when and how you want it

Email Icon

 Subscribe today!

Subscribe today!

99¢ for four weeks of unlimited digital access.

Advertising

Partner Video

Advertising


Advertising
The Seattle Times

The door is closed, but it's not locked.

Take a minute to subscribe and continue to enjoy The Seattle Times for as little as 99 cents a week.

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Subscriber login ►
The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription upgrade.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. For unlimited seattletimes.com access, please upgrade your digital subscription.

Call customer service at 1.800.542.0820 for assistance with your upgrade or questions about your subscriber status.

The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. Subscribe now for unlimited access!

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Activate Subscriber Account ►