Three things we learned: Seahawks 30, Rams 13
Posted by Danny O'Neil
Three things we learned
- There's a fine line between headstrong and foolhardy.
Seattle's starting cornerbacks are trying to ride a bike right down the middle of that fine line, which leaves them vulnerable of veering off on either side. The Seahawks were penalized nine times for Monday's game. Five were against the starting cornerbacks, including four against Richard Sherman, who must find a way to avoid penalties while retaining that physical and aggressive style. The easiest starting point? When you make a play on a guy in the end zone on third down, don't stand over him and woof at him until the official feels obligated to throw a flag for taunting. That's what we call an "avoidable penalty."
- Doug Baldwin might just have an 'S' on that chest.
Not only has he caught 45 passes -- which is third-most among all rookies -- but in the first 5 minutes of Monday's game he a) returned the opening kickoff 37 yards on a reverse handoff from Leon Washington, b) downed a punt at the St. Louis 6, and c) blocked a punt that fullback Michael Robinson returns 17 yards for a touchdown. He's not going to break the franchise's record for receptions by a rookie, set by Joey Galloway with 67, but Baldwin has been the biggest boon to Seattle's offense this season.
- Seattle is a deeper team than it was a year ago.
That was evident when Seattle lost cornerbacks Marcus Trufant and Walter Thurmond to a season-ending injury in back-to-back weeks only to have Sherman step in and excel. Now, it's the offensive line, which lost three starters over its past four games and still has managed to rush for more than 100 yards as a team in six games running. You can't say the line is playing better this week than it was before the injuries, but it hasn't plunged off the deep end, either, which is a real compliment. The Seahawks have 13 players on injured reserve, which was tied for third-most in the league entering last week's games, and still Seattle is getting better as the year progresses.
Three things we already knew
- Seattle's goal-line defense is truly formidable.
The Rams ran eight plays from the Seattle 1 before they finally scored a touchdown. That's right: eight. And on the eighth play -- when Steven Jackson scored on a 1-yard plunge in the with 4:39 left in the game, it was St. Louis' first touchdown in Seattle since Sept. 21, 2008. That was a span of three years, 12 quarters, and more than 199 minutes of game action between touchdowns.
- The Seahawks have the Rams' number.
Not only has Seattle won 13 of the past 14 meetings between the two, including seven in a row in Seattle, but the Seahawks have won their last four home games against the Rams by a combined score of 111-32. But hey, at least the Rams scored a touchdown in Seattle this year, something they had not done in their past two games at Seattle.
- Marshawn Lynch likes Skittles.
They're the power pellet to his Pac-Man. In fact, the Seahawks even have a designated back-up Skittles guy on the sidelines. That's Kyle Stillwell, who's the guy next to the guy. If the guy who normally serves up the Skittles is otherwise occupied, it's up to Stillwell to make sure Lynch gets to taste the rainbow after scoring a touchdown. I'm not kidding. That's totally serious.
Three things we're still trying to figure out
- Whether Seattle can keep pounding the ground against the league's top offenses.
Seattle is swimming upstream against current of today's NFL. Maybe it's more accurate to say the Seahawks are running upstream because there are currently 10 different NFL quarterbacks on pace to pass for more than 4,000 yards this season, and four have a legitimate chance to break Dan Marino's single-season passing record of 5,084 yards in a single season. Meanwhile, the Seahawks are continue to truck along, handing it to Marshawn Lynch time resulting in Seattle's most successful stretch of games in four years. Is that a formula that can be sustained against the league's top offenses or will Seattle be left holding a knife at a gun fight.
- Why it took the Rams six plays from the Seattle 1 in the fourth quarter before they finally handed the ball to Steven Jackson?
I know, when you've got a roster that includes weapons like Danario Alexander AND Cadillac Williams AND a quarterback with a bad ankle like Sam Bradford, Jackson is kind of like a last resort. The Rams went to all three of those players from the Seahawks 1 before handing it to Steve Jackson, who promptly scored a touchdown.
- How in the world no NFL team gave Brandon Browner a shot the past four years?
There are more than 2,500 roster spots available on NFL teams during training camp. How one of the league's NFL teams didn't decide he was worth a look in August during any one of the previous four years is a mystery, and before anyone applauds Seattle for its discovery, it should be said the Seahawks only signed Browner for a look after his third tryout. That's right in two years before, he worked out and had Seattle pass. Well, he has at least one interception for the third consecutive game, the franchise's longest streak since Darryl Williams' three-game run in 1997. Not only that, but Browner has five picks this season, which is the most by a Seattle cornerback since Marcus Trufant intercepted seven passes in 2007 and went to the Pro Bowl.
Dec 24 - 6:10 AM Looking back: Revisiting Sunday's scouting report
Dec 24 - 1:09 AM Seahawks' scoring binge
Dec 24 - 1:01 AM Video: Summing Seattle's victory
Dec 24 - 12:58 AM Video: Russell Wilson post-game comments
Dec 24 - 12:21 AM Rookie passing roll call