Monday, December 28, 2015

Mailing it in -- Seahawks 17 Rams 23

The Seahawks completed their series with the Rams with a loss at home on Sunday, giving St. Louis the series sweep this season. Michael Bennett said it best in his post game comments-- "The Rams, they play good football against us. They just don’t play good football against everybody else."

The Seahawks began this season with an opening game loss to the Rams in St. Louis where Seattle was unable to establish any semblance of a run game and a defense that would bend and inevitably break down the stretch of that game.

Yesterday's game looked eerily similar to that first loss of the season.

After hearing local media wag their finger at those of us who criticized Darrell Bevell for weeks after the Seahawks were able to rattle off a string of victories that featured a high-powered offense-- I'm curious to see how they're going to spin this one.

Quite frankly, I'm sick to death of hearing this nonsense about being a run-first team.  It's performances like yesterday's that lead me to think that this coaching staff would sooner maintain their 'identity' than do whatever it takes to win football games.

Yesterday, more so that any other game this season, our run game was completely shut down and
rendered ineffective. That was made painfully obvious right from the start of this game.

I'm sorry-- but when you're facing a premier run defense with a group of running backs that literally were signed off the street-- you have to know when to admit defeat and find another way to win.

And like so many other losses this year where our run game wasn't where the team wanted it to be, Seattle briefly adapted by spreading out the offense and mixing in quick, short passes as a substitute for the run game.  But, as soon as that was working, they shifted right back to the ineffective run game. In the cold rain of yesterday's game, this only lead to more turn overs.

I'm angrier than any of the previous losses because we were just coming off a record-setting string of games for Russell Wilson and Doug Baldwin.  They've shown that, when called upon, they can throw their way to victory.  Yet the stubborn play calling of Darrell Bevell was insistent upon establishing the run.

The offensive line is certainly deserving of their share of the blame and criticism.  They couldn't stop a nosebleed yesterday.  While the defense did a decent job of containing Todd Gurley, the continued theme of not being opportunistic continued as Seattle had several opportunities for turnovers but failed to win that battle.

It was a strange weekend altogether for the NFL.  Carolina is no longer undefeated, Arizona handed the Packers their worst loss of the Aaron Rodgers era and Minnesota looked like the dominant team they were before Seattle brought them back to earth by beating them handily in their own home.

Seattle may have slipped down to the #6 seed, but that isn't the issue they should be concerned with.  While we have no real idea when and if Marshawn Lynch will be ready, Seattle needs to find a way to win games with or without a dominant run game.

There's a possibility we might never see Lynch in a Seahawks uniform again.  We need to prepare for the worst and hope for the best.  This team needs to learn to lean on it's highly-paid quarterback to win games when the run game just isn't there.

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