Sunday, October 3, 2010

Rams dominate Seahawks 20-3, end 10 game losing streak to Seahawks

By Kshell

The St.Louis Rams(2-2) defeated the Seattle Seahawks(2-2) 20-3 at the Edward Jones Dome for the first time since the 2004 NFC wild card playoffs. The Seahawks had beaten the Rams 10 consecutive games but the Rams showed the Seahawks this year would be a different story. Unlike years past when Seattle and especially Matt Hasselbeck could move the ball with ease the Rams defense was tough on the Seahawks.

The Rams are led by #1 draft pick overall quarterback Sam Bradford from Oklahoma. He played great in todays victory passing for two touchdowns for 289 yards passing. In the first quarter he would get the Rams on the board with a touchdown pass to Brandon Gibson for 15 yards on 3rd and long. The Seahawks would respond with a field goal cutting the lead to 7-3.

After a Matt Hasselbeck interception the Rams had the ball in the red zone. Bradford threw a pass to the back of the end zone when rookie safety Earl Thomas jumped it and picked hte ball off to keep the game at 7-3. That would be Thomas third interception in the last two games. The Rams would end up with a field goal to end the half and would lead 10-3.

The second half the Seahawks offense just couldn't get in a rhythm like they typically do when playing the Rams. The Rams offense made some adjustments to the Seahawks blitzing and attacking defense. The Rams called three screen passes on the scoring drive. On that drive Bradford hit Stephen Jackson who was doubtful to even play in the game on a 49 yard screen pass then later in the drive Bradford would hit Kenneth Darby for a 21 yard touchdown pass to make the game 17-3.

The Rams would tack on a field goal in the 4th quarter to make the game 20-3. The real story in the game was the Seahawks being held to 3 points vs the lowly Rams. Matt Hasselbeck for the third straight week found himself ineffective. He would pass 20 of 36 for just 191 yards and a pick for a quarterback rating of 58.9. The running game wasn't very good either as Justin Forsett had just 65 yards on 19 carries for a 3.4 YPC average. This was a far cry from last year when Forsett ran for a career high 130 yards. The Seahawks couldn't make any big plays on the return game and ultimately has lost 15 of its last 18 road games.


- Matt Hasselbeck for the third straight week has a quarter back rating of under 80.0 in fact dating back to last year six of his last seven games he has had a quarterback rating of under 80.0. Hasselbeck in his last 24 games he has only 26 touchdown passes but 33 interceptions. After going four consecutive years(2002-2005) of having a quarterback rating of over 80 he has had a quarterback rating of over 80 just once since(2007).

- The Seahawks still can't run the ball. Since Shaun Alexander was released after the 2007 season the Seahawks have had just five games where a runner ran for over 100 yards. Alexander wasn't tearing up the league in 2007 as he was washed up and on his way out. The lack of a running game is going on four or even five years in a row strong.

- The Seahawks defense for the most part played well. They held Stephen Jackson to 70 yards on 22 carries(3.1 YPC). In fact the Seahawks this year appear to be tough against the run which is a nice updgrade from years past.

- The Seahawks have great play from their safety's. With Earl Thomas making picks and Lawyer Milloy making big hits and neither gets burned deep for any long passes its nice to see. For the first time in a while the Seahawks finally have good safety play.

- The Seahawks dating back to 2007 are now 6-20 on the road and just 3-15 since 2008. That simply won't get the job done. The Seahawks have 6 remaining road games on the schedule.

- At what point in the season do the Seahawks make a quarterback switch? This is a winnable division even though the Seahawks are 2-2. The Rams have a rookie quarterback, Arizona is a mess and has been blown out on the road twice now. The 49ers are 0-4. Hasselbeck dating back to last two seasons now has looked pretty bad. The question is does he still give the team the best chance to win? Charlie Whitehurst at times during the preseason looked terrific but also at times looked like he didn't belong in the NFL. This will be an awkward situation much like Griffey this past season in Seattle. The exception is Hasselbeck is a pro and won't be a cancer and turn the team against his coach.

The Seahawks head into the bye week with a 2-2 record. Given that this division is still very winnable the Hawks have some good traits going forward. This team has plenty of flaws but they stop the run, have great special teams and have a great home field advantage. That might just be enough to win this division. The offense has weapons at receiver just needs to find something or someone who can get them the ball.

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