Saturday, December 17, 2011
2011 Seahawks Week 14: Five observations
By Mike Sando
Five things I noticed while watching the Seattle Seahawks' most recent game, a 30-13 victory over the St. Louis Rams in Week 14:
- McQuistan fared pretty well. Losing left tackle Russell Okung to a season-ending pectoral injury hurt the Seahawks' offensive line coming into this game, but backup Paul McQuistan got the team through this game without incident. McQuistan steered Rams defensive end James Hall out of the play on Marshawn Lynch's run around the left side to open the game. The team was fortunate McQuistan came out of this game healthy. He was pass protecting late in the second quarter when the Rams' C.J. Ah You flew into the back of his legs after rushing from the other side of the formation. Justin Forsett gained 11 yards on the third-and-7 play.
- Wright's monster game should have been better. Rookie linebacker K.J. Wright finished with eight total tackles, three tackles for loss, two quarterback hits, one sack and one pass defensed. But he also dropped a pass Sam Bradford threw right to him with 9:43 left in the first quarter. At that point in the game, Wright had already taken down Steven Jackson for a 3-yard loss on a screen. Also in the first half, Wright shed Rams tackle Mark LeVoir to take down Jackson for a 1-yard loss.
- Seeing good things from Tate. Receiver Golden Tate has bounced back from a disappointing rookie season and underwhelming start to 2011. Two little things stood out about his performance Monday night. Tate helped out his scrambling quarterback by coming back to the ball for a 22-yard reception on third-and-11. Later, he cleared out cornerback Justin King on the perimeter to free Doug Baldwin for a first down.
- Good timing for trick play. The Seahawks tried a halfback pass on a second-and-1 play. The timing was perfect. Second-and-1 is close to a free play. Seattle had to like its chances of picking up third-and-1. While the timing was right, the execution and possibly the play design seemed lacking. If nothing else, at least future opponents have something more to consider in short-yardage situations.
- Kickoff coverage a little leaky. The Seahawks allowed 47- and 31-yard kickoff returns to Jerious Norwood, something to keep in mind as they prepare to face the Chicago Bears' Devin Hester on Sunday. Hester has been more dangerous on punt returns than on kick returns, but he does have a 98-yard touchdown on a kickoff return this season. The Seahawks allowed the Rams only one punt return for a single yard. Hester returned one against them for a touchdown last season.
A couple of other notes just missed the cut, one about how Tarvaris Jackson took shots from Chris Long and Eugene Sims on the same play without falling. Lynch's tackle-breaking ability also stood out, again. Lynch kept alive one play long enough for left guard Robert Gallery to get up off the ground following his initial block to make a second block before James Laurinaitis finally made the tackle.