Rapid Reaction: Seattle Seahawks
December, 29, 2013
By Terry Blount | ESPN.com
SEATTLE -- A few thoughts on the Seattle Seahawks' 27-9 victory against the St. Louis Rams Sunday at CenturyLink Field.
What it means: In an ugly game with constant chippy play, pushing, shoving and punching to result in numerous personal fouls (mostly on the Rams), Seattle reached all its regular-season goals with the NFC West title, a first-round bye and home-field advantage in the playoffs. The 13-3 mark ties the team record for regular-season wins. Seattle now has won 15 of its past 16 home games.
Stock watch: After giving up 200 yards rushing in St. Louis earlier this year, the Seattle defense was a brick wall Sunday, allowing 13 yards rushing. Zac Stacy had 13 carries for four yards in the first three quarters Sunday. Stacy had 134 yards in the first meeting in the Monday night game against the Seahawks. Seattle running back Marshawn Lynch had his best game in over a month with 23 carries for 97 yards and one touchdown.
Tate tough and tauntless: Receiver Golden Tate isn’t the most popular guy with the Rams after his taunting penalty on an 80-yard touchdown in St. Louis, but he was a big thorn in their side Sunday. Tate had eight catches for 129 yards, including a 47-yard touchdown reception in the fourth quarter. He celebrated in the end zone, but didn’t taunt anyone.
Smith shines: Apparently, outside linebacker Malcolm Smith still was mad about not reaching the end zone on his interceptions last week. Smith had the big play at the start of the game with a 37-yard pick-six. He had a 32-yard interception return against Arizona last week, but was stopped at the 3. Smith is starting for injured K.J. Wright, another example of Seattle’s depth on defense.
Started the right CB: Walter Thurmond returned from suspension, but Byron Maxwell showed why he continues to start at cornerback. Maxwell had an interception in the second quarter. It was his fourth since taking over for Thurmond, who was suspended for substance abuse.
What's next: The Seahawks get next weekend off before hosting an opponent still to be determined.