NFL Wire News

3 things we learned about the Seahawks

on

The Sports Xchange

ST. LOUIS — Right guard Rodger Saffold and the rest of the St. Louis Rams’ offensive line heard all the bad reviews before Sunday’s season opener.

For at least one week, Saffold and his inexperienced mates didn’t look like the NFL’s worst line, as some experts rated them.

Providing solid protection for new quarterback Nick Foles, the line helped St. Louis’ offense look anything like the unit that struggled to score points for several years in a 34-31 upset of the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday at the Edward Jones Dome.

“That’s definitely big for us,” Saffold said of the offense’s production. “We had some small setbacks, but at the end of the day, we’re trying to make the offense as efficient as possible. We’re learning all the time.”

Aside from Safford, the Rams’ line owned a grand total of 12 NFL starts before Sunday. Fourth-year pro Tim Barnes was starting his first career game at center, and rookies Jamon Brown and Rob Havenstein won jobs at left guard and right tackle, respectively.

That quartet, teamed with second-year left tackle Greg Robinson, played well after a rocky first quarter. Foles was sacked just twice, completing 18 of 27 passes for 297 yards, and the offense pieced together three touchdown drives of 80 or more yards.

That included the tying 84-yard march late in the fourth quarter, capped by Foles’ 37-yard touchdown pass to tight end Lance Kendricks with 53 seconds remaining as strong safety Dion Bailey slipped in coverage and left Kendricks all alone.

“You saw what those guys did today,” Foles said of the line. “They’re the heart and soul of this team. They heard all the criticism. They did a great job today. They fought for us.”

What we learned about the Seahawks:

1. The secondary is very vulnerable without SS Kam Chancellor, who is holding out. QB Nick Foles threw for 297 yards on 18-of-27 accuracy, hitting on seven plays of more than 20 yards. If the front seven cannot generate a consistent pass rush, the secondary is in trouble. And next week’s game brings with it the joy of stopping QB Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers’ potent passing attack. Good luck with that.

2. The offense is going to have to be more efficient and potent while the defense continues to play shorthanded. They did some good things Sunday, finishing with 343 yards and 21 first downs, but allowed the Rams’ potent pass rush to record six sacks and hit QB Russell Wilson nine other times. Also, it would help if they got TE Jimmy Graham into the offense earlier than the start of the fourth quarter.

3. WR Tyler Lockett will give Seattle a dangerous weapon on special teams and occasionally in the passing game. Lockett lugged a punt 57 yards for the game’s first score and also returned a kickoff 35 yards, while catching four passes for 34 yards. The speedy rookie could give the Seahawks the Percy Harvin-type weapon they lacked most of last year.

Etc.

–PK Steven Hauschka drilled three field goals but put the team in trouble to start OT when his failed onside kick led to a short field that St. Louis converted into a game-winning field goal. Coach Pete Carroll hinted after the game that the team did not plan to onside kick.

–DE Michael Bennett got off to a terrific start in the first quarter with two tackles for loss, including a sack of QB Nick Foles. Bennett finished the afternoon with four tackles, all for loss, and a quarterback hit.

–RB Marshawn Lynch experienced sporadic success with 73 yards on 18 carries and five catches for 31 yards. But Lynch was stuffed on the game’s last play, losing a yard on fourth-and-1 from the Rams’ 42 in OT, and was held in check most of the day other than a 24-yard run to start the fourth quarter.


About The Sports Xchange

Since 1987, the Sports Xchange has been the best source of information and analysis for the top professionals in the sports publishing & information business