It wasn’t pretty and it wasn’t easy, but seeing how the Rams had manhandled the division prior to this, how could you expect otherwise? The regular season came to a close with about 33 seconds left on the clock when Sam Bradford hung back in the pocket before launching a ball towards the end zone. It’d never reach its intended target when (and really, who else could it have been?) Richard Sherman, who had baited Bradford the whole time, launched from the side line and swiped the ball out of the air. He ran it out to around the twenty before sliding to the ground. 8-0 at home, 11-5 for the first time in franchise history.
The defense, despite not getting any sacks, forced Sam Bradford to go 25/42 for 252 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT. By comparison, Russell Wilson was 15/19 for 250 yards, 1 TD, and 1 rushing TD. They took away the big plays and forced Bradford to resort to dinking and dunking to get the offense down the field. The run defense was stout as well, keeping Steven Jackson to just 52 yards on 11 carries. Jackson has yet to rush for over 100 yards against the Seahawks in his career. Notably absent was Danny Amendola who carved up the defense Week 4. He was limited to just 27 yards on 4 receptions.
The offensive line looked like it did early in the season under a relentless Rams pass rush. The tackles were regularly getting beat and Chris Long racked up three sacks. Second half adjustments slowed things down some but the clean pockets Wilson had been getting lately still weren’t there. I don’t think this is an indication the line has regressed but it does show that there is still room for improvement.
Despite deflecting a sure touchdown, Marcus Trufant was again chasing receivers around the field. There were two times where Trufant was saved by an errant Bradford throw as he tried to hang onto his man. Without Thurmond and Browner there weren’t many options at nickel but with Browner returning we could see Lane get increased reps at nickel.
What Else I Learned
-Russell Wilson tied Peyton Manning’s rookie touchdown record, seemingly passing up a chance to break it. On the final drive of the game he had an open Zach Miller but held the ball and ran it in for the touchdown.
-Rookie(s) of the Year? Executive of the Year? Suddenly the Seahawks have leading candidates for all three awards in Russell Wilson, Bobby Wagner, and John Schneider.
-Michael Robinson is just as violent a runner as Marshawn Lynch. On a number of his plays he steamrolled defenders with big hits. Speaking of which…
-Russell Wilson is a heckuva blocker. Twice he was out in front blocking for Lynch and both times he seemed to find Janoris Jenkins and dropped him. A third time he had the ball and pushed Jenkins to the turf, taking him out of the game for a bit.
The Seahawks travel out to Washington, D.C. to face the NFC East Champion Redskins for round one of the playoffs.