By Matthew Asher
St. Louis may be without their franchise quarterback for the rest of the season, but they did everything they could to beat the highly-favored Seattle team on Monday Night Football. It took a goal line stand by the Seahawks defense (at the one-yard line no less) as time expired. But in the end, the Seahawks need to consider themselves very lucky to escape with a 14-9 victory.
Looking at the averages of the Seattle players, they didn’t do horrible, but it was the lack of the total number of plays that gave St. Louis a chance for a major upset. Seattle only ran 33 plays while St. Louis more than doubled that with 68 plays. That is not a typo: 68 Rams offensive plays and just 33 offensive plays by the Seahawks.
Golden Tate gets an A
He may not have eclipsed the 100-yard receiving mark, but Tate was responsible for both Seattle touchdowns. The first was a two-yard catch in the second quarter, but the second one, an 80-yard catch and run in the third quarter, gave Seattle a 14-6 lead. It ended up being all they would need. Tate finished the game with only five catches for 93 yards, but Russell Wilson completed just five additional passes to the rest of the Seahawks receiving corps for only 46 yards.
Seattle’s rushing attack gets a D
First thing’s first: Marshawn Lynch definitely did not go Beast Mode. He finished the game with only 23 rushing yards on just eight attempts. His longest run of the night was for only nine yards. Russell Wilson didn’t help the running game either. He finished with 16 yards on three carries. While averaging more than five yards per carry is usually considered good, when your longest run of the night was for 17 yards (meaning his other two runs actually costs him yardage) that’s not something you consider good.
As a team, Seattle ran the ball 15 times for 44 yards. Averaging less than three yards per carry as a team is something that must be improved if Seattle has any hopes at a deep playoff run.
Seattle’s rushing defense gets a D-
If you didn’t know who Zac Stacy was before this game, you may want to add the St. Louis Ram to your fantasy football team if you still can. The 160th draft pick of the 2013 NFL Draft finished the game with Marshawn Lynch numbers: 134 rushing yards on 26 attempts. As a team, St. Louis finished with exactly 200 rushing yards on 37 attempts for a very impressive 5.4 yards per attempt.
Now with a 7-1 record for the first time in franchise history, Seattle returns home next week where they will take on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Kickoff is scheduled for 1:05pm PDT.
For more Seahawks news and updates, visit Seahawks Central.
Matthew Asher is a freelance journalist. From an early age, sports have played a major role in his life. He graduated from Emory University with a B.A. in Journalism. After college he spent 2 years working with CNN Sports and still occasionally writes sports articles for several publications both in the United States and Canada. His work can be found on Examiner.com.