Seattle Seahawks

Seahawks offensive line keeps Wilson vertical

In one corner of the Seahawks locker room, offensive tackle Garry Gilliam started an impromptu chant: “No sacks … no sacks.”

He referenced one of the more remarkable statistics to come from the Seahawks’ 13-12 win over Dallas on Sunday.

Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson came into the game with a league-high 31 sacks. He left the game with the same total.

Especially after an ankle injury placed veteran left tackle Russell Okung in doubt, the worrisome theme of the preceding week for Seahawks fans had been how would Wilson survive the pass rush of Cowboys’ defensive end Greg Hardy.

Hardy made a stunning second-half interception, but he and his Cowboy teammates were unable to corral Wilson for a sack.

Okung tested his ankle before the game, trying to work his way onto the field, but couldn’t quite get cleared to play.

That left backup Alvin Bailey at left tackle to face Hardy, who had registered three sacks in two games since he returned from a four-game league suspension.

Bailey and his linemates were up to the challenge.

“We protected the quarterback today,” Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said. “We legitimately did it, and Russell was able to stand in there and do his thing.”

“I was excited,” Bailey said. “It was a great day to be able to step in and step up for my team. I had a good time out there and we came out with a win, that was the big thing.”

Bailey was assigned to throw a cut block on Hardy late in the third quarter, but Hardy stepped over him and speared a Wilson pass for an interception.

“Props to him; he made a great play,” Bailey said. “I missed the cut and once I heard him slap the ball I went ‘uh-oh.’ 

The Seahawks offense had a signature moment in the fourth quarter, taking the lead for good with a 17-play, 79-yard drive.

“We’re just getting back to being us, having our true style,” Bailey said. “The more we can make it a meat grinder in there running the ball, the more we’re going to do because that helps us in the passing game, too.”

Left guard Justin Britt also had to pick up Hardy on occasion, and help out Bailey, his neighbor on the left side.

“I knew Alvin would come in and do a great job,” Britt said. “He’s one of those guys who can come in and play any position at any time. I had some work with him this week, so I was confident in him. A win always feels good, and I thought the O-line played well; we played for each other.”

Wilson, the prime beneficiary of the protection, was understandably happy.

“I thought the offensive line was phenomenal,” Wilson said. “No sacks … they just really stepped up. They get better and better each week. Their confidence just continues to grow.”

Gilliam was asked about his “no sacks” chant.

“Just telling the truth — this is Tell The Truth Sunday, right?” Gilliam said. “And it feels good.”

Dave Boling: 253-597-8440