Seattle Seahawks

Seahawks’ improved offensive line takes step backward versus St. Louis Rams

toverman@theolympian.com

When the Seattle Seahawks offense ignited at midseason and rose near the top of the NFL rankings, much of the credit was given to center Patrick Lewis.

Lewis took over the starting role, and had been stout in the middle of the line and sharp with his protection calls for his linemates.

And most importantly, in the context of the Seahawks’ troubles on Sunday in a loss against the St. Louis Rams, his shotgun snaps to quarterback Russell Wilson had been consistently accurate.

Two misfires on Sunday, though, cost the Seahawks 21 yards and contributed to a day of offensive troubles in a 23-17 loss on a rainy afternoon. Lewis was emotional, but answered questions and assumed full accountability.

“The weather didn’t have anything to do with it, it was just my mistakes; conditions had nothing to do with it,” Lewis said afterward. “I apologized to my teammates, the fans, anybody who has anything to do with the Seahawks.”

Lewis wasn’t the only one bearing responsibility for the offensive issues.

It had been 25 games since the Seahawks failed to gain 100 yards or more rushing in a game. The team that held them to 80 yards that day in October 2014 was the same that broke the streak on Sunday, the St. Louis Rams.

And the four sacks given up against the Rams on Sunday ware the most the pass protectors had surrendered in a game since the San Francisco game in October this season.

“They fought their tails off the whole game,” Wilson said of his line.

Coach Pete Carroll didn’t object to the effort, but couldn’t avoid commenting on the outcome.

“We didn’t block very well today,” Carroll said. “They had penetration and made some plays in the backfield early on. When we run the ball for 60 yards, we’re not on it, we’re in bad shape at the line of scrimmage and we have to do a lot better than that.”

With veteran tackle Russell Okung out with a calf injury, Alvin Bailey started at left tackle.

Bailey has filled in a number of times and did not appear to be a specific weak link in the blocking, although he did get called for a clip and two false starts.

A bigger part of the struggles was the performance of the Rams defense, even though they were missing a number of key players.

“The front seven they have is unbelievable, and their defense is pretty solid,” receiver Doug Baldwin said.

Lewis promised to cure the snapping problems this week before heading into the regular-season finale next Sunday at Arizona.

“There were probably a few times we could have adjusted a little better but we didn’t, point blank, period, and we lost the game,” Lewis said. “They capitalized off our mistakes and they won the game. We’ve just got to get back to work, fix it, find out the reason and get ready for next week.”

Dave Boling: 253-597-8440, @DaveBoling

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