Dynamic, mobile, creative Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson talked “never-say-die” attitude in the middle of last week.
Monday night, he had changed his word choice to “surrender.”
Wilson was sacked seven times by a salivating St. Louis Rams defensive front, who poured salt in the Seahawks’ most gaping wound, then stomped on it.
The Seahawks’ offensive line continues to be the top issue for 7-1 team at the midpoint of the season. Timelines for the return of Pro-Bowl left tackle Russell Okung and right tackle Breno Giacomini appear to be clarifying, as both are making progress. Okung could be back at practice Friday. The NFL trade deadline passed Tuesday with moderate conjecture (the Seahawks were rumored to be pursuing Minnesota Vikings defensive end Jared Allen at one point) and no offensive line reinforcements.
Which leaves the Seahawks trying to find a remedy with current personnel.
“We have a long haul here, we are just at the halfway point of the season,” Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll said. “These are the guys we are going with and we have to fix it. We are trying. We knew that these guys would be a difficult matchup for us, so we tried to help them, but it just didn’t work out as well as we liked. This was a very tough night on the quarterback.”
After often scrambling to counter the pressure from offensive line’s inability to pass protect in prior weeks, Wilson took the turtle approach Monday night. He had fumbled twice the week before when being clobbered from behind. The Seahawks’ offense had a turnover in every game this season coming into Week 8.
Against the Rams, Wilson curled and covered up when he felt Rams defenders in his personal space.
“I don’t think he scrambled less," offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell said. "I think you’ve got to give the Rams credit. They did a really nice job of trying to keep him in the pocket with some of the pressures that they brought. You saw, there were a couple times that he was able to escape and get outside, but they did a really nice job at keeping him in the pocket.
"The number one thing that we’ve been preaching is taking care of the football. Obviously, interceptions and turnovers, fumbles, those kinds of things have kind of plagued us the last few weeks. And he’s had a few fumbles in the pocket. So we talked about those plays where he’s in the pocket and it comes to a chance where there’s no chance anymore, we used the word ‘surrender’, but surrender to protect the football so that we don’t give up a bigger play than is already happening for them. I think he did a good job of that. He protected the ball and we didn’t turn it over. He didn’t give up any play and say, ‘Okay, I can’t get out of the pocket,’ there was just no chance to get out of the pocket so he protected the football.”
In the process, what has been Seattle's No. 1 offensive weapon this year, Wilson scrambling to make things happen, was muted. But, he also didn't fumble to give the Rams anything easy.
Later today, we'll take a look at just where those seven sacks came from.
> I wrote about the link between Wilson and Tampa Bay quarterback Mike Glennon.
> The Kitna name is being carried on at Lincoln High sophomore quarterback Jordan Kitna (his father, Jon, is the coach).
> USA today writes that "outcasts and underdogs" fuel the rise of the Seahawks defense.
> The AP wrote about the struggles of the Seahawks' passing game.
> Here's San Francisco tight end Vernon Davis on one of the dozen nonsense shows on ESPN saying Seattle is the loudest place to play:
> The AP also writes thatDarrelle Revis and Richard Sherman have apparently slowed their smack-talk.
> Seahawks.com talks to Golden Tate about his two touchdowns, and he says he hadn't been asked about them since (he was asked about them Monday night, however), "It comes with the territory. I mean, haters make the world go ’round,” Tate said.
> A film room look at Panthers defensive end Charles Johnson and Patriots end Rob Ninkovich from SI's Greg Bedard, who were ranked No. 1 and No. 3, respectively in Bedard's edge rusher rankings for last week. No. 2? Robert Quinn of the Rams who torched the Seahawks (Chris Long tied for sixth). St. Louis was No. 1 last week in Bedard's pressure rate chart, and the Seahawks are second in his season-long pressure rate chart. Lastly, the Seahawks' offensive line is rated the worst in the NFL by Bedard's numbers.
> Here's Mike Holmgren on 950-KJR saying some interesting stuff, per usual, about the Seahawks. He's fresh off hip surgery. Holmgren starts talking specifically about the Seahawks around the 9-minute mark.