Special Teams key to Seahawks 30-13 victory
December 12, 2011, 8:39 pm
With the nation watching on Monday Night Football, special teams and defense lead the Seattle Seahawks to a 30-13 win over the St Louis Rams.
The Seahawks, who are hanging onto slim playoff hopes, needed a victory over the last place Rams. The Seahawks were coming off a victory over the Philadelphia Eagles last Thursday where Marshawn Lynch powered the Hawks running attack. Tonight another player stepped into the spotlight to help lead the Seahawks. Undrafted free-agent Doug Baldwin made big plays on offense and special teams.
The game started out with the Seahawks running a reverse to Baldwin on the kickoff and getting great field position out to their own 43 yard line. The Rams were able to stop the Seahawks and force a punt. St. Louis' took their first possession and got two first downs behind a Steven Jackson run and a 26 yard pass completion from Sam Bradford to Lance Kendricks. The Seahawks defense tightened and forced a fourth down. Baldwin was able to make another impact on special teams as he came around the corner untouched and blocked Donnie Jones' punt attempt. Michael Robinson scooped up the ball and scrambled 17 yards for the Seahawks first touchdown and a 7-0 lead.
The Seahawks defense stepped up again and forced a three and out from St. Louis. Seattle took their next possession and marched down the field using a mix of passes and runs. They got all the way down to the St. Louis 24 yard line but couldn't convert a third and 11 and were forced to attempt a 42 yard field goal attempt by Steven Hauschka.
Down 10-0, the Rams put together an 11 play 52 yard drive that they capped off with a 46 yard field goal by Josh Brown. Neither team was able to put together a sustained drive for the rest of the half and the teams went into half with the Seahawks leading 10-3.
The second half started with the Seahawks defense making a big play as Brandon Browner took a pass away from Brandon Lloyd and intercepted the ball at the Rams 34 yard line.
The Seahawks capitalized on the turnover when Hauschka kicked a 23 yard field goal to push the Seahawks lead to 10, 13-3.
On St. Louis' next possession Seattle forced a three and out, off a big sack on third down and six. Chris Clemons bull rushed up the middle and sacked Bradford for a nine yard loss.
The Seahawks put together a 10 play 44 yard drive but Hauschka missed a 38 yard field goal attempt. St Louis then capitalized on a couple of penalties by Seahawks defensive back Richard Sherman and moved down into a position to kick a 29 yard field goal and bring St. Louis to within 13-6. Leon Washington took the ensuing kickoff four yards deep in his own end zone and busted through the Rams coverage until he was pushed out of bounds at the 50 yard line. Baldwin then showed why he's the top receiver on the Seahawks as he had two receptions for 51 yards including a 29 yard TD reception.
That touchdown by Baldwin put the Seahawks up 20-6 but the Seahawks weren't done. After holding the Rams, the Seahawks gave a steady dose of Lynch as the moved down the field. Lynch had 3 runs and a pass attempt that fell incomplete. It was the second pass attempt for Lynch in the game and he wasn't able to connect on either of them. Seattle kicked a 48 yard field goal to push there lead to 23-6.
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The Rams out together there best drive of the game and were helped by some foolish penalties including a taunting penalty on Sherman after the Hawks had stopped the Rams on third down. The Rams then gave the ball to Steven Jackson who punched it in from the one yard line. That touchdown pushed the score to 23-13. St. Louis attempted an onside kick but failed to kick it the required 10 yards. The Hawks took over at the St. Louis 42 and ran it with Lynch 4 out of 5 plays with Lynch. Lynch finished the drive with a 16 yard TD run to finish the scoring and put the final score at 30-13.
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The win gives the Seahawks a 6-7 record and keeps their playoff hopes alive. Next weeks game will be against the Chicago Bears at Soldier field at 11am. The Bears are coming off a loss to the Denver Broncos in which they lead 10-0 late in the fourth quarter before losing 13-10 in overtime.