The Seattle Seahawks won on the road against the Kyle Boller-led St. Louis Rams. The offense was one-dimensional, the defense hardly dominant, but Seattle slowly, convincingly overwhelmed St. Louis and squeezed out its fourth win of the season. That matches last year's total.
The young players are learning. Jordan Babineaux and Aaron Curry trade exciting plays with blown assignments. Brandon Mebane can knife into the pocket, but most pro quarterbacks have the agility to evade him after the initial pressure. Seattle's ends, excluding Patrick Kerney, are talented, young and cheap, but do not create sufficient pressure on their own. The defense lacks an elite pass rusher and should add one through the draft.
The path to contention is long. It will take maturation from its defensive core and, for the first time in Tim Ruskell's career, a new offense. The time is now to stop rebuilding, stop swapping in used parts and patching holes with low-upside polish, and start building an offense from scratch.
Justin Forsett is a lock. Force has proven that Seattle's offensive line is not hopeless, and that he is a part of the offense Seattle wants to become. It's a running offense. It rotates backs, and builds drives off a slicing run attack. Julius Jones is not the problem, but he's not good enough either. Seattle needs talent at its skill positions. Not just running back, but Seattle needs to become younger and faster at wide receiver too.
A reporter asked Jim Mora when Deon Butler would play. Mora said that Butler will play when he's the best player. Butler has six receptions for 56 yards. Third round wide receivers rarely explode on the NFL. They can contribute.
It's a pick like Butler that makes me worry about Ruskell's ability to judge offensive talent. Seattle moved up into the third to draft Butler. But Ruskell has earned the right to start the process. Seattle will be worse before it is better.
Matt Hasselbeck is a game manager. He doesn't lose games like Matthew Stafford or Kyle Boller. Seattle can pick, sack and run its way to a victory against the Rams, but it needs downfield passing to be a contender again. That means a rookie quarterback, and a rookie quarterback means soon the Seahawks will be the team throwing wins away.
Game Ball: Force.
Forsett is a slashing power-back in a too small frame. Seattle will not pound the rock behind Forsett, but it can build a rushing attack around him. The coaches will want to keep Forsett under twenty carries and around twenty total touches. That means finding Forsett a partner. Jones is not a bum. He put up a similar stats against the Rams in week one. Hopefully Seattle learns from Forsett's success and does not blindly feed Forsett the ball. Bring in backs. Audition them for the future. Seattle needs help at running back, and Louis Rankin is not the answer, but Forsett alone is not the answer either.