There is an old saying that good teams find a way to win and bad teams find a way to lose. Well, duh. St. Louis found a way to lose by committing a penalty that turned a blocked field goal for a touchdown into a first down for Seattle. Well, no.
The play seemed like turning point, but it wasn't. A 49 yard attempt isn't a gimme, but Olindo Mare has converted 73.4% of his kicks from 40-49 yards for his career. Had St. Louis not blocked the kick, Seattle would have most likely ended the half ahead 10-0. Had St. Louis not had 12 men on the field, they would not likely have blocked the kick. So the choice isn't 7-7 or 14-0, but 14-0 or 10-0 or 7-0. Seattle was up 14-0 entering halftime. They had a 95% chance of winning. The New York Jets were up 10-0 entering halftime. They had a 91% of winning.
The Rams didn't find a way to lose. They were beat.
- Matt Hasselbeck overthrew three passes before the penalty. Three passes skyed in six attempts. All three were deep passes. The first targeted T.J. Houshmandzadeh. It was out of his reach, but Housh isn't a burner. He hadn't separated. If he had a little more speed, he would have burned Ron Bartell and reached the pass.
- The second was on Hasselbeck. John Carlson was wide open after running a beautiful route, but Hasselbeck overthrew and Carlson couldn't catch up or even dive for it.
- The final was reasonably accurate, but a bit high. Hasselbeck overthrew it because Nate Burleson couldn't separate. Burleson was supposed to high-point the ball. He almost did, but he jumped a fraction too early and that meant Burly was grasping for the ball just as Bartell was reaching to break it up. Seattle is committed to the deep pass, but Hasselbeck is not a great deep passer and only Deon Butler is a great deep threat. Butler is a speed threat, and that plays against Hasselbeck's arm strength. For now, the Seahawks are forcing safeties back by chucking it deep, but that won't last unless they start turning attempts into deep completions.
- Justin Griffith blew a block and Julius Jones put a move on O.J. Atogwe to power through for the first. Jones has good speed and a bevy of supports skills, but he doesn't break or evade tackles very often.
- Robs Sims has been Seattle's best offensive linemen. He has been very steady in pass coverage, as always, and has been impressive as a run blocker. He is moving to where he needs to be and getting good shots on defenders in the open field. This is a very positive development and bodes well for the Seahawks offense.
- Sean Locklear has been Seattle's best cut blocker. A tackle must hit the deck from the time to time in Knapp's offense. A good cut block can stop multiple defenders and neutralize backside pursuit. Stretch plays are simple, but sometimes slow and the more time a running back has to find his hole and bolt, the more effective they are. So, what does Seattle do when Walter Jones returns? Does he cut block? Can he cut block?