Quick notes from the remains of the third quarter:
Seattle was getting pressure from its front four. We don't know if the Rams have a good offensive line, but the team has invested huge resources into it. Guard Jacob Bell and center Jason Brown were signed to big money free agent contracts. Bell's contract is similar to Leroy Hill's, but without the opt-out clause. Brown is worth potentially $1.5 million more over one fewer season. Alex Barron and Jason Smith were both top twenty overall picks. Though Barron has become a bit of a joke, he shut down Patrick Kerney.
Most of Seattle's pressure came from the interior. Colin Cole was able to stymie Brown and Brandon Mebane and Craig Terrill created pressure in spurts. The single most impressive play by the front four was executed by Lawrence Jackson. Jackson, Seattle's strongside end in training, ran around the Rams' $62 million dollar tackle. It was an effortless edge rush with all the desired components: burst off the snap, straightline speed and the ability to turn the corner without slowing or sagging deep. It was the kind of edge rush that leaves the tackle trailing, falling and the quarterback downed, protecting the ball. Jackson was showing better timing off the snap at the end of last season. It's part of the package that makes him such an exciting mix of tools. He did not show a pass rush move, though, and that's the next step for Lawrence.
Justin Forsett nearly knelt before making an explosive cut through the hole and for the first on Seattle's 99 yard drive.
That drive was capped by the back-to-back big plays by John Carlson. Carlson flashed wide open and showed his field speed receiving for 38. For the final fifteen, he rapped both arms around the ball in classic Pop Warner fashion and switched to choppy, quick steps.
The next play was all busted coverage and Carlson. The busted coverage doesn't need elaboration. It happens. Carlson reigned in a terrible pass from Matt Hasselbeck. It fluttered and still somehow flew behind Carlson, but Carlson caught and redirected. Kid is some kind of athlete. So graceful. He smoothly spun into a turn upfield and turned on the jets for the score.
The final note before I get back to watching my Huskies hold their own against Pete Carroll's demoted NFL squad regards Julius Jones' touchdown rush. Credit goes to Jones who turned a pretty typical stretch right into a 62 yard touchdown. Justin Griffith hit the hole but struggled to clear trash from the rush lane. Clifton Ryan was bullying Steve Vallos and the initial hole was all but closed when Jones arrived. Jones faced his left shoulder and got skinny, juking through the hole. He landed, exploded into his second gear and turned a couple modest lead blocks into a break away into the third level. Once upon a time, Jones had a third gear to rival almost anyone in the NFL, but enough is left that he's still a breakout threat. If he can consistently transition a field move into a second gear burst, he could regain his big play potential.