The 2013 Seattle Seahawks are special.
Simply put, they did not deserve to beat the St. Louis Rams last night, but somehow, against incredible odds, they did. It may have taken a missed field goal by Greg Zuerlein to change the game, but sometimes it's better to be lucky than good.
It seems that nobody thinks that the Seahawks are a legitimate contender after the debacle of a game they played on Monday night, and without an offensive line, those pundits are right.
As I defended the Seahawks against rampant hate, I researched some statistics that can only be described as mind-boggling. Even I, a former offensive lineman, underestimated the importance of a quality offensive line. Any Seahawks fan can tell you that the team's clear weakness is it's offensive line. At one point, they were described as the best offensive line in football.
LOL (The only reason I use that stupid acronym is because I literally laughed out loud when I heard it.)
The Seahawks gained a grand total of 135 yards of offense, 80 of which came on a single pass from Russell Wilson to Golden Tate. Without it, that's 55 yards.
Let that settle in for a moment.
After week 7, the Seahawks were 2nd in the NFL for average starting LOS (line of scrimmage), on average starting at about their own 32 yard line. So let's do the math: 32 + 55 = NO TOUCHDOWN.
Monday night it was worse. Against the Rams, the Hawks average LOS was about their own 30.
Let's get back to the offensive line.
Seattle gave up 7 sacks to St. Louis, all of which came from their defensive linemen Robert Quinn, Chris Long, and William Hayes. The Rams didn't need to blitz at all, and as Seahawks fans know, when you don't need to blitz, you can leave six or seven men to cover the pass.
The Rams often put eight men in the box, making it necessary for the Seahawks to keep tight ends and runningbacks in to block, severely limiting their offensive playbook.
Normally Marshawn Lynch is able to compensate for his underachieving line, but Beast Mode couldn't get out of his blocks. When he did, breaking a 17 yard run in the 2nd quarter, it was called back because of a holding penalty on J.R. Sweezy.
On top of the incompetent Paul McQuistan and Michael Bowie and Sweezy's two penalties, Max Unger seemed to have an off night. The Pro Bowl center had a plethora of low snaps that Russell Wilson had to duck down to grab.
A product of their woes, the Hawks were only on the field for 21:51, nearly 17 minutes less than the Rams, which put enormous pressure on the defense.
In all, the Seahawks offense had 6 three-and-outs, 7 first downs, and 9 punts. On the positive side, they also only had 2 penalties and for the first time this season, didn't turn the ball over at all.
The reason why Seattle was able to pull out the victory was because of their incredible defense. Although they allowed 338 yards of offense, they only allowed 9 points on 3 field goals. Even with all the odds against them, Richard Sherman and company were able to keep a decent Rams offense out of the endzone.
Although they allowed 338 yards, the Seahawks defense is still considered the most efficient in the NFL according to Football Outsiders.
As I said above, sometimes it's better to be lucky than good. Had Greg Zuerlein drilled his 50 yard attempt with 8:33 left to go in the fourth quarter, the Rams surely would have kicked another to seal a 15-14 victory in the waning seconds of the game.
But he didn't. And Seattle moved to 7-1 for the first time in franchise history, and 3-0 in the NFC West. On top of that, it seems they have a legitimate Defensive MVP candidate in Earl Thomas. Some of the plays he made last night were awe-inspiring.
Next week the Seahawks play a Buccaneers squad looking for it's first win. Luckily it's at home, but it's essential that the Seahawks fix the problems with their offensive line, because I'm not sure they can win again if they don't.
But if they can, look out NFL, because against all odds, these special Seahawks will put up a helluva fight.