A contender will always take a win over playing well. Seattle isn't a contender. Winning last Sunday's game doesn't establish a culture of winning and won't carry over to next year. For a team building towards next season, playing well but losing is preferable to playing poorly but winning.
With 3:11 to go in the second quarter, Saint Louis on top 17-7, and deep in Seattle territory after a Josh Wilson fumble, the acid churn of blowout began tumbling in my stomach. The Rams, the Rams, equipped with a suddenly efficient offense and nano-blitz powers, were manhandling the hapless Seahawks. One play later, Joe Klopfenstein squirted a frozen duck inches from the sideline that put the luck in "fumble luck", Tru scooped, sprinted 32 and if fortunes weren't outright flipped, it was certainly a reversal.
Seattle sucked last Sunday. As late as halfway through the 4th quarter, the Rams were favored three to one to win. Two quick drives saved Seattle. Two quick broken coverages saved Seattle. And no, one win doesn't save Seattle. And no, one player doesn't save Seattle. But damn if I didn't see a terrible team take the field last Sunday. But damn if that wasn't the worst win I've ever watched. And if that's what costs Seattle a spot in the top five, damn me if I don't wish luck struck the other way.
Lock looked steady. The Rams didn't really target him and he didn't really eff up.
"Who called fucking play action?" That's what Mike Holmgren shouted after Seneca Wallace's fumble. The play action made it all but impossible for Julius Jones to block Jason Craft. Seattle's gone crazy with play action. Philadelphia blitzed through it. So did Saint Louis. Lose the compulsive play action; the Walrus is not pleased.
Progress? Rocky Bernard sacked Marc Bulger. His secret weapon: A three man front sans head up its ass. Craig Terrill wasn't manning the nose and nothing pass rusher Lawrence Jackson wasn't rushing the edge. Instead, Bernard was at left defensive end, Brandon Mebane (about time) at nose, and Darryl Tapp at right defensive end. Julian Peterson aligned defensive left. Peterson and Tapp bowed the line with edge rush. Bernard stunted, and, for once, the nose tackle collapsed the interior opening a pass rush lane for Bernard. It's not all about the Xs and Os, it's also about who those Xs and who those Os are.
Before Wallace was Fiery and In-your-face: He was executing an improvised, 25 yard boot rainbowing to and from oblivion. It executed Seattle's last good drive of the half. Saint Louis overloaded right, blitzing strong safety OJ Atogwe and nickel corner Jason Craft. Weaver blocked Craft but Atogwe came free. Keep your eye on the quarterback and it looks awful bad. Watch the receivers a few times and you see missed opportunities.
Before I describe that, yes, this was horrible line calling, blitz awareness and blocking; and no, that isn't excusable.
Overloading offensive right meant Bobby Engram was barely covered by a buzzing linebacker. Deion Branch may have been completely uncovered, the left corner curled in an underneath zone with the lone safety likely half a field away. Maurice Morris was wide open offensive left and had at least a decent chance to catch and run it for the first. Koren Robinson was bracketed by two defenders. A quarterback must make split second decisions. Wallace decided to wheelie like his Cyclone days, but this doesn't happen in the pros.