Seahawks play follow the defense

Posted Nov 20, 2011

The Seahawks used a suffocating defensive effort, an opportunistic offense and some special efforts from its kickers to hand the Rams a 24-7 loss on Sunday.

ST. LOUIS – There was so much to like about the Seahawks’ 24-7 victory over the St. Louis Rams on Sunday.

The defense was dominating, led by Chris Clemons’ three-sack, two-forced fumbles performance. The offense was opportunistic, with Marshawn Lynch running for a touchdown in his sixth-consecutive game and Tarvaris Jackson and Sidney Rice also hooking up for a 14-yard TD pass. Jon Ryan and Steven Hauschka kicked the Rams into poor field position all afternoon.

But one play stood out.

As coach Pete Carroll put it, “My my favorite play of the day was Red’s interception.”

That’s because it’s not every day that a 330-pound defensive end intercepts a pass. And it’s even rarer when the play is set up because his best friend tipped the ball.

But that’s exactly what happened when Red Bryant and Brandon Mebane teamed up to slap an exclamation point on the 17-point victory at the Edward Jones Dome.

“It’s real,” Mebane said of his bond with Bryant after the game – and after Mebane, the team’s nose tackle, had led a charge that limited Steven Jackson to 42 yards on 15 carries. “It’s unique and it’s real. Me and him, it’s real. We work together to get to the ultimate goal.”

And suddenly the Seahawks seem real.

The victory lifted them to 4-6. It also marked the second time in two seasons under Carroll that they have won back-to-back games, and also set the stage for an even longer winning streak with the Seahawks next three games at home against the Redskins, Eagles and Rams.

“This was important,” Carroll said. “We’re coming home for three weeks now… There would be nothing better than to go home and get a win this week and go to that next one and keep climbing.”

Sunday didn’t start all that well for the Seahawks, as each of their first two possessions ended with Jackson throwing an interception – the first on the very next play after Rice (yes, wide receiver Rice) threw a 55-yard pass to Mike Williams.

But the Seahawks not only hung tough, they got tougher as the game wore on.

“This was a really interesting challenge for us,” Carroll said. “We came out and played so miserably in the first quarter, at least offensively. We just couldn’t get started and get out of our own way.

“But what was really well done by our guys is they did not waver. Nobody wavered at all. Nobody lost their mind on it. Nobody got down in the dumps.”

Instead, the Seahawks steadied themselves and then knocked the Rams out after spotting them a 7-0 lead.

“We just kept playing, and you could feel it change,” Carroll said. “It was just a matter of time before we were able to get back on top of this thing and get going.”

Leon Washington returned a punt 25 yards to get them rolling toward their first score – Jackson’s laser shot to Rice for a 14-yard TD.

“It was a good throw by Tarvaris,” Rice said. “I beat my man off the line, got inside and I was able to make a play on the ball.”

On the final play of the half, Hauschka kicked a 19-yard field goal that gave the Seahawks a 10-7 lead they would only build on in the second half.

After Clemons forced Rams QB Sam Bradford to fumble on a sack midway through the third quarter, nickel back Roy Lewis recovered and five plays later Lynch scored on a 3-yard run – on a third-and-1 play.

“Our biggest thing was just to stay focused and not give up on our rushes, and keep rushing the whole game,” Clemons said.

Clemons then look at Mebane and other defensive tackles before adding, “I give them all the credit, because without them I wouldn’t have been able to do what I did. It was really them stopping the run. It was a great day for our defensive line.”

But the icing on this multi-layer cake of a performance was the Mebane-to-Bryant interception that setup a 22-yad TD run by Justin Forsett with 4½ minutes to play.

“The defense just played a great game,” Carroll said of the Seahawks who limited the Rams to 185 yards and forced them to punt 10 times. “The assault on the quarterback in the fourth quarter and in the second half was just great stuff.

“The special teams’ effort was excellent today. The kickers just did a great job.”

Ryan averaged 49.7 yards on nine punts, with a long of 71. Hauschka had three touchbacks on his kickoffs. Washington had a 37-yard punt return to go with the key 25-yarder.

As linebacker, and ex-Ram, David Vobora bellowed as he entered the locker room, “God, that feels good.”