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Defense comes alive in second half
By Bill Coats
ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
Monday, Nov. 13 2006
SEATTLE — The battered Seahawks were without four of their 11 starters on
offense Sunday: quarterback Matt Hasselbeck (knee), running back Shaun
Alexander (foot), tackle Sean Locklear (ankle) and center Robbie Tobeck
Surely the defensive task for the Rams, who had fallen to Seattle by just two
points a month ago with three of those four in the lineup, would be far less
challenging this time around.
Yet for the first 30 minutes, the Seahawks pounded the Rams harder than the
relentless rain pelted the Qwest Field turf. Seattle rolled up 243 total yards
in the first half en route to its 24-22 win and two-game lead in the NFC West.
Maurice Morris, filling in for reigning league MVP Alexander, had 79 rushing
yards; Seneca Wallace, the understudy for Pro Bowler Hasselbeck, had 11 of 15
completions for 136 yards and two touchdowns, compiled a 140.6 passer rating
and ran twice for 30 yards.
The Rams never had faced Wallace, a fourth-year pro out of Iowa State, making
just his third NFL start. But they knew he was a dangerous scrambler and decent
"He's a tough quarterback," defensive end Leonard Little said. "I missed him a
couple of times. He's poised in the pocket, but he also can run. That was the
main thing; we tried to keep him from running."
Despite being outgained by more than a 2-1 ratio, the Rams trailed just 14-13
at the half, and the defense made a significant contribution: an 89-yard fumble
return for a touchdown by rookie defensive end Victor Adeyanju after Little
knocked the ball from Wallace with a jarring blind-side sack. That occurred
with Seattle driving crisply on the game's first series.
The 12-minute intermission was a time for reflection for defensive coordinator
Jim Haslett's sagging outfit.
"Just want-to more than anything; guys really made up their minds," tackle
La'Roi Glover said. "It wasn't much more than that. Just guys coming together."
Whatever the explanation, the second half bore little resemblance to the first.
Whereas the Seahawks clicked on all cylinders in the first, they barely managed
to move forward in the second.
"We came out and just got after them," Adeyanju said. "I guess it's a mental
Linebacker Pisa Tinoisamoa, who returned after missing two games with a broken
left hand, said, "We were playing like how we should, quite simply."
Seattle's first four of five second-half possessions resulted in three
three-and-outs, plus a lost fumble. "And that's how we should play starting off
. . . the same way," said Little, who had two sacks, as did linebacker Will
After a Jeff Wilkins field goal, Nate Burleson's 90-yard punt return for a TD
put Seattle back on top. A 14-yard touchdown run by Steven Jackson made it
22-21 St. Louis with 2½ minutes remaining.
One more three-and-out would snap the Rams' three-game losing streak and push
them into a tie atop the division standings. But the defense started its final
stand with a substantial disadvantage.
Because center Richie Incognito was called for a personal foul on Jackson's TD,
Wilkins kicked off from the 15-yard line instead of the 30. Following a 33-yard
return by Josh Scobey, the Seahawks started their drive at the Rams 49.
Seattle advanced to the 20 on seven plays, and Josh Brown's 38-yard field goal
with 9 seconds remaining won it.
Re: Defense comes alive in second half
2nd half play of the Defense was awesome, the Offense let us down, many squandered opportunities. It's obvious that we need both units gelling at the same time. Neither one is going to carry the other.
-11-13-2006 #3rampete Guest
Re: Defense comes alive in second half
linehan's playcalling on 3rd downs didn't do much for inspiration...
i just remember thinking, why is bulger throwing underneath and short
of the 1st down markers consistently??