I wanted to write about the Seahawks loss to the Rams 19-13, but it wasn’t a pretty or even coherent article by the time I finished it so I tossed it into the fire. Every loss pains me, I wouldn’t be a fan if it didn’t, but this one pained me more than usual. I had to think about it, ponder and contemplate it even, to figure out why it hurt more than usual.
While I was tapping my temple with my finger muttering, “Think, think. Think, think” and causing my children to eye me nervously, it occurred to me that this was the fourth game of the season, the end of the 1st quarter. Since my mother was a teacher, it seemed natural to do some 1st quarter grading so here’s what I came up with and why. Your reasoning may be different. In fact, I would be surprised if it weren’t, but this is how I see it so far.
Defense, ranked 4th overall: B+
Let’s start with the defense since it’s my favorite side of the ball. I’ve always enjoyed hitting over being hit, even when I played rugby, and could carry the ball instead of just blocking for the guy carrying it. Something about knocking the snot out of the other guy always gave me more of a rush, so that’s where I’m beginning this report card.
Breaking this down further, I would give the rush defense, ranked #2 in the league, an A. The pass defense, ranked #10, would be a little lower, more around a B-.
The rush defense has been very solid, not giving up 100 yards to any rusher through four games. That comes down to a dominant defensive line and active linebackers. I was worried when middle linebacker David Hawthorne went to New Orleans in free agency but rookie Bobbie Wagner has filled the void nicely.
The pass defense has been a little shakier, although still not bad. The secondary, corners Richard Sherman and Brandon Browner and safeties Earl Thomas and Kam Chancellor, is in the running for the best young secondary in the league.
The pass rush has gotten better, culminating in eight first half sacks of Aaron Rodgers in the now infamous Monday Night Football game. What worries me about that is that after the first half, Rodgers didn’t really get hit again after the Packers adjusted. Not only that, the Rams followed those adjustments to keeping Sam Bradford clean too. The rush will have to adjust and adapt to keep moving forward.