A recap of the Seahawks’ 30-13 victory over the St. Louis Rams on “Monday Night Football” at CenturyLink Field:
PLAYER OF THE GAME
Doug Baldwin. Rather than ask what the rookie free agent did, what didn’t he do?
Baldwin returned the opening kickoff 37 yards off a reverse; caught and downed a Jon Ryan punt at the 6-yard line; blocked a punt that was returned for touchdown by Michael Robinson; scored a TD on a 29-yard reception in the third quarter; caught a 12-yard pass on third-and-7 to set up Marshawn Lynch’s TD run in the fourth quarter; and finished with a game-high seven receptions for 93 yards.
“That’s a good day for him,” quarterback Tarvaris Jackson said. “He’s a dependable guy and we expect him to go out there and make plays for us every week.”
Offered defensive end Chris Clemons, “Doug has played well all year long. I’m so proud of him coming in as an undrafted free agent and just making his way. It’s great for him to be able to make this team and continue to play the way he’s playing. He’s been playing like a lot of guys that you see drafted in the first round. So I’m very, very proud of him.”
PLAYS OF THE GAME
Special teams: Baldwin’s blocked punt, of course, and Robinson’s 17-yard return for the Seahawks’ first touchdown. The scheme devised by special teams coach Brian Schneider was so good, in fact, that both Baldwin and Robinson came free on the play.
“Sometimes special teams get forgotten about in this league, unless a returner busts a game wide open,” Robinson said. “But we feel like the approach we take here is, every special teams play can be a blockbuster play or a game-changing play. So we take it very seriously.”
On the blocked punt, Robinson added, “I thought I was going to rough the punter, so I was starting to pull back and Doug just came out of nowhere. He blocked it with his waist. I couldn’t find the ball fast enough; because I knew it was six.”
And the first “six” of Robinson’s six-season NFL career.
“And I love playing special teams,” he said. “It’s what helped me make a mark in this league. I’m glad we did it this way tonight.”
Defense: Brandon Browner’s interception on the first play of the second half. There were a lot from which to chose, but this was Browner’s fourth pick in the past three games.
“We needed a play there, something to give the offense some momentum,” Browner said. “I’m glad I was able to supply it.”
Browner’s timely interception set up a 23-yard field goal by Steven Hauschka that made it 13-3.
Offense: Lynch’s 16-yard touchdown run with less than three minutes to play. It allowed Lynch to score in his ninth consecutive game to tie the franchise record that was set by Shaun Alexander during his league MVP season in 2005.
“I’m disappointed we let Marshawn Lynch run so well,” Rams defensive end Chris Long said. “He’s a good back, and he deserves credit. But we missed a lot of tackles and we didn’t do things well enough in the second half.”
Left guard Robert Gallery (hip) left the game and was replaced by Jarriel King, but Carroll said, “(Robert) could have finished, but we took him out.”
Linebacker Leroy Hill got a stinger. Said Carroll, “I don’t know the extent of it, but he felt OK in the locker room afterwards. We’ll see.”
Clemons got his ninth sack of the season and has become the first Seahawk to have 20 sacks over a two-season span since Michael Sinclair in 1996-97.
Lynch has 969 rushing yards and needs 31 to become the Seahawks’ first 1,000-yard rusher since Alexander in 2005.
Middle linebacker David Hawthorne had a team-high 10 tackles, while rookie linebacker K.J. Wright had a career-high eight tackles – including a sack, as well as two other tackles for losses, two QB hits and a pass defensed.
In addition to sacking Sam Bradford three times, the Seahawks hit him eight times and also got their hands on eight of his passes – including three by Browner.
Baldwin’s seven receptions came off being targeted eight times.
Jackson spread his 21 completions among nine receivers for 224 yards and a passer rating of 96.4.
Wide receiver Deon Butler made his first catch of the season on the same date that he had his leg severely broken in last season’s game against the 49ers in San Francisco.
Leon Washington had a season-long 54-yard kickoff return to set up Jackson’s TD pass to Baldwin.
YOU DON’T SAY
“Everybody knows that without special teams, that game could have gone any way. Our special teams, that’s something they do. They practice hard on that and they execute.” – Lynch