A recap of the Seahawks’ season-opening 28-0 victory over the St. Louis Rams on Sunday:
PLAYER OF THE GAME
Make it players, and go with the Seahawks offensive line – Sean Locklear, Rob Sims, Steve Vallos, Max Unger and Ray Willis.
Yes, Matt Hasselbeck passed for 279 yards and three touchdowns. Yes, tight end John Carlson caught six passes and two of Hasselbeck’s TD tosses. Yes, Julius Jones ran for 117 yards and a 62-yard touchdown. Yes, the defense pitched the Seahawks’ first shutout since 2007.
But the O-line drew praise from all concerned for allowing no sacks and paving the way as the offense rolled up 446 yards – especially on the 99-yard scoring drive on the first possession of the second half.
“They’ve done a nice job,” Hasselbeck said. “I’ve said it many times – (line coach) Mike Solari does a great job; he’s a great football coach.
“I think that unit has really come together. They’re unified. Right or wrong, they’re together. They eat together … they are together all the time. When you’re together as a unit like that, good stuff happens. They played great today.”
PLAYS OF THE GAME
Offense: Jones’ 62-yard touchdown run that pushed the Seahawks lead to 28-0 late in the third quarter.
There were Hasselbeck’s three TD passes, and Carlson’s two touchdown catches. But with all the hand wringing over the new zone-blocking scheme and what the running back rotation would be, Jones’ scoring dash was on indication of just well the scheme can work.
A block by Vallos walled off the right side. A lead block by fullback Justin Griffith did the same thing on the left side. Jones made the safety miss. Then, as Jones said, “It was green grass after that.”
Defense: Make it a series rather than one play. After the Rams reached the Seattle 8-yard line in the fourth quarter, the Seahawks got down to business.
Cornerback Ken Lucas had tight coverage on Marc Bulger’s incomplete pass to Laurent Robinson in the end zone. Bulger was pressured into throwing short to Donnie Avery on second down. Linebacker Aaron Curry and defensive end Patrick Kerney combined to stop Steven Jackson for a 1-yard gain on third down. On fourth down, the coverage and pressure were there as Bulger threw too high to tight end Randy McMichael in the end zone.
The four-bagger of pressure, coverage and tandem tackling preserved the shutout.
Special teams: The Rams touchdown that wasn’t. C.J. Ah You blocked a 49-yard field goal attempt by Olindo Mare late in the second quarter and Quincy Butler returned it 51 yards for a score.
One problem: The Rams’ version of the 12th Man in the Home of the 12th Man.
The Rams were penalized for having an extra player on the field. So rather than a Rams touchdown, the Seahawks got a first down – and scored themselves three plays later.
Former defensive end Jacob Green raised the 12th Man flag in the south end zone prior to kickoff. One of 10 men in the team’s Ring of Honor, Green’s flag duty was part of alumni day.
Josh Brown is gone, but Seahawks fans have not forgotten how he shunned the team in free agency last year to sign with the Rams. When he trotted onto the field to attempt a 37-yard field goal in the first half, boos poured down on Brown.
They quickly turned to cheers as Brown missed the kick wide right.
Club owner Paul Allen presented Jim Mora with the game ball after his first victory as coach of the team he grew up rooting for.
Linebackers Leroy Hill (strained groin) and Lofa Tatupu (strained hamstring) left the field and did not return. Mora said the initial prognosis was that neither injury is serious.
Will Herring and David Hawthorne replaced Hill and Tatupu. Each was credited with one tackle, but their contributions were more significant.
“They did a nice job,” Mora said. “I think one of the indicators is, do you notice a drop off when new guys take the field? Quite frankly, I didn’t notice a drop off in play.”
YOU DON’T SAY
“I think playmaker probably would be a better word. Security blanket might be offensive. The guy makes plays and he scores touchdowns. It was fun to see him split out wide like a wide receiver. He got a lot of flak for his 40 time at the combine, so I’m happy for him.” – Hasselbeck, on Carlson