It’s difficult to decide exactly what I should be leading with in today’s recap. Considering it’s the 10th time in a row that Seattle has beaten the Rams, even the Hawks first win on the road can’t top the news that’s coming out of Seattle tonight. I guess it pays to really procrastinate on these things sometimes.
So the word is that Tim Ruskell is out as the Seahawks general manager. ProFootballTalk.com reported the news this evening after the game and some have said that it’s also being reported now on KING 5. Does this pave the way for Mike Holmgren to return to Seattle? Certainly that is what the speculation will be now over the coming months, or until a replacement is named. The word from PFT is that Ruskell will at least remain with the team until the end of the season.
If Holmgren does come in, what does that mean for the future of Jim Mora? If there was ever any animosity between the two, it must have been played pretty close to the vest, because I don’t remember seeing anything in the media. Certainly we’ll hear speculation in that regard as well, as this story continues to circulate.
On to the big win! Well, it’s tough to characterize any win over the Rams as “big,” but after the last two weeks there were plenty of fans that wouldn’t have been surprised if the road losing streak continued. With the final two road games in Houston and Green Bay, some figured this may have been the team’s only opportunity to get in the win column this year on the road (although Houston has struggled at home this year).
With Julius Jones out again this week, it was up to Justin Forsett to get the run game going again after a miserable four-yard team performance last week (Forsett had nine yards). He came up big this week with 130 yards rushing and two touchdowns. In fact it gave Matt Hasselbeck a bit of a rest in that he only needed 108 yards through the air to keep the team balanced on offense.
The game was relatively close all through the first half. Seattle scored on their second possession after a missed 46-yard field goal by Josh Brown. The running game was working early as Forsett racked up 41 yards on the scoring drive. But the Rams came back with a drive of their own a couple possessions later and scored early in the second quarter.
The big turning point of the game came when the Rams were driving with less than two minutes in the half and opted to forego the 51-yard field goal and go for it on 4th-and-4. Kyle Boller had a short pass batted in the air and caught by Josh Wilson for a 65-yard touchdown return. The Rams got the ball back and managed to kick a 55-yard field goal right before the half to keep the score close, 14-10.
After the half, it was all Seahawks as they continued to have success on the ground. They had to settle for two field goals, but Forsett was able to pick up his second touchdown after the Hawks had the ball with a short field starting at the St. Louis 44.
The Rams did manage to score with less than a minute remaining to bring the final score to 27-17, but there was little doubt through the second half that Seattle had the game under control.
The defense was able to bring pressure on Boller, filling in for the injured Mark Bulger, all day long. The team finished with four sacks and two interceptions, and they had double-digit number is hurries and hits on the quarterback.
With the win, Seattle improves to 4-7, and the Rams fall to 1-10 to solidify their third straight season with more than 10 losses. 2004 was the last season that the Rams beat Seattle, and if you remember they actually beat the Hawks three times that year – the third time was in the first round of the playoffs.
With Kurt Warner out, the Cardinals fell to the Titans after Vince Young led the team on a 99-yard drive with 2:37 left in the game and win 20-17. Amazingly the Titans are looking like they’re back in the playoff hunt after going 0-6 and have now won five straight. If the Seahawks could manage to pull off a similar streak and win the next four, it might make for a big week 17 finale against the Titans in Seattle!
Although the loss brings the Hawks a game closer to the Cardinals in the standings, the 49ers managed to stay a game ahead of Seattle with their 20-3 win over Jacksonville. But the Hawks will have a chance to even things up in the division with San Francisco coming to town next week.
Arizona will go on the road to Minnesota, and although they’ve played well on the road that is going to be a difficult matchup to overcome especially if Matt Leinart is still behind center. Warner was held out due to a concussion suffered from a previous week, so he should be back.
Somehow I feel like if the Hawks were able to manage a win next week and Arizona were to lose, I would get a false sense that Seattle might be able to make a run at the division. If I hadn’t read an article recently about maintaining realistic expectations and having that be a key to happiness – I would certainly be setting myself up for misery. So if that happens, I’ll give myself a couple more weeks until it looks like the Hawks have a Titans-esque streak in them and Arizona starts to go the way of the Giants.