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December 28, 2014 at 9:37 PM

Seahawks-Rams: Post-game impressions


Seattle times photo/John Lok

Seattle times photo/John Lok

Here are three post-game impressions of Seattle’s 20-6 win over the Rams today from beat writers Jayson Jenks and Bob Condotta.

First, from Jenks:

1, Linebacker Bobby Wagner is a tackling machine. Wagner finished with 10 tackles against the Rams, making it the 6th time in 11 games played this season that Wagner had double digit tackles. Wagner finished the year with 104 tackles, but he averaged nearly 10 tackles per game and would have ranked in the top 10 in the league had he not missed five games because of an injury. Wagner’s speed is such an obvious difference maker for the Seahawks, and he is so good against the run and at tracking running backs down in space. He was a deserving choice for the Pro Bowl, and he has gotten better in each of his three years in the league.

2, Kicker Steven Hauschka answered any questions about how he would respond to his three missed field goals in Arizona. Not that many people probably had much doubt about Hauschka, who has been so reliable since joining the Seahawks, but Hauschka responded by making both of his field goal against the Rams. That’s a good sign for a Seattle team that leans on him and whose defense is so good that a missed field goal could be the difference in the game. Huaschka finished the season 31 for 37 (84 percent) with a long of 58 yards.

3, Running back Robert Turbin has taken advantage of his increased workload. Turbin has at least 10 carries in each of his last two games, and he has played some of his best football in those games. Turbin filled in nicely for Marshawn Lynch in the first quarter against the Cardinals last week and finished with 10 carries for 38 yards. He had a season-high 11 carries against the Rams on Sunday and turned those into a season-high 53 yards. Turbin is a productive backup, but he doesn’t get many chances running behind Lynch. That’s changed some in the last two games; his previous high for carries in a game before last week was six. Turbin finished the season with 74 carries for 310 yards, an average of 4.2 yards per carry. It nearly matched his totals from his impressive rookie campaign two years ago, when he 80 carries for 354 yards. He also had 16 catches for 186 yards and two touchdowns this season. Turbin battled through injuries last season, but he has returned to form this year.

​And from Condotta:

1, Hey Look! No Penalties! Well, just two, anyway, a season-low. One was an unnecessary personal foul on Ricardo Lockette on the first punt of the game in the first quarter. The other a false start on James Carpenter in the second quarter. Seattle went the second half without a penalty — which may also have been a season first. Regardless, the two penalties came against a most unlikely foe — the Rams, a team that has often been able to drag Seattle into a lot of flags and usually gets a lot on its own. Coach Pete Carroll was so happy about it that he brought it up unsolicited afterward in his post-game press conference, saying “I can’t believe you guys haven’t brought that up yet. Where’s Salk (ESPN 710 radio show host Mike Salk). I want to talk to that guy about it. Where’s he?”

2. Patrick Lewis may be giving Seattle something to think about as a long-term option as a backup center. Stephen Schilling entered the year as the backup center but is out for the year with a knee injury. Lemuel Jeanpierre was brought back and started three games. But Lewis has apparently supplanted him as the backup. Lewis is in his second year and may be a younger  and cheaper option that the team may also perceive has more upside. Lewis’ contract goes through 2015 and at this point, you’d think he’s the leader in the clubhouse to be the backup center in 2015.

3. Seattle’s gotten a lot better at third-down efficiency lately. That was something that was a real issue for the Seahawks at times this season. Recall that in Seattle’s first eight games they had a third-down efficiency of better than 40 percent just twice. But Seattle has had third-down efficiencies of 40 percent or better in six of the final eight games including 7-15 today, 47 percent. Seattle ended the season at 42.4 percent (90/212). One thing I think helped is the emergence of more receiving options — there were key third down pickups today by rookies Paul Richardson and Kevin Norwood, for instance.


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