Seahawks vs. Rams: Full Roster Report Card Grades for Seattle
It wasn't a perfect game by any means for Seattle. The defense held the Rams to just nine points, but the Seattle offense was awful in this game.
So just who was to blame for Seattle's miscues, and who was responsible for helping the team eke out the hard-fought victory? It is time to find out with this week's report card.
- As are reserved for individual players who dominated the opposition.
- Bs are for players who played well but didn't dominate.
- C grades are given to players who struggled for most of the game.
- Ds are for players who truly struggled and were occasionally dominated by the opposition.
- F grades are rare and reserved only for players who were completely dominated by the other team on almost every play.
- Plus and minus modifiers bridge the gaps inside those definitions.
Russell Wilson: B+
It is difficult to be too critical of Russell Wilson in this game. He was sacked seven times and took a number of other hits. The blocking up-front was atrocious, and the receivers didn't appear to have great games in getting open, either.
The most important stat for Wilson in this game was zero turnovers. In spite of all the pressure from the Rams defense, Wilson kept the ball away from the defenders.
Marshawn Lynch: B-
Marshawn Lynch had just eight carries on Monday and finished with just 23 yards. It wasn't just a play-calling issue, either, as Lynch was on the field for fewer snaps compared to his normal workload. Exactly why that happened is still unclear.
Lynch wasn't exactly productive when he did get touches, finishing with just 2.9 yards per carry. Whether Lynch suffered a currently undisclosed injury or running back coach Sherman Smith thought Robert Turbin was better suited against the Rams, it is a question that still needs answering.
Robert Turbin: B-
Turbin played more snaps in this game than what is usual this week. He only had three rushing attempts but was used in the passing game fairly extensively. Turbin did little with the extra playing time, contributing just one catch and five rushing yards.
Michael Robinson: C+
Robinson's triumphant return to Seattle's offense didn't go as scripted. Robinson looked rusty, missing a number of blocks early in the game. He's been back with the team for less than a week, so a little rust is to be expected.
Golden Tate: A-
Other than the infamous taunt down the sideline on his 80-yard touchdown reception, there is little to criticize about Golden Tate's game on Monday. Tate was the only wide receiver with more than one catch, and he scored both of Seattle's touchdowns.
Sidney Rice: Incomplete
Sidney Rice left early the game with what head coach Pete Caroll said were knee and head injuries. After a couple weeks where Rice was starting to look like he was getting healthy, the big concern now is what is Rice's status going forward. The Seahawks would hate to lose their big flanker for a long stretch at this point in the season.
Doug Baldwin: B-
Even with Rice's injury, Baldwin saw few snaps on Monday as the team used more two-tight end sets. Losing playing time certainly didn't help Baldwin's production, as he finished with just one catch.
Jermaine Kearse: D
It is difficult to find positives in Kearse's game. Kearse picked up all the extra snaps caused by Rice's injury, and the results weren't pretty. Kearse had one pass clank off his hands on third down to end one drive. He also gave up on another route, only to have the ball end up being thrown to where he was supposed to be.
Despite all the extra snaps Kearse received, those were the only times he was open enough to be targeted by Wilson.
Zach Miller: B-
This wasn't a great game for Seattle's tight ends. Zach Miller finished with two receptions, but he wasn't the dominant blocker that he usually is. The Rams did a good job isolating defensive end Chris Long on Miller at times, and Miller struggled to slow down the St. Louis pass-rusher.
Luke Willson: C+
Luke Willson also struggled as well. He failed to pick up any receptions and struggled when he was asked to block. There were plays when Willson was open, but unfortunately, those were some of the same plays where his quarterback was getting sacked.
It is difficult to find anything positive to say about the play of Seattle's offensive line. The blocking in this game was horrific.
The Seahawks averaged 2.9 yards per carry running the ball, and that includes a 17-yard scramble by Russell Wilson. Seattle's backs finished with 12 carries for only 28 yards.
The pass-blocking was even worse. Russell Wilson was sacked seven times in this game. He was also hit or pressured on almost every one of his 18 pass attempts. The Seahawks just had no answers for the Rams' defensive front.
Brandon Mebane: B-
This wasn't the Brandon Mebane that everyone is used to seeing. Mebane struggled to get off his blocks when two-gapping in this game. This allowed the St. Louis running backs to pick up yards on the inside that the Seahawks don't normally give up.
Tony McDaniel: C+
Tony McDaniel wasn't able to be disruptive on the inside for the Seahawks against the Rams like he's supposed to be. The Rams were able to block him out of position on a number of plays, and it resulted in some big gains on the ground.
Clinton McDonald: B-
Clinton McDonald is an inside pass-rusher and isn't supposed to be forced to play much against the run. He was forced to do so in this game, and the results weren't positive for the Seahawks.
Against the pass, McDonald was solid. He was able to get inside pressure on St. Louis quarterback Kellen Clemens on occasion and looked disruptive throughout the game.
Chris Clemons: B+
Chris Clemons was Seattle's best pass-rusher on Monday. He was consistently getting pressure on the QB and disrupting the Rams' passing attack.
Unfortunately, the result wasn't as good against the run. Clemons is typically a decent run defender, but that wasn't the case on Monday. The Rams were able to consistently block Clemons out of position, opening up big running lanes for their backs.
Cliff Avril: B
Cliff Avril did a good job of getting pressure on Kellen Clemens, but unfortunately that wasn't Avril's only responsibility this week. The Rams did a good job calling running plays when Seattle had Avril and the other pass-rushers on the field. Forcing Avril to defend the run helped the Rams find success running the football.
Michael Bennett: B+
Michael Bennett did a great job of getting inside pressure on Kellen Clemens, but he let Clemens escape far too often. The Seahawks needed Bennett to finish off those plays with a sack, and he was never able to.
Red Bryant: B-
After being dominant against the run for most of the season, Red Bryan regressed back to his 2012 form on Monday. Bryant jumped into the wrong gap when two-gapping on multiple plays, with each leading to big runs for the Rams.
Bobby Wagner: C+
While the defensive line was the biggest of Seattle's problems against the run, Bobby Wagner certainly shouldn't be immune to criticism. Wagner ran himself out of position at times and also missed a few tackles that he normally would make.
This was Wagner's first game back after missing time with an ankle injury. The Seahawks need him to regain the form he had earlier in the season if Seattle's run defense is going to improve.
K.J. Wright: B
K.J. Wright had an inconsistent game. He over-pursued and got out of position far too often against the run, but he also played very well in pass coverage. Unfortunately for Seattle, this has been a consistent pattern for Wright since he moved to the weak side of the formation.
Malcolm Smith: B
Smith saw few snaps with the defense in this game but was brought in during the fourth quarter to try and slow down the Rams' rushing attack. It didn't help, as Smith missed a couple key tackles that allowed the Rams to get into scoring position late in the game.
On the other hand, Smith played a key roll on the game's final series. He helped to stop the Rams from scoring and preserved the win for the Seahawks.
Bruce Irvin: A-
The Seahawks gave up a lot of yards in this game, but Bruce Irvin wasn't part of the reason why. Irvin was second on the team with nine tackles, and also added a sack and an interception. This was arguably Irvin's best game since moving to linebacker.
Richard Sherman: A-
The Seahawks played a bit too much soft zone in this game to properly show off Richard Sherman's skills, but he still played a great game. Sherman finished with three tackles, a pass deflection and an interception to go along with great coverage on the outside.
Brandon Browner: B+
Brandon Browner's game on Monday was a combination of mostly brilliant plays and silly penalties. Browner gets extra-credit for breaking up the pass on the game's final play and preserving the win for Seattle.
Walter Thurmond: B+
Nickel-corner Walter Thurmond had a quiet game, and for a cornerback, that is usually a good thing. It means that the receiver he's covering isn't open. Thurmond continues to make a strong case for a new contract in this coming offseason.
Earl Thomas: A
Earl Thomas was arguably the best player in a Seahawks uniform on Monday. His 10 tackles led the team; he was all over the field making plays. This is the type of game that will get people talking about Thomas as a Defensive Player of the Year candidate.
Kam Chancellor: B
The Seahawks had Kam Chancellor chasing Rams' tight end Jared Cook around for most of the night. Chancellor held Cook to just three receptions and 31 yards, but it hurt Chancellor's ability to help stop the run. The lack of Chancellor's presence in the box was felt as the Seahawks gave up 200 yards on the ground.
Jon Ryan: A-
Jon Ryan's first punt was short kick that never made it over the 50-yard line. His other eight were outstanding, including four that were dropped inside the 20. His nine punts were returned for a combined seven yards, so he was clearly getting plenty of height on each of his punts.
Return Units: B-
The Seahawks never had a kick return since all four of the Ram's kickoffs went for touchbacks. Golden Tate was only able to try and return two punts, and those went for a combined nine yards. The Rams clearly did a good job of not giving Seattle's returners many chances in this game.
Coverage Units: A-
The Seahawks did a good job of bottling up St. Louis return man Tavon Austin. He had just seven yards on his three punt returns. Austin had a decent return on the opening kickoff, but he was stopped quickly on Seattle's other two kicks. Austin is a dangerous returner, and the Seahawks were able to keep him contained.