SEA-STL Grades: Trouble for Seahawks' O-Line
Here are the top takeaways and highest-graded players from the Seahawks-Rams game:
– DE Michael Bennett (+4.0) picked up right where he left off in the Super Bowl, dominating the Rams offensive line early on in the game. He finished with one sack and three additional hurries, as well as four solo stops. Bennett slowed down a bit towards the end of the game, as the Rams adjusted their blocking to focus mainly on double-teaming him. However, his +4.0 overall grade still led the Seahawks, and it would have been higher if not for two offside penalties.
– TE Jimmy Graham (+0.4) had a good debut for the Seahawks, leading the team with a +1.5 receiving grade. He caught six of eight balls thrown his way for 51 yards. He also caught what was the game-tying touchdown on a perfectly timed out route thrown by QB Russell Wilson (+1.1). However, Graham did struggle a bit when asked to block, allowing a QB pressure and finishing with a -1.3 combined run and pass block grade.
– The Seahawks’ offensive line struggled mightily in this game, allowing 20 total QB pressures on 55 passing snaps. RT Garry Gilliam (-11.1) was constantly beat to the outside, giving up a QB hit and six total pressures. The lone bright spot was C Drew Nowak, who is replacing C Max Unger, the Seahawks’ top graded offensive lineman from last season. Nowak didn’t allow a pressure and finished with a +0.2 overall grade.
– With the exception of CB Richard Sherman (+0.6), the Seahawks secondary had a tough day in pass coverage. Sherman was targeted a mere four times, allowing only two receptions for 29 yards—pretty much taking Rams WR Tavon Austin (-1.3) out of the game. The rest of the secondary allowed the Rams to go 16-for-20 for 268 yards and a touchdown. LB Bobby Wagner (-2.9) struggled the most (-3.0 coverage grade), allowing all four passes he saw to be caught for 105 yards, 80 of which were gained after the catch.
DE Michael Bennett (+4.0)
DE Cliff Avril (+3.9)
LB Bruce Irvin (+3.3)
RB Marshawn Lynch (+2.0)
DT Jordan Hill (+1.6)
– DT Aaron Donald (+10.0) was nearly unblockable all game long, racking up big play after big play. He sacked the QB twice, added an additional hurry, and made seven solo stops. Any one-on-one blocking matchup, Donald beat almost effortlessly. Even when Seattle double-teamed him, he was still beating those blocks. His +5.5 pass rush grade and +4.3 run stop grade were both game-highs.
– QB Nick Foles (+1.3) had a very good day throwing the football, finishing with a +3.3 passing grade, which is the fourth-highest in Week 1 so far. He was especially good when under pressure, going 10-for-13 for 199 yards and a late game-tying touchdown. With no pressure, he was only 8-for-14 for 98 yards. His deep-ball game was also impressive, as he went 3-for-5 for 79 yards and a touchdown on passes that traveled more than 20 yards in the air.
– DE Williams Hayes (+5.0) had perhaps the most impressive performance of the night for the Rams defense. Despite rushing the passer on only 16 plays, Hayes recorded six total pressures (one hit, five hurries). He constantly beat Seahawks RT Garry Gilliam (-11.1) with the speed rush to the outside. He finished the night with a pass rush productivity score of 28.1, which is the highest among all defensive ends so far in Week 1.
-The Rams’ offensive line did not hold up very well against the Seahawks defense, allowing a sack and 13 pressures on 32 passing plays. When running the ball, they were hardly better, as the Rams ran 26 times for only 72 yards, a mere 2.8 yards per carry. Not a single offensive line player had a positive grade for pass blocking, and only C Tim Barnes (+1.2) had a positive run block grade, thanks to some fantastic reach blocks. Overall, the Rams’ line finished with a combined -15.1 overall grade.
DT Aaron Donald (+10.0)
DE William Hayes (+5.0)
DE Robert Quinn (+4.9)
DE Chris Long (+2.6)
HB Benny Cunningham (+2.3)