|Christine Michael tramples a Brown (TNB)|
Seattle efficiently dispatched Cleveland last week. To their credit, the Browns put up a decent fight. Johnny Manziel acquitted himself admirably in a losing effort; his impressive initial drive culminated in the only offensive touchdown scored against the Seahawks in the first three games of December. After that, the Legion of Boom reverted to suffocating form.
Seattle's offense continues to roll. The funk that afflicted offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell earlier in the season now seems a distant memory. For several weeks now, Bevell has been dialing up plays with a Midas touch from the Zen haze of a zone never experienced by most coaches.
Tom Cable's O-Line has settled into a consistent groove of solid run blocking and decent pass protection.
Our makeshift backfield vastly exceeded expectations. Christine Michael made the most of the opportunity, amply justifying this Diehard's far-fetched faith in him. Bryce Brown looked good in relief, and Fred Jackson is spooky-good with his sticky-fingered grabs as our designated third-down back. Marshawn Lynch's return from injury will provide a big boost when it comes, but the quality of our depth gives Beast Mode the luxury of responsible rehab; he need not return until he's ready.
The passing game is clicking across the board, but Russell Wilson and Doug Baldwin are roaring along on some kind of supernatural roll. Tyler Lockett and Jermaine Kearse continue to be clutch, too. Suddenly, Seattle's receiving corps has emerged as a relative strength. They've always been the class of the league as blockers, but now their receiving stats are starting to turn heads, too.
The Rams haven't won in Seattle since 2005. Analysts almost unanimously pick the Seahawks to win in a walk, but I think it's a mistake to take St. Louis lightly. Jeff Fisher is an evil genius with a knack for knocking off division opponents, and after several disappointing seasons, he may be coaching for his job.
St. Louis has only won one road game all year, but that was a quality win in Arizona--one of the NFL's best teams this year.
Even without Robert Quinn, the Rams defensive line represents a tough test for Cable's O-Line.
Some observers argue that Seattle has little to play for, having already clinched a wild card berth. However, maintaining pole position in the playoff chase spells the difference between starting the playoffs against the feeble NFC Least leader or on the frozen tundra of Lambeau Field.
Fortunately, Coach Carroll's "Always compete" philosophy militates against phoning it in on any given Sunday.
We can't afford to let St. Louis hang around. Like an alpha chimp, we need to knock down the Rams fast and jump up and down on top of them for 60 full minutes while howling and pounding our chest to intimidate future rivals.
Barring preposterously good luck in the playoffs, this is likely Seattle's last home game of the year. The 12th Man needs to make it count.