Seahawks head coach Jim Mora started the press conference by paying his respects to the four Lakewood police officers who were killed this morning by a gunman in a Parkland-area coffee shop.
“The Seattle Seahawks want to offer their condolences to the families of the slain officers,” Mora said. “My heart goes out to them, and it certainly puts what we do in perspective when you lay your life on the line like that. So hearing that news certainly dampens anything that was accomplished today.”
With the Seahawks finally winning on the road for the first time this season, Mora was pleased his team finally got off the snide. However, he was still coaching and getting after his players with a couple minutes left in the contest, and said he didn’t feel like they had the game won until Nate Burleson recovered the St. Louis on-side kick with 44 seconds left in the game.
“I think it’s critically important at this stage of our development that we create the mindset that we’re going to finish hard, no matter what the situation is,” Mora said. “Whether we’re behind or ahead, that’s the mental toughness that we need to continue to work on developing. And the only way you work on it and develop it, is when you get into a game like this, you’ve got to keep pulling it out of them. And that’s my job, is to keep pulling it out of them. Whether we’re behind or ahead, it’s just ask for more. So that’s what I’m going to keep doing.”
In some ways, it was a weird game. The Rams led in total yardage (364-265), total plays (78-57) and time of possession (33:32 to 26:28), but you never sensed they had a chance to win today.
Quarterback Matt Hasselbeck had a season-low 102 yards passing, but the Seahawks got the running game going, rushing for a total of 170 yards on the ground, with Justin Forsett leading the way, rushing for a career-high 130 yards and two touchdowns on 22 carries.
“Really what we’re happy about is I think this can give our offensive line a lot of confidence,” Hasselbeck said. “They’re a group that’s kind of gotten beat up a little bit. When we’re not running the ball well, the first place they blame or point to is the O-line, and that’s unfair. Those guys have been working hard so, it was good to see them get excited and run the ball.”
Hasselbeck said on the fourth-and-1 play at the beginning of the fourth quarter, offensive coordinator Greg Knapp had a play-action pass called, but after Mora talked to the offensive line to get them fired up, Knapp switched to a run instead, and Forsett got 11 yards on the play.
Forsett scored two plays later on a two-yard plunge.
Linebacker Aaron Curry also played better today, finishing with five tackles, including two for a loss, a quarterback hurry and a pass defensed. Curry, who coming into the contest only had nine tackles in his last, three games, seemed to play with more emotion in this one.
“You felt his presence a little bit more,” Mora said.
Curry found himself jawing with Rams Steven Jackson again. The two also got into in the first game between the two teams at Qwest Field, with Jackson throwing a punch at Curry at the end of the first half.
“I don’t think he likes me,” Curry said about Jackson. “For some reason, half the stuff he says to me I can’t remember. I just don’t think he likes me.
“I guess it’s like a battle of respect and being a rookie I just don’t see myself backing down. The first time I played him he verbally assaulted me, but he’s a good dude. I don’t know what his intensions are, but I think it’s like, who’s going to loss their cool first, and it isn’t going to be me.
“I respect him as a running back. I respect him for how he runs the ball, but everyone has to understand that we’re all grown men out here and nobody’s going to back from any human being. That’s just not what I was taught.”
*Seattle kicker Olindo Mare tied a franchise record, making his 16th straight field goal this season. Mare hasn’t missed since missing two field goals in a Chicago game earlier this year, with Mora critising Mare’s performance after the game as unacceptable. Mare now shares the record with Todd Peterson (1999) and Josh Brown (2004).
“The guy responded like a champion to the criticism that I leveled at him,” Mora said about Mare.
* Seahawks receiver T.J. Houshmandzadeh finished with just two receptions for 14 yards, and didn’t get his first catch until 7:41 left in the third quarter. It’s Housh’s lowest reception total in a game for the season. Houshmandzadeh was targeted six times.
* Hasselbeck threw for a season-low 102 yards and no touchdowns, finishing with a 65.8 passer rating.
* Jordan Babineaux earned his nickname today, finishing with a team-high 12 tackles, an interception, a quarterback hurry and two passes defensed.
* Seattle finished with four sacks today, with one each by David Hawthorne, Patrick Kerney, Leroy Hill and Cory Redding.