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What We Learned: The Seahawks’ offensive blueprint still works

The Seahawks lost to the Rams Sunday, by they were 33 points closer than last December. (AP)

No such thing as moral victories.

At least not in pro football.

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But if there was ever going to be a loss that could be considered encouraging, that’s what Seattle suffered on Sunday at home. The Seahawks’ 33-31 defeat to the Rams on Sunday was 33 points closer than the lopsided blowout that Seattle was handed by that same Rams team last season, and it happened after an offseason in which the Rams got stronger while the Seahawks were thought to be weaker.

Before we turn to this week’s game in London, let’s look at what we learned.

1. The Seahawks are capable of executing their offensive blueprint.

They ran the ball. Repeatedly. Against a Rams defensive line that includes Aaron Donald, Ndamukong Suh and Michael Brockers. In fact, the Seahawks even got a little chippy about their success in running the ball. “We literally kicked their (butts) up front,” guard D.J. Fluker said. “I think that showed everything. We played hard every single snap. I mean, shoot, I don’t know how much you can ask for. They’re a great front, but they don’t want to play that run. They’re not about that. They make plays here and there. They’re a great football team. Their offense saved them.”

2. The Seahawks’ offensive blueprint still works.

The Seahawks are swimming upstream in a league that is increasingly oriented around the pass, but any fear that the Seahawks are operating a .22-caliber offense in a .357 Magnum world should not evaporate. Seattle stayed step-for-step with the best offense in the league by running the ball. That fact shouldn’t be underestimated, and Chris Carson gained 116 yards, meaning that Seattle has had a player run for more than 100 yards in three consecutive regular-season games. That’s the first time that has happened since December 2012 when Marshawn Lynch accomplished that feat.

3. Pass rush is the missing entity for the Seahawks defense.

For all the encouraging components of Seattle’s loss, let’s not lose sight of the fact that the Rams scored 33 points and gained 468 yards. The two biggest flaws for Seattle were missed tackles after the catch. The other shortcoming was more problematic because it’s not necessarily fixable: Seattle didn’t have much of a pass rush. The Seahawks had a single sack on Sunday, and they have 10 sacks this year, which is in the bottom-third of the league.

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