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The sign that the Seahawks’ defense is starting to turn around

The Seahawks' defense improved greatly in the second half against the Rams. (Getty)

After struggling mightily defensively in the first half of their game game against the Los Angeles Rams, the Seahawks’ defense turned things around in a big way.

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The defense did allow a long touchdown drive on Los Angeles’ first offensive possession of the third quarter, but from that point on, the Rams did next to nothing offensively. That’s pretty remarkable given how poorly Seattle’s defense looked in the first half and really all of this season. Not only that, but the Rams have given the Seahawks fits for years and typically have one of the NFL’s better offenses.

So how was that group able to turn things around and keep the game close? Former NFL quarterback Jake Heaps of 710 ESPN Seattle’s Jake and Stacy pointed to one place in particular.

“The reason why is you started becoming more successful on first down,” he said. “So what I mean by that is when you win first down and you’re able to get an offense like the Rams’ behind schedule, it plays to your advantage.”

From the start of the game through the end of that touchdown drive in the third quarter, the Rams ran 25 plays on first down and racked up 183 yards, good for 7.32 yards per play on first down. That number is even more impressive as Los Angeles punched in two 1-yard touchdown runs and also lost 7 yards on a first-down fumble at one point.

Compare that to after the third quarter scoring drive, when the Rams ran five first-down plays for minus-2 yards. Pretty remarkable difference, and it allowed the Seahawks to get off the field.

“More often than not, in every single drive whether it was the Rams beating themselves with holding penalties or false starts or it was the Seahawks blowing up a run play, they were able to consistently get them behind the sticks, so consistently playing in first-and-long, second-and-long, third-and-long,” Heaps said. “And (the Seahawks) were very successful in those moments in getting the Rams off the field when they were in those third-and-long situations.”

Listen to the entire second hour of Monday’s Jake and Stacy at this link or in the player below.

Follow Brandon Gustafson on Twitter.

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