The Seattle Seahawks, who had allowed an NFL-worst 31 sacks entering the game, didn’t allow any in a 13-12 victory over Dallas on Sunday. But it’s not perfect, just better.
RENTON — The good news is that Seahawks guard J.R. Sweezy said he thinks the offensive line just played its best game of the season.
“By far,” he said.
The sobering news is that Seattle’s problems along the line aren’t entirely fixed after a 13-12 victory against Dallas.
“It’s just one game,” coach Pete Carroll said. “It doesn’t mean you’ve made it over the hump. But it’s a good indication that it’s going in the right direction.”
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The Seahawks were the worst in the NFL with 31 sacks allowed entering Sunday. But in Dallas, the Seahawks didn’t allow a sack for the first time since the Super Bowl two seasons ago, and quarterback Russell Wilson often had time to stay in the pocket, scan the field and throw.
Wilson wasn’t always sharp, but he often got rid of the ball in rhythm, quickly, which always helps the line.
“It finally feels like we’re in the right direction,” Sweezy said. “We’re coming together as a team. It feels right. It feels like it’s supposed to. It feels like it has in years past.”
It was not perfect, just better. Alvin Bailey played a solid game filling in for injured starter Russell Okung at left tackle, but he missed a cut block on Cowboys defensive end Greg Hardy that led directly to a costly interception. Running back Marshawn Lynch gained just 3.4 yards per carry, the fourth time he has averaged less than 3.5 yards.
“It was a little hit and miss,” Carroll said of the run game. “It wasn’t as consistent as we’d like.”
And the Seahawks still are the worst team in the NFL at scoring touchdowns in the red zone. They settled for field goals on both of their trips against Dallas, including their final drive to take the lead. They are now scoring touchdowns on a league-worst 29 percent of their visits inside the 20-yard line. Their lone touchdown Sunday came from 2 yards outside of the red zone.
“We’re improving, and we’re excited about that,” Carroll said of the line. “The focus will continue in the red zone. That’s a big focus for us as far as the offense is concerned. We need to make our plays down there.”
Carroll heaped specific praise on Sweezy and Justin Britt, Seattle’s starting guards who have struggled this season. Carroll thought both played their most consistent and poised game of the season, particularly when the Seahawks passed.
Pro Football Focus gave Britt and Sweezy positive grades in pass protection, an area where they’ve struggled.
“They have a real aggressive nature about them, and they have to understand when to and when not to,” Carroll said, talking about how both Sweezy and Britt can get overly aggressive when pass blocking. “They played a very poised game for us. We’ve been not quite that consistent at times.”
The offensive line allowed only six quarterback hurries, although Pro Football Focus notes the Cowboys blitzed just 9 percent of the time.
It wasn’t perfect against the Cowboys, just better.
|Week 8||@ Dallas||0|
|Week 7||@ San Francisco||5|
|Week 5||@ Cincinnati||4|
|Week 2||@ Green Bay||2|
|Week 1||@ St. Louis||6|