Final Thoughts on Rams-Seahawks, before turning to the Redskins

Pro Football Focus has posted their recap and stats from the Rams/Seattle week 1 tilt, giving us the opportunity to do a final post mortem. If you’d like to get notified when these game recaps go live, PFF has a nice little feature, allowing you to sign up for their game alerts. Here are a few final observations based on their scoring, after the break:

  • Chris Long didn’t start, but he did play more snaps than any other D-lineman. It’s unclear why he wasn’t on the field during the first two snaps, whether it was a message to the player or simply a matchup that Spags and Flajole were trying to exploit. Once he got on the field he was lined up at nearly every position — even nose tackle for a couple of plays. However, no matter which gap he attacked, it didn’t help his anemic pass rush effort. Either the Seahawks’ replacement line was surprisingly stout, or our pass rush is really that weak. Probably a little of both.
  • Our best player on defense was… David Vobora? James Laurinaitis made eleven unassisted tackles, OJ Atogwe was a force all over the field, but Vobora had the highest percentage of high-impact plays, including laying the only recorded hit of the day on Matt Hasselbeck. Additionally, he recorded the highest number of “stops” among his tackles — in other words, dropping the ball carrier for minimal gain or loss of yardage.
  • The Seahawks targeted Bartell as often as Wade … and Wade did better. As our #1 corner, Bartell is going to get matched up against #1 receivers, but as you can see from the coverage chart, we were switching up matchups all game long. Wade batted down three passes, most on the team. But when it came to the red zone, Bartell was targeted and beaten. Meanwhile, if you were wondering who missed John Carlson’s assignment, PFF assigns it to James Butler.
  • Steven Jackson had his worst game on record. His dropped passes and complete lack of pass protection — I recall one obvious miss on a blitz pickup, where the Seahawks overloaded the middle and he fanned out for an outlet pass that never came — were not much offset by his limited rushing. This is a double-dose of disappointment for a team that wants him to be its centerpiece. (Related, from TurfShowTimes: A call to stick with the run against Washington.)
  • Alex Barron didn’t give up a sack… but he has Bulger to thank for that, as he did allow several rushers into the backfield. Bulger’s ability to get the ball away without taking the sack deserves praise, even as it hurt his QB rating.
  • Laurent Robinson made Ken Lucas his prison wife. This was the best matchup on the field, and if the Rams hadn’t been so busy making it rain yellow flags, they could have gone to the well on this a few more times, and very likely gotten some points on the board from it. If Robinson stays healthy, this will be a huge breakout year for him, and I’m really looking forward to the matchup between him and the execrable DeAngelo Hall this weekend.