When the Seattle Seahawks needed one final stop, coach Pete Carroll didn't hold anything back.
The Rams trailed 14-9, with fourth and goal on the final play of the game. They came out in an empty backfield set, so the Seahawks had a decision to make. They could have played it safe and covered all five receivers going out for a pass. No chance.
The Seahawks blitzed the Rams on the final down, rushing six players at quarterback Kellen Clemens. Under pressure, Clemens hurried a throw to Brian Quick, who didn't even have time to wheel around on his route against Brandon Browner. The throw went over Quick's head, and the Seahawks won. Barely.
This won't be a game the Seahawks put on a highlight reel at the end of the season, but a loss could have had serious implications in the NFC West race or playoff seeding. Seattle survived with a 14-9 win, and improved to 7-1. That's all. There was nothing to get excited about.
The Seahawks gave up 200 rushing yards to a one-dimensional offense with a backup quarterback who hadn't started a game his team won since 2009. Seattle's banged-up offensive line was horrendous on Monday night. The Seahawks gave up seven sacks and never allowed the offense to get going.
Even the one highlight the Seahawks had, an 80-yard touchdown to Tate, wasn't something they'll want to remember.
Tate caught a long pass over cornerback Janoris Jenkins, who fell down. The moment Tate broke free from Jenkins, he started waving goodbye to safety Rodney McLeod. He was so involved with taunting and waving at McLeod, he almost wandered out of bounds before the end zone, and he also was pretty close to getting caught.
Tate scored, but got a 15-yard taunting penalty.
"It’s a great play by Tate, but just finish the play and get on with the game," ESPN analyst Jon Gruden said on the broadcast, not trying to hide is disdain. "I have no idea what Golden Tate is doing right there."
Tate was met by Carroll as he came off the field, who didn't seem pleased.
The big picture concern for the Seahawks isn't Tate's taunting. It's that Tate's touchdown was one of only two first downs the offense got the entire second half.
The Rams' long final drive got them inside the 10-yard line. They couldn't punch it in, even though it had five chances because of a third-down offsides penalty. Seattle got the goal-line stop when it needed to. On the final play, the blitz call was perfect.
Even good NFL teams have a bad night or two. Seattle had a really bad one on Monday. Somehow the Seahawks got a win despite a terrible performance. The win will be useful, but definitely not memorable.
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