Originally written on NorthWest Sports Beat  |  Last updated 11/19/14
Ugly Counts Too! “Game Balls” in quotes, as I’m not sure I feel right handing these out… The Seattle Seahawks may have looked a little sloppy on offense on Monday Night but their defense once again played exceptionally well en route to a narrow 14-9 win over a St. Louis team missing starting quarterback Sam Bradford. Yes, its wasn’t pretty. Yes, it lacked the atmosphere of a Monday Night Football game. Yes, the Seahawks just about coughed up that game at the very end. But, in the end, a win is a win and Seattle should be more than happy to be sitting at 7-1 at this point in the season with a home game against the Buccaneers being their next contest after a short week of preparation. With a relatively poor game played out on the field, here are this week’s offensive, defensive, and special teams game balls. Offense Golden Tate Golden Tate once again showed the nation why he is one of the players on Seattle’s roster that people love to hate — with Richard Sherman being the other. Tate’s reception was crucial…his antics weren’t. (Andy Lyons/Getty Images) Holding a narrow 7-6 lead over the Rams late in the third quarter, Russell Wilson launched a mid-range completion to Tate on the left side of the field. The pass having a little air under it, Tate attacked the ball, essentially prevented what could have been an interception, avoided a tackle, and took the ball to the house for an 80-yard reception that accounted for over half of Seattle’s total yards in the game. While I condone his taunting antics as he raced down the field, there’s no doubting Tate was crucial in Seattle’s win last night. Aside from his 80-yard reception, Tate hauled in the only other touchdown on the night and ended up with 5 catches for 93 yards and two touchdowns. Tate was easily the highest graded WR via PFF last night as well. #Seahawks receiving stats: Tate 0.7 5/93 18.6 Avg 1 drop) Turbin 0.4 Lynch 0.3 // Baldwin -0.2 Rice -0.4 Miller -0.6 Kearse -1.6 (1 drop) — Q Smith™ (@NWSBQ) October 29, 2013 Defense Earl Thomas John Gruden gushed about him all game and deservedly did so. Earl Thomas was once again a beast last night. Racking up 10 tackles — all solo — Thomas flew all over the field and prevented the Rams from establishing any kind of rhythm on offense. His toughness and brutal hits prevented St. Louis from advancing on a few crucial drives, the last of which came as time was winding down. With less than a minute left in the game the Rams were driving down the field and looked as though they could come away with a victory. Marching down to the 6-yard line with 31 seconds to go, Daryl Richardson took the hand-off and sprinted through an apparent gap in Seattle’s defensive line. Looking like he would score the go-ahead touchdown and effectively give the game to St. Louis, Thomas flew out of nowhere and knocked him down at the 2-yard line, preserving Seattle’s chances in the game. That tackle highlighted what was a miraculous performance for a key piece of Seattle’s Legion of Boom on Monday Night Football. In addition to our game ball Profootballfocus.com graded Thomas as the second best Seahawks defender last night. (Behind Irvin) #Seahawks DEF Grades. Irvin 2.5 ET 1.6 Sherm 0.9 Kam 0.6 TMc 0.5 // KJ -0.5 Red -0.8 Benn -1.2 WT3 -1.4 CMc -1.5 CC -4.8 — Q Smith™ (@NWSBQ) October 29, 2013   Special Teams Jon Ryan I really don’t think I’ve seen Jon Ryan used as much as he was on Monday. Punting the ball nine times, Ryan racked up 403 yards last night while averaging 44.8 yards per punt. Jon Ryan love today. 9 Punts 403 yards worth of em. 51 for a long. 3 downed 2 fair caught 7 total return yards 4 INSIDE the 20 #Seahawks — Q Smith™ (@NWSBQ) October 29, 2013   The veteran also pinned the ball inside the 20 on four separate occasions, putting St. Louis offense in less than desirable conditions. Like I said earlier, it wasn’t a pretty win but it was still another Seahawk victory. Go Hawks. CLICK HERE TO CHECK OUT THE SEAHAWKS BLOG PAGE IN OUR CLUBHOUSE SECTION AT NWSB!
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