While Beast Mode has moved on and become a clothing line store owner, the formula that brought him and the Seahawks fame and fortune was evident in the Seahawks 23 to 21 win over the Oakland Raiders in Oakland Thursday night.
Said formula is rather simple, play good defense all game long and wait for your offense to find its rhythm in the running game and wear down the opponent with punishing runs.
With offensive and defensive starters playing a maximum of two series, Thursday nights game served as a double bonus opportunity for the Seahawks coaching staff, see if the players hoping to make the team were able to play at a high level while executing the Seahawks winning formula.
The score line of the first three quarters of the game between the former AFC West rivals looked more like a baseball score at 5-3 with the home side holding the two run lead courtesy of an intentional grounding call against Trevone Boykins that resulted in a safety and a 27 yard field goal by Sebastian Janikowski. Steve Hauschka chipped in a 39 yard field for the Seahawks in the quarter to keep it close .
Janikowski pushed Oakland lead to 8-3 wiht another field goal from 45 yards out and right on cue, the Seahawks decided it was time to implement the tried and true formula of good defense and a punishing ground game.
DE Ryan Robinson intercepted a Connor Cook pass and rambled 42 yards for a touchdown to give Seattle the 10-8 lead. The Seahawks went for the two point conversion after the TD but the pass attempt failed The The defense continued it surge, held the Raider offense to a three and out offensive possession.
With the top half of the Seahawks formula checked off, that being good defense, all that was left was for the bottom half of the equation to be factored in. On their next possession the Seahawks went on a six play, 63 yard drive that was capped off by a five yard run by Troymaine Pope.
Five of the six play on the drive where running plays between Pope( 17 yards) and Alex Colins (32 yards) and roughing the passer penalty Oakland linebacker Shilique Calhoun aided the drive.
Oakland tried to make a game of it when with a George Atkinson one yard touchdown run on its next possession to cut the lead to 16-14 , but the Seattle defense stopped the Raiders attempt at a two point conversion that would have tied the game.
With the defense bending but not breaking, the Seattle offense made good on their end of the bargain on its next possession that started with a Pope run off right tackle for 33 yards that was aided by another Oakland penalty that moved the ball to the Oakland three yard line. Collins came in to relieve Pope and finished the drive with a one yard touchdown run,and Steves Hauschka extra point stretched the Seattle lead to 23 to 14.
George Atkinson returned the ensuing kickoff 81 yards to give the home run some hope but it was for naught as Seattle recovered Oakland’s onside kick attempt after the touchdown and ran out the clock to finish the regular season with a 3-1 record. Seattle finished the game with 126 rushing yards, 86 of this yards came in the fourth quarter.
” I though the runners did a nice job a nice job, I thought both Troymaine and Alex did an nice job of finishing for us,” head coach Pete Carroll during his post game conference on Seahawks.com. ” The defense played tough all night and kept us in it and it was a good tough finish.”
Seattle running back Thomas Rawls appeared in the game and had two carries for seven yards. This was the first time Rawls saw any game action since injuring his ankle at Baltimore last season