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Danny O'Neil covers the Seahawks for The Seattle Times.

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September 22, 2008 12:37 AM

Seahawks aren't that bad

Posted by Danny O'Neil

Seattle's 37-13 victory didn't prove how good the Seahawks are so much as it showed they're not that bad.

Not as bad as the Rams anyway.

St. Louis had as many turnovers as first downs in the first quarter with one of each. The Seahawks staked out a 17-point lead in the first quarter and led by double digits the rest of the way.

But what does that mean? Hard to say because St. Louis didn't look much better than it did its first two games, which is to say the Rams looked abjectly awful. They've got Steven Jackson, who's one of the very best running backs in the league. They've got Marc Bulger, a fairly accomplished NFL quarterback, and Torry Holt who is still considered a top wideout and yet the offense is not close to equaling the sum of its parts. The lone bright spot continues to be kicker Josh Brown.

The Seahawks wanted to run the ball, which is not a surprise considering the situation at wide receiver. The shock was how effectively Seattle was able to run the ball. Julius Jones showed an ability to gain yards after contact that was distinctly missing with Shaun Alexander last season, and T.J. Duckett showed that selling him as a short-yardage specialist might be selling him short. He gained 79 yards and looked very tough.

The Seahawks rushed for more yards than in any game since October 2005, essentially bullying the Rams. Seattle ran the ball on eight consecutive plays in the fourth quarter during a drive that turned out to be more of a parade. Just wave as the Seahawks ran by, a procession that culminated in Duckett's 1-yard touchdown run.

But what does that mean? It means that Seattle is clearly a step above the other NFC West team that began this weekend 0-2. Whether the Seahawks will be good depends upon how they play the rest of the schedule, starting with the game in two weeks at the unbeaten New York Giants.

What Sunday's win shows is that Seattle isn't a team that should be included in the discussion of cellar dwellers like St. Louis and Kansas City. The Seahawks' rebuilt running game can trample an overmatched opponent, and that is progress for a team that never had a 100-yard rusher after the third week of the 2007 season.

Seattle unequivocally dominated St. Louis on the lines. The next step is seeing whether the Seahawks can effectively run the ball against a more accomplished defense. Sunday's victory didn't prove that. Rather, it showed the Seahawks aren't that bad. Namely, they're not nearly as bad as the Rams.

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