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The Film Don't Lie: Seahawks

A weekly look at what the Seattle Seahawks must fix:

One of the keys to Seattle having the No. 1 defense in the NFL last season was the team's relentless pass rush. That element of the defense is severely lacking so far this season.

Seattle has only seven sacks in the first five games (tied for 26th in the NFL) as they prepare to head to St. Louis to play the Rams, the first NFC West matchup of the season for the Seahawks. Only four teams in the league have fewer sacks than the Seahawks.

At this point one year ago, the Seahawks had 13 sacks and 20 other quarterbacks hits. The only player on the team with more than one sack this season is defensive end Michael Bennett with three.

Some fans may point out a couple of plays in Sunday’s 30-23 loss to the Dallas Cowboys that might have made a difference. Linebacker Bruce Irvin, who had the only sack Sunday, was inches away from sacking Tony Romo on the key play of the game, a 23-yard completion to Terrance Williams on third-and-20 in the fourth quarter. Romo spun away from Irvin’s grasp.

It also appeared defensive end Cliff Avril was held on the Romo touchdown pass to tight end Jason Witten. But the fact remains that the Seahawks are not getting it done on the pass rush, and their options for fixing it are limited.

Obviously, the Seahawks could blitz more and send five or six rushers on some plays. Using outside linebackers K.J. Wright and Malcolm Smith more as outside rushers could help, but it also could leave the defense vulnerable.

They need Avril to step up. He had eight sacks and five forced fumbles a year ago. Avril has one sack and no forced fumbles this season.

Rookie defensive end Cassius Marsh also must improve. He was drafted as a pass-rushing specialist, but he has no sacks and no quarterback hits.