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St. Louis at Seattle

Seahawks blank Rams, win ninth straight over NFC West rival

CBSSports.com wire reports

SEATTLE -- The feisty, new-look Seahawks of coach Jim Mora attacked on defense during plays -- and scrapped after them.

On offense, they showed balance between run and pass, and did a good job of protecting quarterback Matt Hasselbeck.

It was as if 2008 never happened.

St. Louis resembled the same old Rams, who went 2-14 last year and got Steve Spagnuolo his first head coaching job.

Hasselbeck, playing his first game since Thanksgiving Day, overcame two interceptions in his first nine throws Sunday to connect with John Carlson for two touchdowns in Seattle's 28-0 romp past the Rams.

Hasselbeck, who missed nine games last season with a bad back, finished 25 of 36 for 279 yards passing, his most for an opener.

Seattle's first shutout in almost two years was its ninth consecutive victory against its division rival. It was also Seattle's biggest victory to begin a season since a 38-0 rout of Philadelphia in 1998.

"The whole offseason, they said our team was soft," said rookie outside linebacker Aaron Curry, the fourth overall pick who scuffled repeatedly with Rams running back Steven Jackson. "We've got to change our image."

Mora was smiling after his first game as a head coach since the end of the 2006 season for Atlanta. Nine months ago, the Seahawks were 4-12 for Mike Holmgren.

The former visiting locker room attendant for the Seahawks at the old Kingdome returned to his hometown for a day he said he had thought of "for a long, long time."

"It was especially emotional for me, because there is some significance to it. I'd be lying if I told you there wasn't," the 47-year-old said. "It was kind of a surreal experience."

His revived Seahawks took advantage of a rare use of instant replay to cruise over the sloppy, undisciplined Rams, who pushed and shoved their way to 10 penalties. Two of them were personal fouls after plays by offensive lineman Richie Incognito.

"Would you rather us just get our tail kicked and walk back [to the huddle]?" Jackson said. "You saw some fight in this team."

Yet St. Louis gained only 247 yards in an effort similar to its 38-3 loss against Philadelphia that opened last season.

"Yeah, I'm not going there," said Spagnuolo, who was the Giants' defensive coordinator at the time.

The game's most decisive -- and weirdest -- play came late in the first half. Seattle's Olindo Mare struck a 49-yard field goal try low. C.J. Ah You blocked it, and three other Rams could have. Quincy Butler scooped the ball and ran 49 yards for an apparent touchdown.

As the Rams were about to snap for the tying extra point, referee Pete Morelli announced the booth officials had called for a review -- for whether St. Louis had 12 men on the field.

Turns out, they did. The Rams' sideline had almost no reaction to the rare reversal. Three plays later, Hasselbeck found Nate Burleson for a 12-yard touchdown. Instead of 7-7 at halftime, Seattle led 14-0.

The Rams never recovered.

"They count [players] every play, just in case that foul is called," Morelli said of the replay officials.

The issue of giving replay officials authority to review such plays grew after an infamous incident involving former Steelers coach Bill Cowher in 1995, four years before the current replay system began. The late referee Gordon McCarter incorrectly called Pittsburgh for 12 men on the field during a game against Minnesota. Cowher was fined for comically stuffing into McCarter's pocket a photo from the press box showing 11 Steelers on the field.

St. Louis managed only 13 first downs against the new, attacking schemes of first-year defensive coordinator Gus Bradley. Marc Bulger, playing with tape on his broken right pinkie, was 17 of 36 for 191 yards. He was sacked three times.

He said the Rams "aren't going to panic" after only one game.

And Spagnuolo sounded encouraged.

"I'm obviously disappointed in the result, but I'm not disappointed in the effort," he said. "We feel we are better than that. And that's a good thing."


  • RB Julius Jones took the new run game of Seahawks first-year offensive coordinator Greg Knapp, going untouched 62 yards for a touchdown in the second half. Jones finished with 117 yards on 19 carries.
  • Mora said Lofa Tatupu and fellow LB Leroy Hill, who left in the first half with a groin injury, apparently have minor injuries and stayed out as a precaution.
  • Rams LB James Laurinaitis debuted with 14 tackles. Spagnuolo said the rookie got "dinged" in the knee but should be OK.
Copyright 2016 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
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Matt Hasselbeck overcomes a pair of early interceptions and finishes with three TDs and 279 yards in the air.
Matt Hasselbeck overcomes a pair of early interceptions and finishes with three TDs and 279 yards in the air. (AP)


Related Video

Sun. Sept. 13Final
Pass: M. Bulger (17-36, 191) M. Hasselbeck (25-36, 279)
Rush: S. Jackson (16-67) J. Jones (19-117)
Rec: L. Robinson (5-87) J. Carlson (6-95)
Scoring Summary
TDJohn Carlson, 1 Yd pass from Matt Hasselbeck (Olindo Mare kick is good), 5:45. Drive: 13 plays, 73 yards in 6:15.
TDNate Burleson, 12 Yd pass from Matt Hasselbeck (Olindo Mare kick is good), 0:12. Drive: 12 plays, 69 yards in 3:55.
TDJohn Carlson, 33 Yd pass from Matt Hasselbeck (Olindo Mare kick is good), 5:02. Drive: 7 plays, 99 yards in 3:55.
TDJulius Jones, 62 Yd run (Olindo Mare kick is good), 3:42. Drive: 1 play, 62 yards in 0:10.
Players of the Game

J. Carlson
Rec 6
Yds 95
Avg 15.8
TD 2

L. Robinson
Rec 5
Yds 87
Avg 17.4
TD 0
St. Louis
M. Bulger17/3619100
S. Jackson1667022
D. Avery1808
M. Bulger1202
L. Robinson587045
D. Avery646016
R. McMichael444018
D. Fells1909
K. Burton1505
M. Hasselbeck25/3627932
J. Jones19117162
E. James113008
J. Forsett31708
M. Hasselbeck1303
J. Carlson695238
N. Burleson774113
T. Houshmandzadeh64809
S. Wallace124024
J. Jones219011
B. Obomanu111011
D. Butler1707
J. Griffith1101
Complete Player Stats
Other Games
SD 24 Final
OAK 20
BUF 24 Final
NE 25
CHI 15 Final
GB 21
WAS 17 Final
NYG 23
SF 20 Final
ARI 16
DAL 34 Final
TB 21
DET 27 Final
NO 45
JAC 12 Final
IND 14
NYJ 24 Final
MIN 34 Final
CLE 20
DEN 12 Final
PHI 38 Final
CAR 10
KC 24 Final
BAL 38
MIA 7 Final
ATL 19
TEN 10 Final
PIT 13