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Game at a glance: Seahawks 14, Rams 9

Posted Oct 29, 2013

The Rams won most of the statistical categories, but the Seahawks came out on top where it matters most – the scoreboard – in extending the best start in franchise history to 7-1.

ST. LOUIS – A recap of the Seahawks’ 14-9 victory over the Rams at the Edward Jones Dome on “Monday Night Football” in St. Louis.

PLAYER OF THE GAME: EARL THOMAS

This could go to several players, on both teams. But no one had more tackles in this defense-dominated game than the Seahawks’ All-Pro free safety. And it wasn’t just that Thomas made 10 solo tackles, it was when he made them. So we’ll go with Thomas as the leader of the bend-but-don’t-break effort by the Seahawks’ defense.

“That’s about as challenging a situation as a defense can get in,” coach Pete Carroll said. “They just kept hanging … and stopping them and stopping them and finding a way.”

Four of Thomas’ tackles came on the Rams’ final drive – which started at the St. Louis 3-yard line and ended at the Seahawks’ 1 – and none was bigger than the third-and-1 play from the 1 where linebacker Heath Farwell had the first hit and Thomas finished off the no-gain run by Daryl Richardson. On the next play, the final play of the game, Kellen Clemens’ fourth-down pass to Brian Quick fell incomplete in the end zone with cornerback Brandon Browner all over the Rams’ receiver.

“We’ve got to find a way to play better,” All-Pro cornerback Richard Sherman said. “But Earl made some big stops down there when we needed them, and that’s how we play.”

UNSUNG HERO: BRUCE IRVIN

The second-year linebacker/Leo end had quite a night, as Irvin intercepted a pass, got to Clemens for one of the Seahawks’ three sacks and finished with nine tackles.

Irvin’s interception was notable for two reasons. It was the first of his still-short NFL career, and it came 19 yards downfield.

PLAYS OF THE GAME

Offense: Russell Wilson’s across-the-field pass to Golden Tate for an 80-yard touchdown in the third quarter. Wilson rolled to his right, only to throw back to Tate on the left side.

“I rolled out right and was looking through my progressions, and he was my last guy in my progression,” Wilson said. “He just kept running deep. It was one-on-one (coverage). I gave him a chance. He went up and caught the football. … He made just an unbelievable catch. Got to give him credit for just attacking the football.”

Defense: The plays at the end of the game were huge, but they would not have mattered as much without Sherman’s interception and 38-yard return to the Rams’ 26-yard line in the second quarter to setup Wilson’s 2-yard pass to Tate for the Seahawks’ first touchdown. The pick and return did something that offense wasn’t able to do the entire game – provide favorable field possession.

“That’s how we feel, man,” Sherman said. “If we get our hands on the ball we feel like we need to, in a game like this where the field position is big, make big plays. We need to find a way to get the ball in the end zone or at least change the field (position) and do something for our offense. To set them up in easy field position where they can get at least an easy field goal or score.”

Special teams: Chris Maragos downing Jon Ryan’s 49-yard punt at the Rams’ 3-yard line with less than six minutes left in the game. It forced the Rams to drive the longest of fields on their final possession, and any additional yards at the beginning could have resulted in a very different ending.

INJURY REPORT: SIDNEY RICE LEAVES GAME, DOESN’T RETURN

YOU DON'T SAY, COACH EDITION

“It was a very difficult night to watch the Seahawks, but we're proud to get out of here with a win and this is what we came here to do.”

- Pete Carroll

Wide receiver Sidney Rice got a “knee banged,” as Carroll put it, and also was hit in the head. Carroll said he did not know the extent of the injuries.

WORTH NOTING

YOU DON'T SAY, PLAYER EDITION

“The whole time the defense was out there on that last possession, I completely believed they were going to stop them. I had no doubt in my mind.”

- Russell Wilson

The Seahawks did not turn the ball over for the first time this season, so they’re now 22-3 under Carroll when they win the turnover battle.

Six of the Seahawks’ 11 possessions resulted in three-and-outs.

Marshawn Lynch, who entered the weekend as the second-leading rusher in the NFL, carried the ball only eight times for 23 yards – both season lows.

The Seahawks entered the game allowing an average of 91.6 rushing yards, while the Rams were averaging 70.6. The Rams rushed for 200 yards.

The Rams sacked Wilson a season-high seven times, including three each by Robert Quinn and Chris Long.

The Rams held huge advantages in plays (71-40), total yards (339-135), rushing yards (200-44), first downs (23-7) and time of possession (38:09-21:51).