Published January 13, 2015
St. Louis, MO (SportsNetwork.com) - Seattle's defense came up with a goal-line stand in the final seconds, which allowed the Seahawks to sneak out of St. Louis with a 14-9 victory.
The Rams and veteran backup Kellen Clemens, who made his 13th career NFL start, started from their own 3-yard line with 5:42 to play. Clemens led St. Louis down to the Seattle 1-yard line. Rams running back Daryl Richardson was stopped on third down, and Clemens followed with an incomplete pass to Brian Quick as time expired.
"He made the right read, but we didn't make the catch," Rams coach Jeff Fisher said of the final play.
Seattle's dominant defense allowed the team to pick up its fourth road win of the season. The Seahawks haven't won four games away from home since 2006. The single-season franchise record is five, set in 1984 and matched in 2005.
Seattle's offense, which came into Monday's contest averaging 27.3 points per game, was limited to 135 total yards of offense. The lone star on that side of the ball was Golden Tate, who caught five passes for 93 yards and two touchdowns.
Russell Wilson, who was sacked a career-high seven times, completed 10-of-18 passes for 139 yards for the NFC West-leading Seahawks (7-1), who have won three in a row since a loss to the Colts on Oct. 6.
"We just want to find a way to win no matter what the circumstances are," Wilson said.
Marshawn Lynch was limited to 23 yards on eight carries for Seattle, which is off to the best start in franchise history.
Clemens was called into duty after starting quarterback Sam Bradford suffered a torn ACL in the team's 30-15 Week 7 loss at Carolina. He connected on 15- of-31 passes for 158 yards and two interceptions.
The franchise was reportedly considering many other options, including luring the 44-year-old Brett Favre out of retirement. Favre called the offer flattering but prudently decided to stay on the sidelines.
Zac Stacy carried the ball 26 times for 134 yards for the Rams (3-5), who have lost two straight.
Defensive ends Robert Quinn and Chris Long each had three sacks for the home team. Quinn, who came into the game with seven sacks, is the first Rams player with 10 sacks in the first eight games of a season since Kevin Greene in 1988.
"They're a very, very good football team. And we knew that. I'm proud of our guys," Fisher said.
The outcome capped a bad night for St. Louis sports fans. The Cardinals lost 3-1 to the Boston Red Sox in Game 5 of the World Series, played just up the street at Busch Stadium. The announced crowd at the Edward Jones Dome was 55,966.
The St. Louis defense did a great job early on of containing Wilson, who was sacked once on the Seahawks' first possession. Seattle only moved the ball to its own 19-yard line before punting.
Following a 37-yard punt, the Rams started from the Seattle 46-yard line. Austin Pettis caught a 26-yard pass on 3rd-and-9, but the offense stalled after that. Greg Zuerlein's 33-yard field goal made it 3-0.
Bruce Irvin picked off Clemens on the next St. Louis series. The Seahawks, however, failed to move the ball past midfield.
Another Clemens interception led to Seattle's first points of the game. Richard Sherman got the interception this time and returned the ball 38 yards to the St. Louis 26-yard line. Wilson's 17-yard run and a defensive pass interference call put the ball at the 1-yard line. After being stopped on consecutive running plays, Wilson hooked up with Tate for a 2-yard score. The touchdown made it 7-3 Seattle with 5:37 left in the second quarter.
The St. Louis defense continued to shine in the early stages of the third stanza. Following consecutive three-and-outs by the Seattle offense, the Rams took over at the 47-yard line of the Seahawks.
A defensive holding penalty on third down gave the Rams a fresh set of downs at the 18-yard line. The drive stalled from there and Zuerlein made a 28-yard field goal to cut the gap to 7-6.
Just two plays into the ensuing Seattle possession, Tate made an impressive catch and raced down the left sideline for an 80-yard score. Tate was called for taunting on the play, but the touchdown stood. The Seahawks had 42 yards of total offense prior to the score.
St. Louis bridged the third and fourth frames with an 11-play, 69-yard drive that Zuerlein capped with a 27-yard field goal. A personal foul penalty and Chris Givens' 23-yard catch put the ball at the Seattle 40-yard line. On 3rd- and-16, the Rams got a fresh set of downs due to a defensive holding call. The home team moved the ball to the 3-yard line, but Clemens was sacked on third down. Zuerlein's field goal cut the gap to 14-9 with 12:51 left in the fourth.
Zuerlein just missed a 50-yard field goal on the next St. Louis possession.
The Rams followed with a nice defensive stand to give their offense one last shot. Stacy gained a total of 26 yards on the first two plays of the series. Givens and Lance Kendricks caught passes of 21 and 18 yards, respectively, to move the ball to the Seattle 21-yard line. Richardson then got the ball three times for a total of 19 yards. That set up a 3rd-and-goal from the 2-yard line. The ball was moved up one yard on Seahawks defensive end Chris Clemons' offside penalty.
The Seahawks are 15-2 against the Rams since 2005 ... The Rams are the only team in the NFL without a rushing TD this season ... St. Louis racked up 339 yards of total offense ... Seahawks wide receiver Sidney Rice left late in the first half with a knee injury and did not return.