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ST. LOUIS – Greg Zuerlein kicked a 33-yard field goal to give the St. Louis Rams a 3-0 lead over the Seattle Seahawks through one quarter on Monday night, drawing cheers from the sparse crowd.
The teams were playing about a mile down Broadway from Busch Stadium, where the Red Sox and Cardinals were meeting in Game 5 of the World Series. The result was an ocean of empty seats inside the Edward Jones Dome, where the Rams already have had trouble drawing a crowd.
In fact, some of the folks who turned up at the dome were sporting Cardinals jerseys, and the Rams helped them by showing the World Series game during pregame warm-ups on the dome's big screens, and then keeping the score on the ribbon boards.
Kellen Clemens made his first start in two years for the Rams in place of Sam Bradford, who sustained a season-ending knee injury last week against Carolina.
Clemens wasn't particularly efficient in the first quarter, but he did hit wide receiver Austin Pettis for a 26-yard gain on third-and-9 to set up Zuerlein's field goal.
Clemens later threw an interception to scuttle another promising drive.
The Seahawks, who at 6-1 are riding the best start in franchise history, were hamstrung by penalties in the first quarter. They were flagged for illegal use of hands to scuttle their first drive, and a hold on right guard J.R. Sweezy wiped out a 16-yard run by Marshawn Lynch.
On that play, Rams defensive tackle Kendall Langford — the guy who had been held — comically picked up the yellow flag after it was thrown by the referee and threw it again for emphasis.
The Seahawks wound up punting two plays later.