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Seahawks-Rams: What we learned

The SportsXchange

ST. LOUIS -- The inability to get in the end zone undid all the positive things the St. Louis Rams accomplished Monday night.

The Rams drove from their own 3-yard line to the Seattle 1 in the final seconds but failed to score on the final plays of the game, and the Seahawks held on for a 14-9 win.

St. Louis' defense dominated Seattle's offense, registering seven sacks, with three each by defensive ends Robert Quinn and Chris Long. However, an 80-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Russell Wilson to Golden Tate late in the third quarter ended up being the difference in the game. It was the duo's second scoring connection of the night.

On the final possession, the Rams were stopped on third-and-goal from the 1-yard line, on a Daryl Richardson run, and on fourth-and-goal from the 1, on Kellen Clemens' incomplete pass intended for Brian Quick.

Clemens had several options on the final play, but the Seahawks came with heavy pressure, and Quick said, "He had to throw it faster than I expected."

Quick believed he was held by Seattle cornerback Brandon Browner on the play, but he added, "You can't expect to get the call. You just have to fight through it, and we came up short."

Clemens said of the final drive, "We needed 97 yards and got 96. I'm encouraged by the way we played, but you have to make plays. They scored two touchdowns and we had three field goals. That's the difference in the game."

St. Louis' three field goals came on drives that reached the Seattle 15-, 10- and 9-yard lines.

Clemens, taking over as the Rams' quarterback due to Sam Bradford's injury, completed 15 of 31 passes for 158 yards. He threw two interceptions and had a passer rating of 36.8.

Rams running back Zac Stacy gained 134 yards on 26 carries, but he was out of the game late in the final drive because of a sprained ankle. On the first two plays of the drive, he had runs of 8 and 18 yards to get the Rams out of a hole. Stacy was on the field for the final fourth-down play, going in motion.

Seahawks coach Pete Carroll credited defensive coordinator Dan Quinn for making great calls in the red zone.

"Our guys kept hanging in there," Carroll said. "It was a difficult night. Give the Rams credit. We were very fortunate to get out of here with a win. They ran the ball down our throat, and we couldn't anything going offensively."

Wilson went 10-for-18 for 139 yards. Tate finished with five catches for 93 yards, while Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch gained just 23 yards on eight carries.

Seattle managed just 44 yards on the ground, while St. Louis picked up 200 yards on 37 carries. That disparity helped the Rams outgain the Seahawks 339-135 in total yards.

What the Seahawks said

"I think if there was a positive on offense, it was that we didn't turn the ball over for the first time this season in a game. Had we done it one time, we would have lost. There were a million problems in protection again. They rushed like crazy, and we did a ton of stuff to try and offset it, but nothing really helped us." -- Coach Pete Carroll.

What the Rams said

"That's amazing against that defense (that we had that many yards rushing). Schematically, (offensive coordinator) Brian Schottenheimer and (line coach) Paul Boudreau did a great job. And give Zac (Stacy) credit. He was great making yards after contact." -- Quarterback Kellen Clemens.

What we learned about the Seahawks

1. Seattle can find ways to win on the road when it doesn't play particularly well. The Seahawks beat the Carolina Panthers 12-7, came from behind to defeat the Houston Texas 23-20 in overtime, and emerged from a halftime tie to top the Arizona Cardinals 34-22. The exception was a 34-28 loss at Indianapolis.

2. Even though they have a 7-1 record and are leading the NFC West, the Seahawks are struggling on third down. After converting just two of 11 third downs against St. Louis, the Seahawks' success rate is just 33.7 percent for the season (34-for-101), which ranks 28th in the league.

What we learned about the Rams

1. Despite the loss of quarterback Sam Bradford, the Rams played with great resolve and heeded the words of coach Jeff Fisher, who asked every player to elevate his game. "Everybody did that," quarterback Kellen Clemens said.

2. The defense struggled in the first part of the season, but the unit returned to its swarming ways against the Seahawks. Aside from an 80-yard touchdown pass, Seattle managed just 55 yards on 39 other offensive plays. St. Louis sacked Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson seven times.
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