In a game that was shaping up to be a blowout after the first half, the special teams unit proved to be the deciding factor as a pair of trick plays led the St. Louis Rams to a 28-26 win over the Seahawks. More on that in the recap. For Seattle, it's their first time losing back-to-back games since dropping two straight games to the 49ers and Lions in 2012.
Russell Wilson did everything in his power to orchestrate a comeback, completing 23-of-36 passes for 313 yards and two touchdowns through the air. On the ground, Wilson ran for 106 yards and another touchdown, including a career-long 52 yard run.
After going 3-and-out on their opening drive, the Rams started their second drive already in field goal range thanks to a 76-yard return down the sideline from Benny Cunningham. St. Louis moved the ball with ease on the ground, going to the run on five of the six plays during the drive. Tre Mason capped it off with a 6-yard run up the middle to put the rams up 7-3.
Seattle’s offense was completely inept during the first quarter as Russell Wilson completed just two passes. The one silver lining was Doug Baldwin who picked up 49 yards off the catch and run down to the Rams’ 10-yard line. The Seahawks would be forced to settle for a field goal on the drive.
After forcing another 3-and-out, the Rams’ offense went right back to moving the ball effectively, starting with a 14-yard pass off the play action. When you’re able to establish the run early, you’re rewarded with the play action pass as an effective tool in your back pocket. On 3rd and 4, Tharold Simon was flagged for pass interference against Brian Quick, never even giving Quick a chance to make the catch. Tre Mason then broke off for 28 yards to move the ball to the Seattle 10-yard line. After Quick was flagged for chirping after the play with Simon, the Rams were faced with a 2nd and 22. Fortunately for St. Louis, Tharold Simon, who was flagged for ripping Quick’s helmet off, once again bailed them out.
Tharold sigh, man.— Connor Hutyler (@ConnorHutyler) October 19, 2014
The Rams then pulled off one of the most creative special teams trick ever seen on the punt from Jon Ryan. As Ryan punted the ball down to the left side of the field, the Rams drifted to the left to pull Seattle’s defenders away from the ball with Tavon Austin calling a fake fair catch. Somehow, it worked. Stedman Bailey fielded the punt and took off down the sideline for the touchdown to give the Rams a commanding 21-3 lead.
Seattle’s offensive line problems continued as Russell Wilson was sacked three times over the course of five plays. Coming into the game, the Rams had just one sack all season long. Giving Wilson enough time in the pocket had been a struggle all year, and it didn’t look as if things would improve against the Rams.
Seattle did catch a break as Greg Zuerlein pushed a 52-yard field goal attempt wide to the right. The Seahawks finally saw some life return to their offense as Wilson completed a pair of 20-plus yard passes to Cooper Helfet helped move the ball to the red zone. However, that’s where the offense would sputter as a delay of game, an incomplete pass, and a loss of five yards on a run by Marshawn Lynch stalled the drive. The Seahawks would have to settle for a field goal and trailed 21-6 going into the half. To no surprise, Pete Carroll was not too pleased with his offensive coordinator.
Bevell getting his ass chewed by Pete... Walks away.— Tim Williams (@12thmanTim) October 19, 2014
Penalties continued to plague the Seahawks in the second half. After Marshawn Lynch broke free for an 18-yard run, the play was called back after a holding penalty against JR Sweezy. Fortunately, Wilson found Doug Baldwin for the first down on 3rd and 17 to keep the drive alive. Baldwin had to make a nice move to fight for the extra couple yards in order to get past the line.
Russell Wilson then made a series of incredible plays to cap off the drive. Facing pressure from Robert Quinn, Wilson completed a pass to Jermaine Kearse while getting hit. On the next play, Wilson faked a handoff to Lynch and took off for a 19-yard touchdown run to bring the Seahawks back to within one score.
Needing another big drive, Russell Wilson continued to put the team on his back. On a crucial 3rd and 9 on their own 23, Wilson broke free down the sideline for 52 yards, the longest run of Wilson’s career. His previous career long was a 29-yard run.
Marshawn Lynch broke free for a 15-yard touchdown run, but to no one’s surprise, the score was called back on a holding flag. On the ensuing play, Cooper Helfet made the catch of the day, hauling in a 19-yard touchdown pass, just barely squeezing in his toes on the edge of the end zone.
The two-point conversion attempt fell incomplete, but the Seahawks trailed by only two points after driving the ball 91 yards for the touchdown.
All day, Austin Davis was relying on short passes to move the ball downfield. On 3rd and 6 at the Seattle 44, Davis completed his biggest pass of the day 30 yards downfield to Chris Givens to move the ball into the red zone. The Rams capped off the drive with a 4-yard touchdown pass to Lance Kendricks, giving St. Louis a 28-19 lead with 5:36 left in the game.
Now needing two scores with time running out, Wilson orchestrated a 10-play, 80 yard drive that was capped off with a 9-yard touchdown pass to Doug Baldwin to bring the Seahawks back to within two with 3:18 to play. The big play of the drive that set up the score was a 29-yard pass to Jermaine Kearse, who hauled in the pass and ran all the way to the 9-yard line.
Maybe not having Percy Harvin anymore isn't such a bad thing after all.
BREAKING NEWS : #Seahawks score touchdown without having one erased by penalty first.— Michael Tanier (@MikeTanier) October 19, 2014
After a big-time play from Richard Sherman to break up a 3rd down pass attempt, it looked as if the Seahawks would get the ball back only needing a field goal to win the game. That was before Jeff Fisher called one of the ballsiest plays I've ever seen.Johnny Hekker took the snap and effortlessly dumped a fake pass off to Benny Cunningham to give the Rams a fresh set of downs. The Seahawks were also out of timeouts.
On the final play of the game, there was a glimmer of hope for one exhilarating minute. On 3rd and 1, Tre Mason broke free for 9 yards. Game over, right? Wrong. Mason coughed up the fumble and for a moment, it looked as if the Seahawks were going miraculously get the ball back with a minute to play. However, it was ruled that the Rams came up with the fumble, icing the game. The play was not reviewed, and the Rams survived a near total collapse.
The Seahawks will now have to do some serious soul searching. They've dropped two consecutive games for the first time in two years. They dropped their NFC West opener to a Rams team that had lost four of their first five games. Seattle will travel to Carolina next weekend in a matchup of two teams looking to redeem a loss on the road.