The Seahawks are still seeking that missing yard. Eight months after failing to give Marshawn Lynch the ball on the goal line in the Super Bowl, they needed one yard on a fourth-down play to keep an overtime drive alive. This time, Lynch got the ball — to no avail. St. Louis stuffed Beast Mode where he stood, preserving a 34-31 Rams victory at the Edward Jones Dome Sunday that might have gone Seattle’s way had SS Kam Chancellor been on the field instead of his replacement, Dion Bailey (box).
The Seahawks entered the fourth quarter trailing 24-13, but rattled off 18 points in a span of 7:25 for a 34-31 lead with 4:39 remaining. But QB Nick Foles, strip-sacked for a touchdown by Cary Williams for Seattle’s go-ahead score, retaliated with a 37-yard touchdown pass to Lance Kendricks to send the game into OT. Bailey, making his first NFL start with Chancellor engaged in a contract holdout, stumbled on the turf while guarding Kendricks, fell down, and watched helplessly as Kendricks scooted into the end zone.
After recovering a pooch kick to start OT, the Rams received a 37-yard field goal from Greg Zuerlein to take a 34-31 lead, a score set up when Foles completed a 22-yard pass to Stedman Bailey right over Richard Sherman and in front of Earl Thomas. The Seahawks had a good answering drive going until the fourth-and one at the St. Louis 42. Lynch not only didn’t get the “missing yard,” he lost one. End of game.
The Seahawks were erratic, from a 12-play drive on their first possession that ended with a punt, to the 18-point spree in the fourth quarter. Wilson completed 32 of 41 for 251 yards, one TD (Jimmy Graham) and one interception (90.1 rating), but suffered six sacks, three taking the Seahawks out of drives. Wilson has been sacked six or more times six times in his career, three by the relentless Rams.
Due to pressure, Wilson didn’t make much use of Graham in the first half, but Graham had a big second half, finishing with six catches for 51 yards in his Seattle debut. Rookie Tyler Lockett had a spectacular inaugural. His first two plays were a pass reception for eight yards and a 57-yard punt return for a TD. He finished with four catches for 34 yards and returned two kickoffs 65 yards.
Lynch had 10 rushing yards at halftime and finished with 73 with and touchdowns. All 10 of those first-half yards came on a run when that pushed a pile that included six Rams defenders.
In 11 possessions, Seattle scored one offensive touchdown and a two-point conversion by Lynch. Steven Hauschka kicked three field goals, but on the overtime kickoff, mis-hit the ball short instead of the target around the 15-yard line. The Rams used the the good field position to score the game-winning field goal.
The 34 points allowed were the most surrendered by a Seattle team since Oct. 6, 2013, when Indianapolis won 34-28. The Seahawks led the NFL by allowing 15.9 points per game last season.
Newcomer Cary Williams made the defensive play of the game late in the fourth quarter when he strip-sacked Foles on a blitz and returned the fumble eight yards for a touchdown and a 31-24 lead.
The Seahawks allowed the Rams 352 total yards on 55 plays (to Seattle’s 79), 6.4 yards per play. Last year, the Seahawks allowed 267.1 yards per contest.
Foles threw one TD, to Kendricks near the end of regulation, but finished with 297 yards and a 115.8 rating. Foles also scored on a five-yard run. WR Tavon Austin flummoxed the Seahawks. He scored on a 16-yard touchdown run and returned a punt 75 yards for another score.
“We just got beat one-on-one on the sidelines. Our guy wasn’t able to defend the play. We had a lot of aspects in this game where we could have played better football. We’ve got to clean that up” — Pete Carroll, on the 37-yard, game-tying touchdown by Kendricks near the end of regulation.
Lockett’s 57-yard punt return for a touchdown in the first quarter was the first such play for the Seahawks since Nate Burleson returned one 94 yards at Cleveland Nov. 4, 2007 . . . Austin’s 75-yard punt return for St. Louis was the first against the Seahawks since Stedman Bailey of the Rams had one for 90 yards Oct. 19, 2014 . . . The Seahawks are 6-4 in their last 10 10 a.m. kickoff starts and have lost three of their last four at the Edward Jones Dome . . . St. Louis went 0-4 in the preseason . . . Seattle fell to 15-25 in season openers . . . Seattle is 13-6 in last 19 road games.
The Seahawks travel to Lambeau Field for a 5:30 p.m. Sunday visit with the Green Bay Packers (NBC), who beat Chicago Sunday 31-23.