ST. LOUIS – It started with a slip, became a stumble and turned into a face-plant.
That described the problem on Seattle’s final play as tight end Anthony McCoy fell down, leading to St. Louis’ third interception of Russell Wilson. The tumble served as a pretty accurate metaphor for the Seahawks’ afternoon, as well, at the Edward Jones Dome, as Seattle spent four quarters showing how many ways it could trip over itself during a 19-13 loss at St. Louis that was as much a debacle as a game.
Coming off an unforgettable game against Green Bay on Monday, Seattle had a performance that will be remembered for its many errors, missed scoring chances and another comeback that came up short when McCoy fell and Wilson was intercepted inside the St. Louis 30-yard line with a minute left.
“This was a really hard-fought game,” Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said. “It reminds you so much of how hard it is to win in the NFL.”
And how easy it is to lose.
For the second time in seven days, Seattle’s defense was nothing short of dominant, and yet the Seahawks’ only victory in that time came courtesy of that disputed call Monday night against the Packers.
On Sunday, Seattle’s defense never gave up a touchdown, didn’t allow any Rams player to gain more than 55 yards from scrimmage and still lost as Seattle’s offense failed to find the end zone again after driving 80 yards for a touchdown on its first possession.
“I still think we played a good enough game to win the game,” safety Earl Thomas said. “We controlled what we could control.”
What Seattle couldn’t control was the Rams’ rookie place kicker Greg Zuerlein.
Zuerlein set a Rams record with a 58-yard field in the first quarter. He added a 48-yarder in the second and then broke his record with a 60-yarder in the third quarter. He capped a 4-for-4 day with a 24-yarder in the final period.
Once again the Seattle offense was inept. Twice the Seahawks drove inside the Rams’ 20-yard line in the second half, only to settle for field goals.
“You’re taking three instead of seven, that adds up quick,” tight end Zach Miller said. “And then you have to try to get it done at the end, and we couldn’t get it done.”
There were so many errors it was tough to say which was most critical. Wilson was intercepted three times, but none were strictly his fault. Seattle was assessed three personal-foul penalties, two of them on offensive tackle Breno Giacomini.
The Seahawks gave up a touchdown on a fake field goal, botched clock management to allow a Rams field goal at the end of the first half and then unsuccessfully attempted an onside kick to begin the second half.
That all occurred in a span of 2:25, beginning in the final 2 minutes of the first half and continuing into the second in an amazingly abominable stretch in which Seattle allowed 13 points.