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Faulk leads final clock-killing drive

ST. LOUIS (AP) -- An official made perhaps the biggest stop at
the end of the St. Louis Rams' NFC West-clinching victory over the
Seattle Seahawks.

Question on the Seahawks: Do you all of a sudden see them missing the playoffs?
For Mike Holmgren, it's not about getting to the playoffs -- it's about getting deep into the playoffs. But if the Seahawks do get to the playoffs, it will be by the skin of their teeth and once they're in, they're not going to make a big splash. For whatever reason, the Seahawks can't win on the road. So, it looks like Seattle is headed for a very disappointing season.

Question on the Rams: How does this team compare to the Rams' two Super Bowl squads?
Defensively, this season's Rams are a little better. Offensively, they have to go into the last two weeks knowing they can win in a variety of ways. I'm not sure they're as strong as they were in their Super Bowl years, but as long as Marshall Faulk continues to play as well, the Rams definitely can go to Philly and cause some trouble in an NFC showdown.
Eric Allen played cornerback for 14 NFL seasons with the Eagles, Saints and Raiders.

Running a deep pass pattern in the final minute of the Rams'
27-22 victory Sunday, Seahawks wide receiver Bobby Engram tripped
over a back judge who had fallen and was rolling. Instead of a
chance at scoring the go-ahead touchdown, the ball was nearly
intercepted by Tommy Polley in the end zone.

"I thought I had it," quarterback Matt Hasselbeck said. "We
liked the matchup, one-on-one, Bobby on a middle linebacker who's
kind of turned around. It's just a real bad break for us."

Back judge Greg Steed said his feet got tangled as he cut across
the field.

"What I did was I looked up, and as I turned, my feet got
caught," Steed said. "I went down to the ground and began
rolling, and that is all that I remember on the play."

It was tough luck for the Seahawks.

"We are just part of the field, and unfortunately if we get in
the way, we just get in the way," referee Walt Coleman said. "We
try not to, but if we do, it is just part of what happens."

The Seahawks (8-6) stalled on the Rams 34 as St. Louis (11-3)
clinched the division with two games to spare.

"I'd appreciate a blowout every now and then," defensive end
Grant Wistrom said. "It would make it a little easier on the
stomach. But as long as we keep winning, we'll take them any way we
can get them."

The Rams have won 13 in a row at home, tying a franchise record
set from 1998-2000, and are 7-0 this year. They did just enough to
continue the Seahawks' road woes and put a dent in Seattle's
playoff hopes.

Marshall Faulk did the most to clinch the Rams' third division
championship in five years, leading a final, clock-killing march.
He more than doubled his yardage for the first 3 quarters, when he
was held to a measly 34 yards on 20 carries.

"I just carry the ball, there's no secret to it," Faulk said.
"If my number was going to be called, that was fine. That's my
mind-set."

Shaun Alexander had 126 yards on 25 carries and a touchdown for
the Seahawks (8-6), 1-6 on the road. Seattle played much better
than last week, a 34-7 loss to the Vikings, even with four
replacement starters on defense largely due to injuries.

The Rams avenged a one-point loss in Seattle in September in
which they blew a 13-point second-half lead. In the rematch, the
Seahawks cut what had been a 12-point halftime deficit to two early
in the fourth quarter on Alexander's 2-yard run. Then the Rams put
it away.

Faulk had 85 yards on 28 carries, ending a string of four
straight 100-yard games. But he had the ball on all nine plays in
the clinching drive that started on the St. Louis 15 with 5:57 to
go. He went 28 yards on the first play and had eight carries for 51
yards and one reception for 6 yards to set up a 46-yard field goal
by Jeff Wilkins with 1:37 to go.

Getting forced to settle for two short field goals by Josh Brown
also hurt them in the end.

Seattle got the early advantage when Orlando Huff sacked Marc
Bulger in the end zone on the Rams' first drive for a safety. The
Rams answered with a 5-yard run by Faulk and a pair of touchdown
passes by Bulger for a 21-12 lead at the half.

Torry Holt caught his 11th touchdown pass, and first in four
games, on an underthrown ball in the end zone in the second
quarter. Holt had six catches for 100 yards to help the Rams
compensate for the loss of Isaac Bruce, who left in the second
quarter with a sprained ankle.

Bruce expects to play next week against the Bengals.

"I'll just roll with it," Bruce said. "No big deal."

Darrell Jackson caught his ninth touchdown pass, a career best,
for the Seahawks. Randall Godfrey's interception gave Seattle the
ball at the Rams 36 near the two-minute break, but the Seahawks had
to settle for a field goal when a 9-yard touchdown pass to
Alexander was called back because of an illegal shift.

The Seahawks again had to settle for three points in the third
quarter on a 38-yarder by Brown that cut the gap to 21-15 after
Adam Archuleta batted down a third-down pass.

Game notes
Holt has nine 100-yard receiving games this season, tied
with Bruce for the franchise record. ... Huff left the game with a
high ankle sprain in the second quarter. ... Jackson has a
career-best nine touchdown catches, one better than in 2001. ...
Alexander has six 100-yard games, and two in the last three games.
... Rams CB Jerametrius Butler left with a bruised knee in the
fourth quarter.

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