SEATTLE (AP) -- The thrilling has seemingly gotten so routine for
Josh Brown, he barely reacts to it now.
But his Seahawks? They love it -- and Brown.
Once again, they jubilantly mobbed each other after their
absurdly cool kicker calmly made a 38-yard field goal with 9
seconds left as Seattle beat St. Louis 24-22 on Sunday and seize
control of the NFC West.
After his second game-winning kick to beat the Rams in less than
a month, Brown simply bowed his head into the hug of holder Ryan
The stunned Rams (4-5) simply stared at a fourth consecutive
It was Brown's fifth winning field goal for the Seahawks (6-3)
since Oct. 2, 2005, when he clanged a potential winner from 47
yards off the left upright at the end of regulation in an overtime
loss at Washington.
"I'm not shocked I made it," Brown said. "I think I would
have been more shocked had I missed.
"It's definitely not an arrogance thing. ... We prepare like
this every day."
It all forced Seahawks defensive end Grant Wistrom to grudgingly
praise his kicker.
"This is the third game he's won this season, isn't it?"
Wistrom said of Brown, correctly. "He's pretty important.
"But I don't want to give him too much credit. He thinks he's
pretty good already."
Brown probably would not have gotten his chance without Nate Burleson's first Seattle heroics.
His team stalled with just 10 total yards in two-plus quarters,
Burleson ran back a punt 90 yards to give Seattle a 21-16 lead
midway through the fourth quarter. Burleson, who became the punt
returner just last week after falling out of Seattle's crowded
receiving rotation, ran through an arm tackle attempt by
Kay-Jay Harris and behind a block by Marcus Trufant. He then juked punter
Matt Turk and sped to the reviving score.
"I looked at the punter. He looked at me. I knew I had to give
him something," Burleson said of Seattle's first punt return for a
score in three years.
The Rams responded by driving to the Seattle 14 on 7-for-9
passing by Marc Bulger. Steven Jackson, who gained 93 yards on 18
carries, bulled the final 14 yards, carrying four Seahawks across
the goal line, for a 22-21 lead with 2:30 left. A holding penalty
on center Richie Incognito nullified Torry Holt's catch of Bulger's
2-point conversion pass, and Bulger's next conversion try was
Incognito also had a personal foul at the end of the touchdown
for jumping into a pileup after Jackson's helmet had come off in
the end zone. That meant Jeff Wilkins had to kick off from the 15.
"I wanted to protect Steven -- and it resulted in a personal
foul," Incognito said.
Josh Scobey returned Wilkins' pushed-back kickoff 33 yards to
the St. Louis 49. Two runs by Maurice Morris for 15 yards and a
10-yard pass from Seneca Wallace to Darrell Jackson pushed Seattle
to the Rams 20 with 13 seconds left.
Brown then won another game.
"Another day at the office," Seahawks coach Mike Holmgren
said, sighing. "My goodness."
Wilkins appeared to have kicked his fourth field goal to put St.
Louis up 19-14 in the opening minute of the fourth quarter. But
just before the ball was snapped, first-year Rams coach Scott
Linehan threw his red challenge flag to dispute an incomplete pass
to Kevin Curtis.
A replay review overturned the call to give Curtis a 5-yard
reception. Linehan then chose to go for a fourth-and-1, but
Bulger's pass to a well-covered Joe Klopfenstein fell incomplete.
"Yeah, the defense was playing good enough that you hate to
take points off the board," Bulger said, adding he thought a
fullback going the wrong way ruined the play.
"If we score a touchdown on that drive, we make it two-score
game and it would have been a pretty good situation for us. We
certainly could have used the [three] points at the end of the
Wilkins' 35-yard field goal gave St. Louis a 16-14 lead in the
Seattle led only 14-13 at halftime despite outgaining St. Louis
243-119. Morris, starting his sixth consecutive game while league
MVP Shaun Alexander heals a broken left foot, had 79 of those
yards. Morris finished with 124 yards on 21 carries.
St. Louis stayed in the game early because Leonard Little blew
past right tackle Tom Ashworth, filling in for injured starter
Sean Locklear, on a third-down from the St. Louis 6. Little crashed into
Wallace's arm before Victor Adeyanju picked up the fumble and ran
89 yards untouched for a touchdown and a 7-0 lead.
The Rams lost Pro Bowl LT Orlando Pace for the rest of
the season because of a torn left triceps. ... Wallace, in his
third NFL start while Matt Hasselbeck recovers from a sprained
knee, was 15-of-23 for 161 yards and two first-half touchdowns, to
Jackson and Jerramy Stevens. ... Bulger was 26-for-40 for 215 yards
and an interception. ... Rams DB Travis Fisher injured his right
forearm. He said he is due for a CAT scan on Monday.
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