Final

Rams 6

(0-7, 0-4 away)

Seahawks 33

(4-3, 3-1 home)

Coverage: FOX

4:15 PM ET, October 21, 2007

CenturyLink Field, Seattle, WA 

1 2 3 4 T
STL 3 0 3 06
SEA 7 3 13 1033

Top Performers

Passing: M. Bulger (STL) - 225 YDS, 3 INT

Rushing: S. Alexander (SEA) - 19 CAR, 47 YDS

Receiving: T. Holt (STL) - 8 REC, 82 YDS

Burleson's 91-yard kick return puts Seahawks in gear

Associated Press

SEATTLE (AP) -- Mike Holmgren walked into the Seahawks' locker room at halftime and pleaded for his kickoff-return unit to provide a spark for his sputtering team.

Minutes later, Ram-killer Nate Burleson took Holmgren's request literally and turned it into a 91-yard return for a game-changing touchdown and the Seahawks pulled away from winless St. Louis 33-6 on Sunday.

"Now, that's great coaching," Holmgren said.

He was finally laughing because Seattle (4-3) overcame Matt Hasselbeck hurting and Shaun Alexander being shut down and booed again to climb back atop the weak NFC West entering its bye week.

"Whatever coach says, you've got to adhere to it," Burleson said after the first kickoff score of his life. "But it's like super heroes stuff. I don't know if I can do that every time."

It only seems like it to the Rams, who are off to the worst start in their 70 years in the NFL.

In the Rams' previous visit last November, Burleson's 90-yard punt return for a touchdown in the fourth quarter was a go-ahead score in the Seahawks' 24-22 win. Seattle has defeated its division rival five consecutive times.

This time, Seattle led just 10-3 at the half, and St. Louis had only 41 total yards. Hasselbeck was feeling the sting of a hit by Claude Wroten that strained his right oblique muscle.

One play before Josh Brown's 38-yard field goal in the second quarter made it 10-3, Wroten drilled his helmet into the quarterback's right ribs on an incompletion. When Hasselbeck threw high off Bobby Engram's hand and into the arms of Ron Bartell for an interception at the Rams 19, he grabbed his side in pain with both hands.

Many of his passes after that fluttered weakly and mostly to the turf. Hasselbeck was 3-of-11 for 39 yards after Wroten's hit until Burleson's game-breaking touchdown return to start the second half. Seattle seized the game by outscoring St. Louis 23-3 in the second half while needing Hasselbeck to throw just 10 times.

"He was affected," said Wroten, who later refused to help up the quarterback when the prone Hasselbeck extended his arm to him following another hit. "He couldn't put full extension on his throws after that. ... He choked that ball a little bit."

Burleson choked the Rams' hope for a breakthrough win. He took the second-half kickoff, ran through a tackle near midfield and then shook off Jonathan Wade at about the 20 for his first career kickoff score. He punctuated it doing a preening shake and waving of the arms like a hawk.

The Seahawks soared from there.

The Rams (0-7) welcomed back Marc Bulger to the offense in a way no one should ever be welcomed.

With lead runner Steven Jackson out for the fourth consecutive game with a partially torn groin, the Rams had to rely on the passing of Bulger. And Seattle knew it.

The Pro Bowl quarterback, playing for the first time in three weeks with sore ribs, was sacked seven times. Four were by Darryl Tapp, who played the final three quarters with a boxing-like glove over a broken bone in his right hand. Bulger fumbled three times, lost two, and finished 21-of-40 for 225 yards passing with three interceptions.

"I'm a little angry about things. Embarrassed about things. Frustrated about things. There are no good emotions," said Bulger, who limped through the locker room.

Tight end Randy McMichael said: "Right now I am embarrassed to be a [Ram]. It is pathetic."

Bulger was 2-of-10 with an interception in the first half. Then Torry Holt dropped what would have been a 17-yard touchdown pass on an open slant on the drive after Burleson's return.

The NFL's 30th-ranked offense coming in has 15 turnovers in the seven losses.

Alexander finished with 47 yards on 19 carries. The 30-year-old MVP from two seasons ago has 107 yards rushing and no touchdowns in his last three games. Three times he was jogging onto the field, out to at least the yard numbers, before Holmgren pulled him off. He was visibly upset that Holmgren kept him on the bench with Hasselbeck and other starters at the end of the blowout.

"He is frustrated a little bit," Holmgren said. "He just wants to do well.

"He's probably a little mad at me right now."

Hasselbeck finished 18-of-35 for 195 yards in 3 1/2 quarters, his second-lowest passing output of the season. He had two touchdowns and an interception -- and joked he was happy to have a strained oblique.

"Awesome, because I didn't know I had an oblique in there," Hasselbeck said . "I'm going to go home and tell my wife."

Game notes


Brown made all four of his field-goal attempts and is 13-of-14 this season. His only miss was blocked last week against New Orleans. ... Tapp's sacks tied Seattle's record done three times, most recently by Michael McCrary in 1996. ... Donnie Jones hit a punt 80 yards over the head of Burleson in the second quarter. It was the Rams' longest punt since Oct. 5, 1947, when Bob Waterfield hit one 86 yards.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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Team Stat Comparison

 
STL
SEA
1st Downs1519
Passing 1st downs
1013
Rushing 1st downs
45
1st downs from penalties
11
3rd down efficiency
4-154-14
4th down efficiency
0-00-1
Total Plays6468
Total Yards221289
Yards per play3.54.3
Total Drives1615
Passing168189
Comp-Att
21-4018-35
Yards per pass
3.65.3
Interceptions thrown
31
Sacks-Yards Lost
7-571-6
Rushing53100
Rushing Attempts
1732
Yards per rush
3.13.1
Red Zone (Made-Att)0-22-3
Penalties8-454-25
Turnovers51
Fumbles lost
20
Interceptions thrown
31
Defensive / Special Teams TDs01
Possession26:5933:01

Passing Leaders

STLC/ATTYDSAVGTDINTSACKS
Bulger21/402255.6037-57
SEAC/ATTYDSAVGTDINTSACKS
Hasselbeck18/351955.6211-6

Rushing Leaders

STLCARYDSAVGTDLG
Leonard12443.7017
Pittman482.007
SEACARYDSAVGTDLG
Alexander19472.5011
Morris10424.2021

Receiving Leaders

STLRECYDSAVGTDLG
Holt88210.3028
Bruce25226.0031
SEARECYDSAVGTDLG
Engram67312.2021
Weaver33712.3015

Scoring Summary

FIRST QUARTERSTLSEA
seaTD7:45Will Heller, 1 yd pass from Matt Hasselbeck (Josh Brown kick is good)
Drive info: 11 plays, 71 yds, 5:45
07
stlFG1:06Jeff Wilkins 31 yd Field Goal
Drive info: 8 plays, 35 yds, 3:30
37
SECOND QUARTERSTLSEA
seaFG10:19Josh Brown 38 yd Field Goal
Drive info: 12 plays, 52 yds, 5:47
310
THIRD QUARTERSTLSEA
seaTD15:00Nate Burleson, 91 yd kickoff return (Josh Brown kick is good)
Drive info: 1 plays, 91 yds, 0:00
317
stlFG10:37Jeff Wilkins 29 yd Field Goal
Drive info: 9 plays, 62 yds, 4:14
617
seaFG6:34Josh Brown 48 yd Field Goal
Drive info: 9 plays, 38 yds, 4:04
620
seaFG4:04Josh Brown 45 yd Field Goal
Drive info: 4 plays, -6 yds, 1:34
623
FOURTH QUARTERSTLSEA
seaFG7:07Josh Brown 43 yd Field Goal
Drive info: 5 plays, 19 yds, 2:04
626
seaTD6:15Will Heller, 11 yd pass from Matt Hasselbeck (Josh Brown kick is good)
Drive info: 2 plays, 14 yds, 0:42
633