Seahawks blow past Rams 28-0 -

Seahawks blow past Rams 28-0

SEATTLE (AP) -- The Seahawks soared, seemingly revived under new coach Jim Mora.

St. Louis? Looked like the same old Rams who went 2-14 last year and got Steve Spagnuolo his first head coaching job.

Matt Hasselbeck, playing his first game since Thanksgiving Day, overcame two interceptions in his first three throws Sunday to connect with John Carlson for two touchdowns in Seattle's 28-0 romp past the Rams.

The Seahawks took advantage of a rare use of instant replay to cruise over the sloppy, undisciplined Rams.

Hasselbeck finished 25 of 36 for 279 yards passing, his most for an opener. Seattle beat its division rival for the ninth consecutive time with its biggest win to begin a season since a 38-0 victory over Philadelphia in 1998.

The Rams gained just 247 yards in a flop that looked alarmingly like their 38-3 loss against Philadelphia that opened last season. The Rams were also doomed by 10 penalties -- two personal fouls after plays by volatile offensive lineman Richie Incognito.

Julius Jones took the new one-step-and-go run game of first-year offensive coordinator Greg Knapp literally, bolting untouched 62 yards for a touchdown in the second half. Jones finished with 117 yards on 19 carries behind the new zone-blocking scheme of an offensive line that barely missed nine-time Pro Bowl left tackle Walter Jones and starting center Chris Spencer, both out injured.

St. Louis' bright spots were 14 tackles from rookie middle linebacker James Laurinaitis and an interception early by Oshiomogho Atogwe, who was all over the field.

Too bad for the Rams their offense wasn't. It managed just 13 first downs against the new, attacking schemes of first-year defensive coordinator Gus Bradley.

Marc Bulger, playing with tape on his broken right pinkie, was 17 of 36 for 191 yards. He was sacked three times.

The game's decisive -- and weirdest -- play came in the final minute of the first half. Seattle's Olindo Mare struck a 49-yard field goal try low. St. Louis' C.J. Ah You blocked it, and three other Rams could have. Quincy Butler scooped the ball and ran 49 yards for an apparent touchdown.

As the Rams were about to snap for the tying extra point, referee Pete Morelli surprised everyone by announcing the booth officials had called for a review -- for whether St. Louis had 12 men on the field.

Turns out, they did. The Rams' sideline had almost no reaction, as if bewildered at the rare reversal. Three plays later, Hasselbeck found Nate Burleson for a 12-yard touchdown. Instead of 7-7 at halftime, Seattle led 14-0.

The Rams never recovered.

The issue of giving replay officials authority to review plays on the field grew after an infamous incident involving former Steelers coach Bill Cowher in 1995, four years before the current replay system was introduced. The late referee Gordon McCarter incorrectly called Pittsburgh for 12 men on the field during a game against Minnesota. Cowher was fined for comically stuffing into McCarter's pocket a photo from the press box showing 11 Steelers on the field.

Seattle made it 21-0 midway through the third quarter on a 33-yard pass from Hasselbeck to Carlson one play after Carlson's 38-yard catch and run.

The Seahawks had two turnovers in the first seven minutes. Hasselbeck's first interception came in the end zone on a ball tipped by Atogwe to teammate James Butler, three plays after the Rams lost a fumble on the opening kickoff. On the next series, Atogwe jumped a slant route by Burleson for another interception.

But after former Seahawk Josh Brown was booed and then cheered for missing a 37-yard field goal, a Seahawks drive ended with a 1-yard toss to Carlson.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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