ST. LOUIS – Russell Wilson threw two touchdown passes to Golden Tate, and the Seattle Seahawks made a dramatic goal-line stand in the final minute to beat the St. Louis Rams 14-9 on Monday night.
The Seahawks (7-1), riding the best start in franchise history, were forced to punt with just more than 5 minutes left in the game, but they managed to pin St. Louis at its own 3-yard line.
Backup quarterback Kellen Clemens marched the Rams (3-5) to the Seattle 1, but Daryl Richardson was stuffed on third down and Clemens threw incomplete on fourth down as time expired.
The Seahawks won despite gaining just 135 yards of total offense, 80 of it on Wilson’s second TD pass to Tate. Wilson also was sacked a career-high seven times.
Seattle led 7-3 at halftime.
Buoyed by their defense, the Rams closed to 7-6 on Greg Zuerlein’s second field goal late in the third quarter.
Two plays later, Wilson went deep down the sideline to Tate, who made an acrobatic leaping catch over Janoris Jenkins. Tate regained his balance and then mockingly waved at safety Rodney McLeod as he ran to the end zone, earning an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty.
The stunt elicited boos from a sparse crowd that was announced as 55,966 but in reality was much smaller, in part because the Rams have been having a hard time drawing fans, and in part due to the Cardinals playing the Red Sox in Game 5 of the World Series just up the street.
In fact, some of the folks who turned up at the dome were sporting Cardinals jerseys. The Rams helped them out by showing the World Series during pregame warm-ups on the big screens, and the score was also kept current on the ribbon boards.
It looked as if St. Louis was heading for one tough night. The Cardinals lost 3-1, putting the Red Sox one win away from the title.
The Rams’ Kellen Clemens made his first start in two years in place of quarterback Sam Bradford, who sustained a season-ending knee injury last week against Carolina. He completed a 26-yard pass to Austin Pettis to set up Zuerlein’s first field goal, but also threw two picks in the first half, including one to ball-hawking cornerback Richard Sherman.
Sherman caught the overthrown pass near the Seattle sideline and made several Rams miss as he returned it 38 yards. It was his fourth pick of the season, tied for the league lead.
The opportunistic Seahawks, who entered the weekend tied for the NFL lead with 19 turnovers, scored six plays later when Wilson hit Tate on third-and-goal from the 2-yard line.