Rams remain winless, fall 37-13 to Seahawks
Monday, September 22, 2008
SEATTLE — Leave it to Pro Bowl quarterback Matt Hasselbeck to use a little physical comedy to get his winless Seahawks going — against a team that is a sad punch line right now.
Julius Jones ran for 140 yards on 22 carries and a touchdown when Hasselbeck threw a madcap block, and T.J. Duckett had his first two-touchdown rushing day in four years as Seattle sidestepped six injuries at wide receiver and rolled over the malfunctioning St. Louis Rams 37-13 on Sunday.
The Seahawks (1-2) cruised into their bye week with the promise of a return to health. Despite a calamitous September, the Seahawks are just one game out of the lead in the NFC West they have won four years in a row.
And they couldn't stop laughing at Hasselbeck's roller-derby move in the open field.
"When he thinks it's a great block, it's kind of a car crash," Seattle coach Mike Holmgren said.
After Jones smacked into a pile of Rams in the first quarter, he cut left, where Hasselbeck was waiting and comically waving his arms. The quarterback roll-blocked Oshiomogho Atogwe, who then took out Fakhir Brown. Jones trotted the final 10 yards for a 29-yard score. Seattle led 17-0.
"I can't tell if people are really congratulating me right now, or making fun of me," Hasselbeck said. "It was a little bit like bowling. You get one pin, the other one gets knocked down, and you act like you did that on purpose."
No one's laughing on the woebegone Rams (0-3). They lost for the 16th time in 19 games, and for the seventh in a row to Seattle. They have been outscored 116-29 this season.
Things are so bad for endangered coach Scott Linehan, an equipment man came into the locker room after the game yelling there were no more towels for coaches to shower.
When asked if he was accepting that this is the way this season is going to be, Linehan shot back: "No! I acknowledge that it's pretty bad. The way it is going to be? No."
Linehan, 11-24 in two-plus seasons in St. Louis, had hinted at lineup changes. Maybe he should have made them. The only newcomers were replacements for two injured linemen.
"You know what, he's not out there playing," Rams quarterback Marc Bulger said. "It's on us because we haven't done our jobs."
Bulger was 18-for-31 passing for 184 yards, his third consecutive game below 200 yards for the league's lowest-ranked offense. He had one touchdown and one dismally underthrown ball that was intercepted by Deon Grant, when rookie Donnie Avery was free down the sidelines for a touchdown in the fourth quarter.
The defense, also ranked dead last, allowed 267 yards and 27 points in the first half.
"There is an attitude adjustment that we need," Rams linebacker Pisa Tinoisamoa said.
Jones had his biggest rushing day since he gained 194 yards for the Cowboys on Dec. 24, 2005. He had 96 yards by halftime, as Seattle took a 21-point lead.
The Seahawks' 245 yards rushing was their best total since Oct. 16, 2005, when they romped for a team-record 320 against Houston.
"It feels good to be with a team that has confidence in me and lets me do what I do," Jones said, a swipe at Dallas for dumping him in favor of Marion Barber last season.
Hasselbeck was 12-for-20 for 172 yards, after completing just 45.5 percent of his throws in the first two games. He gave Seattle a 10-0 lead in the first quarter on a 10-yard touchdown pass to Michael Bumpus, an undrafted rookie signed off the practice squad eight days earlier.
The Rams' only two trips across midfield in the game's first 34 minutes came because of Seattle mistakes: Bumpus lost a muffed punt he flailed at as it soared over his head, and Marcus Trufant got a personal foul for nailing Avery through the sideline at the end of a catch. New Rams kicker Josh Brown ended those drives with field goals amid a roar of boos for deserting Seattle in free agency last spring.
St. Louis' six plays inside the 20 netted minus-2 yards.
* Rams defensive end Leonard Little was out with a hamstring injury.
* Rookie Chris Long moved to left end, and James Hall started at right end. Starting offensive guard Jacob Bell (hamstring) was also out, giving Adam Goldberg the start. Center Richie Incognito sprained his knee, but Linehan said he should be OK.
* Koren Robinson's return was put off. The former No. 1 draft choice signed out of his house in North Carolina on Tuesday was inactive with a knee injury sustained in practice Wednesday.