If you were to just glance at the box score from the Seattle Seahawks vs. St Louis Rams game yesterday, you would be forgiven for thinking it was a one sided blowout. After all, Seattle dominated the score, (28-0), first downs, (25-13), and total yards, (446-247). The only stats St. Louis won were turnover battle, (4-2), and penalties, (10-4).
The statistics were a long way away from reality early in the game. After the Rams fumbled the opening kickoff, Matt Hasselbeck tried desperately to give the ball back. He missed badly on his first two passes before St Louis was able to pick off the third. Hasselbeck had another interception and looked every bit of a player too keyed up for the start.
The Seattle defense was the difference. Every time the offense misfired, the defense came onto the field and stopped the Rams cold. By the time Hasselbeck settled down and stopped forcing throws, the score could have been 14-0 for the Rams. Instead, it was still tied at zero thanks to a Josh Brown missed field goal.
The key play of the game happened right before the half. Seattle was up 7-0 and lined up for a 49-yard field goal that would send the team into the locker room up 10-0. St Louis defensive end C.J. Ah You blocked the attempt and safety Quincy Butler scooped up the loose ball to race 51 yards to score. The crowd was stunned and silent. I know, I was one of them. As St Louis lined up for the PAT however, the referees blew their whistles and announced that the play was being reviewed from the booth for St Louis having 12 men on the field.
Before the referee was out of the curtain, the Rams defense and Seahawks offenses were coming back onto the field. The big screen showed a picture of the pre-snap lineups and sure enough, the Rams had too many men on the field. A 7-7 was now a 7-0 game with Seattle getting a first down off of the penalty. Three plays later, Hasslebeck throws a 12 yard touchdown to Nate Burleson and the Seahawks are up 14-0 going into the locker room. That 14 point swing took everything out of the Rams and the game was essentially over from then on.