Seahawks bury Rams to take division lead


For 70 years, the Rams have built one of pro football's richer traditions.

Three NFL championships and 27 playoff appearances with stars like Norm Van Brocklin, Elroy "Crazy Legs" Hirsch, Eric Dickerson and Marshall Faulk.

The Rams sure could use some of those guys now.

After being within 10-3 at halftime, St. Louis allowed a 91-yard return for a touchdown by Seattle's Nate Burleson on the second-half kickoff before the Seahawks ran away with a 33-6 victory that sent the Rams to the worst start in franchise history.

So much for the 0-6 pratfall from the 1962 Rams.

"I am grateful that God has blessed me to be a Ram, but right now I am very embarrassed to be one," obviously conflicted tight end Randy McMichael said.

The seventh consecutive defeat included five turnovers by returning quarterback Marc Bulger. The offense had 221 total yards &

44 on a final, meaningless drive &

and five false-start penalties, plus two holding calls that Seattle declined.

"It makes no sense what we did offensively today," said McMichael, who caught three passes for 34 yards. "It is pathetic."

The Rams got Bulger back for the first time in three games because of broken ribs. They got mainstay receiver Isaac Bruce back from a hamstring injury that sidelined him for two games.

But they didn't get back lead runner Steven Jackson, who missed a fourth consecutive game with a partially torn groin. Instead, they got Seahawks defenders who exploited what they felt was Bulger's tendency to hold onto the ball too long.

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," said Bulger, who limped through the locker room.

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.

"The way we've turned the ball over the first seven games, you can't win. And we've proved that," second-year coach Scott Linehan said.

St. Louis had just 41 yards total in the first half and trailed by seven at halftime. Seahawks runner Shaun Alexander was stalled and getting booed again. And quarterback Matt Hasselbeck was feeling the sting of a hit by Claude Wroten that strained his right oblique muscle.

Hasselbeck finished 18-of-35 for 195 yards in 31/2 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.

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