Final/OT

Rams 33

(3-2, 2-1 away)

Seahawks 27

(3-1, 1-1 home)

4:15 PM ET, October 10, 2004

 

1 2 3 4 OT T
STL 0 7 3 17 633
SEA 7 17 0 3 027

Rams rally from 17 points down

SEATTLE (AP) -- Marc Bulger was at his best when his teammates needed him most.

Bulger threw a 52-yard touchdown pass to Shaun McDonald 3 minutes into overtime, leading the St. Louis Rams to a thrilling 33-27 victory over Seattle on Sunday.

"I wish I had some bubbly," receiver Torry Holt said. "As a team, we should feel good about this one."

The Rams (3-2) ended Seattle's 10-game home winning streak, with Bulger leading a 17-point rally by throwing two TD passes in the final 5:34 of regulation. Jeff Wilkins kicked a 36-yard field goal with 8 seconds left, forcing overtime.

"This team never quits," Bulger said. "We have guys who have been in that situation before, and they know not to quit. They play to the end."

The Seahawks (3-1), trying to open 4-0 for the first time ever, had things in control, leading 24-7 at halftime and 27-10 midway through the third period. They came apart when Bulger took over.

"That's a tough way to lose," Seattle coach Mike Holmgren said. "As good as we were in the first half, we were average to below average in the second half. Give the Rams credit. They hung in there."

Bulger, who threw three interceptions before St. Louis rallied, finally got started midway through the fourth. The Rams pulled to 27-17 with 5:34 remaining when he threw an 8-yard TD pass to Brandon Manumaleuna.

St. Louis forced a punt, and McDonald returned it 39 yards to Seattle's 41. On the next play, Kevin Curtis beat two defenders and Bulger found him in stride for a 41-yard scoring strike that made it 27-24.

"A perfect pass," Curtis said. "He was throwing a long route and we had good protection up front. He gave me a great ball."

Rams end Leonard Little came up with a big play on Seattle's ensuing series, sacking Matt Hasselbeck for a 12-yard loss and forcing a fumble. Center Robbie Tobeck fell on the loose ball.

It was huge because that was the first play after the 2-minute warning. Hasselbeck had seen Bobby Engram open on third-and-5. St. Louis was out of timeouts, and a good pass would have allowed Seattle to run out the clock.

"If we complete the ball, the game's over," Holmgren said.

Instead, Brown kicked a 35-yard punt because regular punter Tom Rouen sustained a late hamstring strain. That gave the Rams possession at the their own 36 with 1:14 to play and no timeouts remaining.

Bulger found Isaac Bruce for a 26-yard gain to Seattle's 37, then added a 16-yarder to Dane Looker that got the ball out of bounds at the 18, and Wilkins tied it at 27 on the next play.

"Marc did a beautiful job, just beautiful," Rams coach Mike Martz said.

Bulger completed 24 of 42 passes for 325 yards with three TDs.

The remarkable part is how he rallied the Rams -- not by looking for stars Holt and Bruce, but by firing passes to lesser-known receivers McDonald, Curtis and Looker.

"You need the third and fourth receivers to come up with plays to win," Bulger said. "That's the matchup we need to take advantage of. We've got some young guys in that position can make things happen."

He also made a great adjustment on the game-winning play, checking away from what he expected would be a slot pass to Holt. On third-and-8 near midfield, Bulger knew McDonald could get behind Seattle safety Terreal Bierria.

"I was just hoping he'd put it up. I knew I could beat the safety," McDonald said.

The Rams ran off the bench and celebrated as Seattle's stadium-record crowd of 66,940 went away stunned.

"You have to keep plugging," Bulger said when asked about his three interceptions and the big deficit. "If I stick to the course and keep doing what I'm doing, guys are going to get open."

Hasselbeck was 20-of-35 for 216 yards and two scoring passes. The Seahawks wasted a 150-yard rushing effort by Shaun Alexander.

Bulger's three turnovers led only to six points: A 48-yard field goal by Josh Brown in the second quarter and a 34-yarder in the fourth that put the Seahawks ahead 27-10 with 8:42 left.

"Otherwise, we don't win this thing," Martz said.

Brown was wide left on a 43-yard try after Lucas' second interception, which turned out to be a decisive miss.

"We're quite young," Holmgren said. "We need to learn to handle being ahead in a game as well as being behind in close situations."

Game notes


The Rams lost FS Aeneas Williams because of a pinched nerve in his neck and DT Tyoka Jackson to a strained hamstring, both in the first half. ... The attendance of 66,940 was a record at the 3-year-old stadium. ... Former University of Washington coach Don James raised the "12th Man" flag before kickoff.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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Team Stat Comparison

 
St. Louis
Seattle
1st Downs2120
3rd down efficiency
11-172-12
4th down efficiency
0-01-1
Total Yards441391
Yards per play6.55.9
Total Drives21
Passing317204
Comp-Att
24-4220-35
Yards per pass
7.55.8
Interceptions thrown
30
Sacks-Yards Lost
2-81-12
Rushing124187
Rushing Attempts
2430
Yards per rush
5.26.2
Penalties5-455-40
Turnovers30
Fumbles lost
00
Interceptions thrown
30
Possession31:2431:38

Passing Leaders

STLC/ATTYDSAVGTDINTSACKS
Bulger24/423257.7332-8
SEAC/ATTYDSAVGTDINTSACKS
Hasselbeck20/352166.2201-12

Rushing Leaders

STLCARYDSAVGTDLG
Jackson56412.8048
Faulk15513.407
SEACARYDSAVGTDLG
Alexander231506.5141
Strong3196.3011

Receiving Leaders

STLRECYDSAVGTDLG
Bruce67813.0027
McDonald27638.0152
SEARECYDSAVGTDLG
Jackson59118.2156
Robinson55911.8020

Scoring Summary

FIRST QUARTERSTLSEA
TD5:08SHAUN ALEXANDER 1 YD RUN (JOSH BROWN KICK)
Drive: 10 plays, 74 yds, 5:08
07
SECOND QUARTERSTLSEA
FG0:43JOSH BROWN 48 YD
Drive: 13 plays, 50 yds, 6:49
010
TD3:31MARC BULGER 9 YD RUN (JEFF WILKINS KICK)
Drive: 6 plays, 78 yds, 2:48
710
TD6:06JERRAMY STEVENS 24 YD PASS FROM MATT HASSELBECK (JOSH BROWN KICK)
Drive: 6 plays, 63 yds, 2:35
717
TD14:10DARRELL JACKSON 56 YD PASS FROM MATT HASSELBECK (JOSH BROWN KICK)
Drive: 5 plays, 90 yds, :53
724
THIRD QUARTERSTLSEA
FG14:04JEFF WILKINS 39 YD
Drive: 13 plays, 69 yds, 5:57
1024
FOURTH QUARTERSTLSEA
FG6:18JOSH BROWN 34 YD
Drive: 8 plays, 24 yds, 5:22
1027
TD9:26BRANDON MANUMALEUNA 8 YD PASS FROM MARC BULGER (JEFF WILKINS KICK)
Drive: 8 plays, 66 yds, 3:08
1727
TD11:30KEVIN CURTIS 41 YD PASS FROM MARC BULGER (JEFF WILKINS KICK)
Drive: 1 plays, 41 yds, :07
2427
FG14:52JEFF WILKINS 36 YD
Drive: 6 plays, 46 yds, 1:06
2727
OVERTIMESTLSEA
TD3:02SHAUN MCDONALD 52 YD PASS FROM MARC BULGER
Drive: 6 plays, 71 yds, 3:02
3327