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Steady Bulger spearheads Rams' rally
Steady Bulger spearheads Rams' rally
By Bill Coats
Of the Post-Dispatch
Sunday, Oct. 10 2004
SEATTLE - In the first 231 minutes and 18 seconds of the season - a span of
three full games and almost 3 1/2 quarters on Sunday - the Seattle Seahawks
grudgingly yielded 23 points.
Then like a bolt out of the blue Puget Sound waters near Qwest Field, the Rams
took just 11:44 to double that total, turning a 17-point fourth-quarter deficit
into a riveting 33-27 overtime victory.
Instead of slamming the door, the Seahawks opened it wide. Or perhaps more
accurately, the Rams battered it down. They charged back behind a poised Marc
Bulger, the fourth-year quarterback who shrugged off a woeful first half and
"led us to this victory," guard Scott Tercero said.
"That just goes to show the character of Marc Bulger," tackle Orlando Pace
added. "We knew he was going to bounce back. And as a unit, we just believed
and we continued to fight. Things just worked out our way."
Bulger piled up 273 of his 325 passing yards in the last two quarters and the
3:02 that overtime lasted until he found streaking wide receiver Shaun McDonald
for a 52-yard touchdown that numbed the record turnout of 66,940.
Fourth-quarter TD tosses of 8 yards to tight end Brandon Manumaleuna and 41
yards to wideout Kevin Curtis made it 27-24.
"We're just super excited," said Bulger, who connected on 24 of 42 passes. "If
we didn't make our comeback, everybody would be writing us off. Not that
everyone thinks we're one of the top teams in the league, but we have a lot
more credibility now. To do what we did at the end against the No. 1 defense in
the league, and on the road, it's huge."
Seattle (3-1) was cruising 24-7 at the break, and Bulger was struggling. He'd
hit on just eight of 14 passes for 52 yards and had been intercepted twice. His
passer rating was a meager 25.6.
Still, Tercero said he saw no sign of panic in Bulger. "One thing coach (Mike)
Martz always talks about is resolve and perseverance," Tercero said. "Marc
shows the most resolve out of all of us."
Said Bulger: "You've got to keep plugging. In my mind, if I just stick to the
course and keep doing what I'm doing, guys are going to get open. We gave (the
Seahawks) enough looks where they started to sit on different things, and it
While the defense limited Seattle to three points and 85 yards in the last half
and OT, Bulger progressively found a rhythm. On the tying drive, he hit Isaac
Bruce across the middle for 27 yards, then two plays later hooked up with Dane
Looker for 16. That set up Jeff Wilkins for a 36-yard field goal that made it
27-27 with eight seconds left in regulation.
In overtime, Bulger recognized a blitz and found Torry Holt for 13 yards on a
"hot" read on a third-and-6 play. On third and 8, three plays later, the
Seahawks blitzed again and Bulger adjusted again, this time hitting McDonald in
stride behind safety Terreal Bierria.
"I was just amazed at Marc's composure, the way that he was able to move around
the pocket and made some incredible throws," Martz said. "He's just a terrific
Bulger said he learned as the No. 3 QB in 2000 and 2001 that "the Rams teams
just don't quit; they can strike. Seattle today, they sat back a little bit and
thought they had it won. We play to the end."
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