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  • Rams hope to end another streak ..

    BY JIM THOMAS Thursday, September 30, 2010 12:10 am

    It has been so long since the Rams beat Seattle that, well, some Rams veterans have forgotten how long.

    Try the 2004 season.

    "Oh, wow," was cornerback Ron Bartell's reaction.

    It has been so long that ...

    The entire Rams rookie class was in high school.

    The Rams were the defending NFC West champions.

    And sellouts, the kind where every ticket actually gets sold, happened every Sunday at the Edward Jones Dome.

    Since then, the Rams have lost 10 in a row to the Seahawks, who visit the dome Sunday for a noon kickoff. It's the second-longest losing streak to an opponent in Rams history, exceeded only by 17 consecutive losses to San Francisco from 1990-98.

    Only two players on the current roster have experienced a victory over Seattle as members of the Rams long snapper Chris Massey and running back Steven Jackson.

    "They've just outplayed us the last couple years," Massey said. "We're working hard. Not all of the young guys know that they've won the last 10 games."

    Nor do all of them even care. When asked if the Seattle streak meant anything to him, rookie quarterback Sam Bradford said, "No. I mean, I haven't been here. Like I said, this is a new team. This is a fresh start. Obviously, we're going to play these guys twice this year and this is the first time."

    Steve Spagnuolo, a mere 0-2 against the Seahawks as Rams coach, brushed aside a question on the topic Wednesday, displaying typical coach's tunnel vision.

    "It wouldn't matter if we had won 10 games in a row, I would still want to beat them," Spagnuolo said. "So I'm just going to deal with this Sunday's game against Seattle and this particular 2010 Seattle team."

    That may be so, but if the Rams are going to claw their way back to respectability, they must start ending some streaks. On Sunday against Washington, they snapped a 10-game overall losing streak and ended their franchise-record 14-game home losing streak.

    This Sunday, they can not only end their 10-game losing streak to the Seahawks but also end a 15-game skid against NFC West foes dating back to November 2007.

    "Ten is a long streak, and I think we're primed to have our best game yet," said place-kicker Josh Brown. "We've had two games that we let go by (against Arizona and Oakland). We had one that we really played well last week (against Washington), and we still made a lot of mistakes. We've got a great opportunity against a good Seahawk team. Ten's a long run. But 10's enough."

    Brown is a double agent of sorts when it comes to this streak. He is in his third season with St. Louis and has been part of the last four Rams losses to Seattle. But before that he helped get Seattle off and running on the streak as the Seahawks' kicker.

    In 2006, he beat the Rams not once, but twice with last-second field goals. On Oct. 15 of that season, Brown's 54-yarder as time expired gave visiting Seattle a 30-28 victory over the Rams. Four weeks later in Seattle, Brown's 38-yard kick with 9 seconds left gave the Seahawks a 24-22 victory.

    If even one of those kicks sails just a few inches wide, the Rams win the NFC West title instead of Seattle and rookie coach Scott Linehan is a strong candidate for NFL coach of the year.

    "Yeah, it may be a completely different story," Brown said, then added playfully, "But that was not the case, so ..."

    Those two game-winners accounted for victories No. 3 and No. 4 in the Seattle winning streak. But they were far from the only excruciating defeats for the Rams in the series..

    In 2005, with the Rams trailing 37-31 in St. Louis, Shaun McDonald fielded a Seattle punt at the Rams' 40 with just under 3 minutes to play. But he lost control of the ball and Seattle recovered and ran out the clock. That was victory No. 1 for Seattle in the streak.

    In 2007, trailing 24-19 in St. Louis, the Rams had a fourth-and-goal from the Seattle 1 with 30 seconds to play. Jackson headed right for what could've been a dramatic game-winning touchdown, but never got the ball. Quarterback Gus Frerotte couldn't handle the snap from center Andy McCollum; Frerotte recovered the fumble but Seattle took over on downs. (Victory No. 6.)

    In 2008 came yet another game-winning field goal as time expired, this time a 27-yarder by Olindo Mare that gave Seattle a 23-20 victory, again in a game played in St. Louis. (Victory No. 8.)

    There was nothing dramatic or traumatic about the Rams' two losses to Seattle last season under Spagnuolo. The Rams lost 28-0 in Seattle to open the 2009 campaign and lost 27-17 at the end of November in St. Louis.

    Even though he played down the streak to reporters, Spagnuolo did in fact touch upon it in his remarks to the team earlier in the day.

    "Sure, we would like to end that streak," said defensive end Chris Long, who is 0-4 against Seattle. "I understand maybe people are antsy about losing 10 straight or whatever it is. But you can't look past right now.

    "There are different people in this locker room. Nothing against the people that used to be in this locker room, but just for whatever reason it wasn't working. We have this group of people here now. And we have this game Sunday, and anything can happen in that game."

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  • Nick
    Seahawks looking for redemption against Rams
    by Nick
    Seahawks looking for redemption against Rams
    By TIM KORTE
    AP SPORTS WRITER

    SEATTLE -- It was the game that has defined the season for the Seattle Seahawks - a collapse that's been questioned, dissected and rehashed since mid-October.

    Perhaps the most infamous 11 minutes in franchise history.

    "When all of us are done playing, we'll still remember it as one of the most embarrassing games we've ever played," cornerback Ken Lucas said. "You never forget a game like that."

    The St. Louis Rams rallied for a 33-27 win Oct. 10, erasing a 17-point deficit with 8:47 to play and scoring less than 3 minutes into overtime. With an almost unbelievable turn of events, they stunned the Seahawks.

    "Given the time that was left, the perfect chain of events had to take place for the Rams to have a chance," Seattle coach Mike Holmgren said.

    That's exactly what happened, but Seattle gets another shot this weekend.

    The Rams - who also beat the Seahawks 23-12 in St. Louis a few weeks later - return for Saturday's wild-card playoff, revisiting the site of their hallmark victory during a frustrating season.

    "We've used that a lot this year, any time we've faced some adversity," Rams quarterback Marc Bulger said. "A couple of weeks ago, we were 6-8 and we knew we had to win our last two. We reflected back to that final quarter in Seattle."

    What a quarter it was.

    Seattle led 27-10 after Josh Brown's 34-yard field goal with 8:47 to go. St. Louis made it 27-17 on Brandon Manumaleuna's circus catch with 5:43 on the clock, then Kevin Curtis caught a 41-yard TD pass to make it 27-24 with 3:37 remaining.

    St. Louis got the ball again, leading to a 36-yard field goal by Jeff Wilkins with 13 seconds left. On the sixth play from scrimmage in overtime, Bulger read an all-out blitz and flipped a 52-yard TD pass to Shaun McDonald.

    "Unbelievable feeling. It was one of those great feelings in sports," St. Louis safety Adam Archuleta said.

    "What it comes down to is you've got guys making plays," Rams coach Mike Martz explained. "There's nothing magical about what we were doing. The thing you talk about with these guys is attitude and never giving in to anything."

    How did it look from Seattle's side? Let's just say there were some really unfortunate events.

    Rocky Bernard was assessed a 15-yard penalty for hitting Bulger's face mask during a 20-yard completion on third-and-13. Shaun Alexander was stopped on third-and-1 to force one punt and Matt Hasselbeck was sacked for a 12-yard loss on third-and-5.

    The Rams earned that win, no doubt, but the Seahawks gave it away.

    "I probably needed to be humbled. I just want to say that I've learned my lesson,"...
    -01-07-2005, 12:26 PM
  • RamDez
    Rams want to show Seattle who is boss
    by RamDez
    Rams want to show Seattle who is boss
    By Jim Thomas

    Of the Post-Dispatch
    10/09/2004
    Leonard Little (above) says the Rams have been looking forward to the kind of test the Seattle Seahawks present.
    (Chris Lee/P-D)








    SEATTLE - Almost since the first preseason magazines hit the newsstands in June and July, the Seattle Seahawks have been portrayed as the team to beat in the NFC West and an up-and-coming power in the NFC.

    "There's been a lot of talk that they're going to overtake the NFC West, and that the Rams are fading," Rams wide receiver Torry Holt said. "It doesn't bother me none."

    Holt, in fact, agrees with that assessment. To a point.

    "They are an up-and-coming team in the National Football League," he said. "But we won 12 games (last season). We still are the champs of the NFC West. And until somebody dethrones us, then that's the way we're going to carry ourselves."

    And one last thing.

    "You still have to play," Holt said. "No matter what's being said in the papers and the magazines, we still have to go out there and strap it on. And they have to beat us, and we have to beat them."

    So the NFC West sorting process begins in earnest Sunday afternoon at Qwest Field. A victory by Seattle, which is coming of its bye week, puts the Seahawks at 4-0 for the first time in franchise history. It also puts the Seahawks three games up on the loss side against the Rams.

    But a Rams victory puts them at 3-2, and Seattle at 3-1 with the Seahawks traveling to New England on Oct. 17. A loss doesn't eliminate the Rams, but a victory means the division race is on.

    "This one will tell a lot about who's got early control of the division," Rams defensive captain Tyoka Jackson said. "The season's not over after this game, but. ..."

    As for all the Seattle hype?

    "Well, we heard the same thing last year, so what does that mean?" Jackson asked. "It means absolutely nothing, it's just talk. The game's played on the field. ... If we go out and play Rams football, it doesn't really matter."

    In their two victories this season, "Rams football" has meant a mix of running and passing on offense, zero sacks allowed by Rams blockers, and stingy defense.

    In their two losses, the Rams have been pass-happy on offense, allowed five sacks in both contests, and been overly generous on defense.

    There's no doubt Rams players like the more balanced approach on offense. They've been dropping hints whenever asked about the importance of the running game, as if they're almost hoping the head coach is listening.

    "To be balanced is great," offensive tackle Grant
    ...
    -10-10-2004, 01:13 AM
  • eldfan
    Rams face early test vs. the West
    by eldfan
    Rams face early test vs. the West
    By Jim Thomas
    ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
    09/12/2009

    Coach Steve Spagnuolo never looks back. He's always looking forward and wants his players to do the same. Maybe that's a good thing, considering the state of St. Louis Rams football in recent years. But the future arrives Sunday at 3:15 p.m. (St. Louis time) at Qwest Field in Seattle.

    If the Rams are going to do anything to get back to respectability, they've got to do better against the NFC West. Much better, beginning with the 2009 season opener against the Seahawks.

    Since the start of the 2005 season, Mike Martz's last go-around as Rams coach, the team is a woeful 4-20 against the NFC West, for a pitiful winning percentage of .167.

    (They're 15-25 for a .375 percentage against the rest of the league over that time. Which isn't great, but it's still more than twice as good as .167.)

    "We've got to do better in our own division," defensive end Leonard Little said. "That's the only way we're going to crawl out of this hole that we've been in the last two or three years."

    Since the start of '05, the Rams are:

    0-8 against Seattle. Five of those losses have been by six points or less, with three decided on last-second field goals. But the Rams haven't been very competitive in Seattle over that span. The average score of their last four trips to Seattle: Seahawks 31, Rams 14.

    2-6 against Arizona. Many blowouts here. The Rams have lost their last five games to the Cardinals and yielded at least 34 points in all five "contests."

    2-6 against San Francisco. These have almost all been close defensive struggles. Seven of the eight games were decided by seven points or less. The Rams have scored more than 20 points only once.

    Seattle's current eight-game streak against the Rams is a Seahawks franchise record over any opponent. The last Rams victory came during the 2004 playoffs, a 27-20 triumph at Qwest, with the winning points coming on a 17-yard TD pass from Marc Bulger to ... Cam Cleeland.

    "It's been a while," cornerback Ron Bartell said. "I haven't been able to experience one yet. So hopefully on Sunday I'll be able to get my first one against Seattle."

    Bartell isn't alone. Amazingly, only four players on the current roster have experienced a victory over Seattle wearing a Rams uniform Little, Bulger, running back Steven Jackson and long snapper Chris Massey.

    The Rams are 8 1/2-point underdogs Sunday, and they figure to be underdogs in most games this season. No one outside the walls of Rams Park expects much from the team this year, but that could work to the Rams' advantage. There are early signs that the team is developing a motivational chip on its shoulder.

    "To be honest, we don't...
    -09-12-2009, 12:00 AM
  • RamWraith
    Dome-ination:
    by RamWraith
    By Jim Thomas
    ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
    11/25/2007

    Then: From 1999-2004, the Rams won 43 of 53 games at the Edward Jones Dome
    Now: Rams are winless at the dome this year and have lost 12 of their past 16

    Over a period of six seasons, from 1999 through their last playoff season 2004 the Rams won 43 of 53 home games.


    There was no tougher place to play in the National Football League. You could almost see defenders' knees buckle during pregame introductions as the Rams ran out to the guitar riffs of "Kashmir," the Led Zeppelin rock classic.

    They don't play that song any more at the Edward Jones Dome. The Rams don't win there any more either at least not lately. Since the middle of the 2005 season, the Rams have lost 12 of 16 home contests.

    They are winless at home this season losing to Carolina, San Francisco, Arizona, and Cleveland. A loss Sunday against visiting Seattle would match the longest home losing streak for the Rams since the move to St. Louis in 1995. (Dick Vermeil's squad lost its last five home games of the '97 campaign.)

    No wonder the Rams have had trouble selling out the stadium lately. Of course, the Rams can begin to change all that, starting with Sunday's game against NFC West rival Seattle. A loss would eliminate the Rams from NFC West title consideration (though they would remain mathematically alive for a wild-card berth.)

    A win would extend Rams winning streak to three, no mean feat considering the team's franchise-worst 0-8 start. Just as importantly, it would be the first home victory for Rams fans since last Christmas Eve against Washington.

    "We definitely want to give that to them," linebacker Chris Draft said.

    In return, Draft is asking for a little help from the stands.

    "I asked the other day. I asked the fans for three false-start penalties," Draft said. "That means they've got to get loud. Seattle, you know, they've got their 12th Man. Last time we went there, they had Ichiro with a pink scarf on what was it, purple? getting the crowd up."

    Ichiro Suzuki, the Seattle Mariners' star outfielder, raised the "12th Man" flag at Qwest Field in pregame ceremonies, getting the crowd fired up for a 33-6 drubbing of the visiting Rams on Oct. 21.

    Draft doesn't want a "12th man" helping the Rams from the stands Sunday he wants about 65,000 men, women, and children.

    "If all St. Louis gets in that stadium, it's going to be deafening," Draft said. "I want three (false) starts. It can be more than that. But I want three false starts."

    Three or so Rams touchdowns wouldn't hurt either in a game that has met NFL sellout requirements, and will be televised locally (KTVI-Channel 2).

    "Home field is...
    -11-25-2007, 06:53 AM
  • RamFan_Til_I_Die
    Scoreless in Seattle: Spagnuolo era opens with a thud
    by RamFan_Til_I_Die
    Scoreless in Seattle: Spagnuolo era opens with a thud
    Associated Press

    SEATTLE -- The feisty, new-look Seahawks of coach Jim Mora attacked on defense during plays -- and scrapped after them.

    On offense, they showed balance between run and pass, and did a good job of protecting quarterback Matt Hasselbeck.

    It was as if 2008 never happened.

    St. Louis resembled the same old Rams, who hired Steve Spagnuolo as their head coach after going 2-14 last year.

    Hasselbeck, playing his first game since Thanksgiving Day, overcame two interceptions in his first three throws Sunday to connect with John Carlson for two touchdowns in Seattle's 28-0 romp past the Rams.

    Hasselbeck, who missed nine games last season with a bad back, finished 25 of 36 for 279 yards passing, his most for an opener.

    Seattle's first shutout in almost two years was its ninth consecutive win over its division rivals. It was also Seattle's biggest win to begin a season since a 38-0 victory over Philadelphia in 1998.

    "The whole offseason, they said our team was soft," said rookie outside linebacker Aaron Curry, the fourth overall pick who scuffled repeatedly with Rams running back Steven Jackson. "We've got to change our image."

    Mora was smiling after his first game as a head coach since the end of the 2006 season for Atlanta. Nine months ago, the Seahawks were 4-12 for Mike Holmgren.

    The former visiting locker room attendant for the Seahawks at the old Kingdome returned to his hometown for a day he said he'd thought of "for a long, long time."

    "It was especially emotional for me, because there is some significance to it. I'd be lying if I told you there wasn't," the 47-year-old said. "It was kind of a surreal experience."

    His revived Seahawks took advantage of a rare use of instant replay to cruise over the sloppy, undisciplined Rams, who pushed and shoved their way to 10 penalties.

    Two of them were personal fouls after plays by offensive lineman Richie Incognito.

    "Would you rather us just get our tail kicked and walk back (to the huddle)?" Jackson said. "You saw some fight in this team."

    Yet, St. Louis gained just 247 yards in an effort similar to its 38-3 loss against Philadelphia that opened last season.

    "Yeah, I'm not going there,'' said Spagnuolo, who was the Giants' defensive coordinator at the time. "This was the first game of the 2009 season, that's what it is. We didn't win. We will play the second game of the 2009 season next week. ''

    The game's most decisive -- and weirdest -- play came late in the first half. Seattle's Olindo Mare struck a 49-yard field-goal attempt low. C.J. Ah You blocked it, and three other Rams could have.

    ...
    -09-14-2009, 08:53 AM
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