ST. LOUIS — It started with a slip, became a stumble and turned into a face-plant.
That described the problem on Seattle’s final offensive play as tight end Anthony McCoy fell down, leading to St. Louis’ third interception of Russell Wilson. The tumble served as a pretty accurate metaphor for the Seahawks’ afternoon, as well, at the Edward Jones Dome, as Seattle spent four quarters showing how many ways it could trip over itself during a 19-13 loss at St. Louis that was as much a debacle as a game.
Coming off an unforgettable game against Green Bay on Monday, Seattle had a performance that will be remembered for its many errors, missed scoring chances and a another comeback that came up short when McCoy fell and Wilson was intercepted inside the St. Louis 30-yard line with a minute remaining.
“This was a really hard-fought game,” coach Pete Carroll said. “It reminds you so much of how hard it is to win in the NFL.”
And how easy it is to lose.
For the second time in seven days, Seattle’s defense was nothing short of dominant, and yet the Seahawks’ only victory in that time came courtesy of that disputed call Monday night against the Packers.
On Sunday, Seattle’s defense never gave up a touchdown, didn’t allow any Rams player to gain more than 55 yards from scrimmage and still lost as Seattle’s offense failed to find the end zone again after driving 80 yards for a touchdown on its first possession.
“I still think we played a good enough game to win the game,” safety Earl Thomas said. “We controlled what we could control.”
Not every Seattle player could say that, though. Certainly not the offense, which drove inside the Rams’ 20-yard line twice in the second half, only to settle for a field goal both times.
“You’re taking three instead of seven, that adds up quick,” tight end Zach Miller said. “And then you have to try to get it done at the end, and we couldn’t get it done.”
There were so many errors it was tough to say which was most critical. Wilson was intercepted three times, but none were strictly his fault. Seattle was assessed three personal-foul penalties, two of them on offensive tackle Breno Giacomini.
The Seahawks gave up a touchdown on a fake field goal, botched clock management to allow a Rams field goal at the end of the first half and then unsuccessfully attempted an onside kick to begin the second half.
That all occurred in a span of 2:25, beginning in the final 2 minutes of the first half and continuing into the second in an amazingly abominable stretch in which Seattle allowed 13 points.
It started when Seattle failed to recognize receiver Danny Amendola was still on the field during the fake field-goal attempt, allowing him to be wide open for a touchdown pass after Carroll failed to get the timeout he was calling for from the sideline.
Seattle then got the ball at its 20 with 1:11 remaining in the second quarter. Seattle had three timeouts to make something happen, if it wanted, while the Rams only had two timeouts, giving Seattle the chance to run out most of the remaining time, if the Seahawks preferred that route.
Seattle did neither, running the ball once, then throwing an incomplete pass to stop the clock before failing to convert on third down. Jon Ryan’s 31-yard punt gave the Rams the ball in Seattle’s half of the field, and three plays later, St. Louis kicker Greg Zuerlein kicked a 58-yard field goal to end the half.
Seattle opened the second half aggressively with an onside kick, which the Rams recovered at the Seattle 48. Seattle’s defense held the Rams without a first down, but Zuerlein’s leg meant St. Louis was in scoring possession as soon as it recovered the onside kick.
He kicked a 60-yard field goal, the longest field goal ever by a Seahawk opponent.
The Seahawks, meanwhile, could only kick themselves for this loss.