St Louis slay Seahawks
Making the jump from Division II to the NFL has been pretty easy for St. Louis Rams kicker Greg Zuerlein.
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The rookie kicked four field goals, setting a club record with a 58-yarder and then topping it with a 60-yarder, and helped the Rams beat the Seattle Seahawks 19-13 on Sunday.
Not only is Zuerlein a perfect 12 for 12 on the year, he also was a perfect decoy on the biggest play of the day - a fake field goal that turned into a 2-yard touchdown pass from punter Johnny Hekker to Danny Amendola. The score put the Rams (2-2) ahead 10-7 late in the first half.
The Seahawks (2-2) lost six days after beating Green Bay when a botched call by replacement officials on the final play gave them the winning touchdown. Regular officials were back this weekend.
Marshawn Lynch led Seattle with 118 yards on 20 carries, including an 18-yard score on the game's first possession.
The Rams intercepted Russell Wilson three times, with Bradley Fletcher clinching it with a pick at the Rams 25 with a minute to go.
A week after sacking Aaron Rodgers eight times, the Seahawks got to Sam Bradford twice.
St. Louis is 2-0 at home, also beating the Redskins in Week 2. Attendance was announced as 53,193 but the 66,000-capacity Edward Jones Dome looked about half full with the Cardinals also playing across town in search of the second NL wild card.
The Seahawks may have had an emotional letdown after their last-gasp 14-12 victory over the Packers, with Golden Tate's disputed touchdown grab perhaps the play that hastened the regular referees' return.
Tate had one catch for 7 yards on Sunday.
Referee Mike Carey tipped his cap to fans as he walked onto the field, and also shook hands with Seahawks coach Pete Carroll and wide receiver Braylon Edwards. The only moment the officials were really noticed was when umpire Chad Brown got some razzing from fans after he slipped and fell while getting into position before the Rams punted out of their end zone in the third quarter.
Zuerlein was a sixth-round pick from Missouri Western. His 58-yarder had plenty of room to spare and the 60-yarder had just enough distance, putting the Rams up 16-7 early in the third quarter.
On the fake field goal, Amendola appeared to be leaving the field on fourth-and-goal from the 2, but stopped short of the sideline. He was all alone in the end zone, needing just a little bit of a jump when Hekker, a former high school quarterback, stood up and tossed a high spiral.
Carroll was frantically waving for a timeout but couldn't get the officials' attention before the snap.
Bradford was 16 for 30 for 221 yards and an interception. Wilson completed his first seven passes for 78 yards before his first incompletion early in the second quarter. He finished 17 for 25 for 160 yards.