|Seahawks QB Russell Wilson tied Peyton Manning's rookie record with his 26th TD pass of the season Sunday. (US Presswire)|
Seahawks QB Russell Wilson was hit early and hit often against St. Louis on Sunday, but that didn't keep him from picking apart the Rams secondary. Despite getting sacked a season-high six times, Wilson threw for 250 yards and a touchdown and ran for 58 yards and a another score as Seattle completed a perfect 8-0 run through its home schedule with a 20-13 win over the Rams at CenturyLink Field.
The 8-0 home record marks the first time since Seattle's Super Bowl season of 2005 that the Seahawks (11-5) have finished the season with a perfect record at home.
Thanks to our fans for helping us be undefeated at home in 2012! Best fans in the NFL! "SEA!!! HAWKS!!!" #12s— Pete Carroll (@PeteCarroll) December 31, 2012
The win didn't come easily though. Wilson was sacked six times by St. Louis -- including three times by Rams DE Chris Long -- but when Wilson found time to throw, he was on point. The rookie quarterback completed 15 of 19 passes, including a third-quarter touchdown pass that gave him 26 for the season, tying Peyton Manning's rookie record set in 1998. Wilson averaged a gaudy 13.2 yards per attempt, including four completions in the game that went for over 30 yards.
Wilson was clutch under pressure, too. With the game tied at 13 in the fourth quarter, the rookie quarterback engineered a 10-play, 90-yard touchdown drive that put the Seahawks ahead for good. Wilson went 3 for 4 on the drive for 53 yards and also ran for 16 yards, including a 1-yard touchdown run that proved to be the game-winner.
Rams QB Sam Bradford had a chance to answer Wilson's drive when St. Louis got the ball back at its own 20-yard line with 1:39 left. Bradford drove the Rams down to the Seattle 29-yard line before tossing an interception to Seattle CB Richard Sherman in the end zone. Bradford finished the game 25 of 42 for 252 yards and a touchdown.
In a game where Wilson and Bradford accounted for all three touchdowns, the only other scoring came from the kickers. Seahawks K Steven Haushcka was a perfect 2 for 2 on the day, hitting from 43 and 49 yards. Rams rookie K Greg Zeurlein finished the game 2 for 3, connecting from 39 and 25 yards, but missing wide right from 51.
When the game turned: The game result was in doubt until late in the fourth quarter when Sherman snatched Bradford's pass out of the air for an interception with 33 seconds left. Before the pick, the Rams had driven into Seahawks territory and were only 29 yards away from tying the game.
Highlight moments: Highlight moments were few and far between on Sunday. There were only two plays of over 40 yards in the game and they both came courtesy of the Seahawks and even more importantly, they both came on third down. Facing a third-and-2 in the third quarter, Wilson found TE Anthony McCoy for a 49-yard gain on a drive that ended with a Seahawks field goal... Then in the fourth quarter, Wilson did it again. On third-and-5, Wilson found WR Golden Tate for a 44-yard gain down to the St. Louis 29. The 44-yard pass play led to a Wilson 1-yard touchdown run that ended up being the game-winning points.
Top Shelf Performances:
- Seahawks RB Marshawn Lynch -- 18 carries for 100 yards, Lynch's 10th 100-yard game of the season
- Seahawks WR Golden Tate -- 3 receptions, 105 yards
- Rams DE Chris Long -- 5 tackles, 3 sacks, 3 QB hits
- Rams LB Jo-Lonn Dunbar -- Team-high 11 tackles, 1 sack
What they said about Wilson, who threw for 250 yards and ran for 58:
- Seahawks S Earl Thomas -- "We believe in him and the way he prepares. It definitely shows up on Sunday."
- Seahawks coach Pete Carroll -- "We don't want him to be a scrambler. We just love that he is."
Numbers you should know: 100.0. Wilson finished his rookie season with an even 100.0 QB rating, the highest in team history -- rookie or otherwise... 11. The Seahawks reached the 11-win mark for only the third time in franchise history (1984, 2005)... 1,500. Lynch became only the third Seahawks RB in team history to cross the 1,500 yard mark (Chris Warren, Shaun Alexander). Lynch finished the season with 1,590 yards... 11. Wilson joins Ben Roethlisberger (13 in 2004), Andrew Luck (11 in 2012), Matt Ryan (11 in 2008) and Joe Flacco (11 in 2008) as the only rookie quarterbacks to win 11 games... 8. With Seattle's win over St. Louis, Wilson now holds the NFL rookie record for most home wins in a season. Wilson passed Roethlisberger, who won seven in 2004.
Going forward: Seahawks -- The Seahawks will hit the road next week to play the Redskins in the Wild Card round at 4:30 p.m. ET Sunday (Fox). Seattle is 2-0 all-time against Washington in the postseason... Rams -- The Rams closed the season by winning four of six and finished the year with the best division record in the NFC West. Those are two things coach Jeff Fisher should be able to build on as the team looks ahead to 2013.
For more up-to-the-minute news and analysis from Seahawks blogger John Breech follow@JohnBreech and @CBSSeahawks.
Get more Rams updates and analysis from Larry Hartstein on Twitter @CBSRams.