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Seahawks fall to Rams 34-31 in back-and-forth season opener

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ST. LOUIS — Greg Zuerlein kicked a 37-yard field goal in overtime and the St. Louis Rams survived an 18-point fourth quarter rally by the Seattle Seahawks, beating the two-time defending NFC champions 34-31 on Sunday.

Down 31-24 with 53 seconds left, the Rams tied the game after Seahawks defensive back Dion Bailey stumbled on Lance Kendricks’ 37-yard touchdown catch. Cary Williams’ strip of Nick Foles and 8-yard return had put Seattle up by a touchdown.

The Seahawks opened overtime with an onside kick, as Bradley Marquez caught Steven Hauschka’s popped-up attempt. Officials ruled the ball was kicked directly in the air, so Marquez was OK to signal for a fair catch.

After Zuerlein gave the Rams the lead, the defense stopped Marshawn Lynch on 4th-and-1 from the St. Louis 42 to end the game.

The Rams sacked Russell Wilson six times.

Scoring recap:

Jimmy Graham made his first catch at a Hawk for a 1st down on the team’s first drive of the game.

Seahawks rookie Tyler Lockett is already making waves. Lockett was untouched on a 57-yard punt return to open the scoring against the Rams, who had been pushed back to their 3 in their opening series.

It was the second career touch for the third-round pick out of Kansas State. Lockett had a 103-yard kickoff return and 67-yard punt return for touchdown in the preseason.

St. Louis tied things up with the first play of the 2nd quarter. WR Tavon Austin rushed for a 16-yard touchdown. The Rams drove 80-yards down the field in 4:36 for the score.

On the Hawks next drive, Russell Wilson’s pass intended for Marshawn Lynch was intercepted by Trumaine Johnson. The Rams drive stalled in Seattle’s Red Zone. They took the lead with Greg Zuerlein’s 33-yard field goal.

The Seahawks got the ball back inside the 2-minute warning, but the drive stalled as the clock ticked down. Steven Hauschka kicked a 25-yard field goal to tie the game at 10 going into halftime.

Third quarter, Seahawks’ Jordan Hill recovered Nick Foles’ botched snap fumble and moved the ball into the red zone where Hauschka kicked a 27-yard field goal. Hawks led 13 – 10.

The Rams responded as QB Nick Foles connected with TE Jared Cook for a 30-yard pass. That set up a 1-yard touchdown rush for Foles. Rams took the lead 17 – 13.

The Hawks went three and out on their next drive as Russell Wilson was sacked for the fifth time in the game. Rams’ WR Tavon Austin received the punt and returned it 75-yards for a touchdown. Rams led 24 – 13 going in to the 4th quarter.

Lynch got his biggest run of the day at 24 yards as the Hawks drove down the field in the 4th. Wilson found Jimmy Graham in the end zone for a yard touchdown pass, his first as a Seahawk.

The Hawks opted to go for the 2-point conversion to pull within a field goal of the Rams, and they did just that with a handoff to Lynch. St. Louis led 24 to 21.

Then a break for the Hawks, Earl Thomas forced a fumble and Bruce Irvin recovered giving the Hawks the ball starting from their own 25. The Hawks would tie the game with a 35-yard field goal.

After kicking back to the Rams, new starting cornerback Cary Williams forced a fumble, scooped the ball and scored. The Hawks took back the lead 31 – 24.

With less than a minute in regulation, Dion Bailey lost his footing and Lance Kendricks caught a 37-yard touchdown pass to tie the game at 31.

The Rams won the coin toss in sudden death overtime and took the first possession.

Seahawks coach Pete Carroll gambled with an onside kick to open overtime against the Rams, but St. Louis was able to recover and will get the ball first.

They scored a field goal, but needed a touchdown to win outright. So the Hawks had the chance to tie with a field goal or win with a TD.

The Hawks made it into Rams territory, but could not convert on 4th & inches with a handoff to Lynch.

The Rams defeated the Seahawks 34 – 31.

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