Special teams letdowns hurt Seahawks in 28-26 loss to Rams

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ST. LOUIS — Special teams brought down the Seattle Seahawks.

Russell Wilson became the first quarterback in NFL history to rush for 100 yards and pass for 300 yards, and the Seahawks had a huge statistical advantage over the St. Louis Rams.

The effort was wasted because Seattle was burned for three big plays and couldn't climb out of an early hole in a 28-26 loss on Sunday.

Coach Pete Carroll couldn't help but admire the tricks the Rams pulled.

"Some unbelievable cool things that they were able to do on special teams and it made a big difference," Carroll said. "We have work to do."

Wilson had 106 yards on seven carries, including a 19-yard TD run. He was 23 for 36 for 313 yards passing, with Doug Baldwin stepping up and catching seven passes for 123 yards and a TD, and six others had at least one reception.

"I really don't want to run, to be honest with you," Wilson said. "I'm trying to throw it all the time and keep my eyes down the field."

The 100-yard game was Baldwin's third in four seasons counting the postseason. Baldwin confirmed reports he'd scuffled with receiver Percy Harvin, traded to the Jets on Friday for a conditional draft pick.

"Yes, it is true," Baldwin said. "However, when you deal with somebody 12 or 14 hours out of the day, you're going to have issues and conflict."

Wilson said discussion of locker-room strife was "nobody's business."

"Our locker room is our locker room, and we keep everything in-house," the quarterback said. "He fought hard for us. Like I said, I wish nothing but the best for Percy."

The Seahawks were prepared for a fake punt, just not on fourth-and-3 from the St. Louis 18 when Johnny Hekker passed for a first down that helped run out the clock. Hekker is also the holder and has one career TD pass for the go-ahead score in a victory over Seattle in 2012.

"They're a big fake team on the special teams," special teamer DeShawn Shead said. "We was on high alert. They just executed."

Stedman Bailey had a 90-yard touchdown on a trick return that fooled the Seahawks into thinking another player was going to catch the punt, and Benny Cunningham's 75-yard kickoff return out of the end zone on a squibbed kick that had the Seahawks counting on a touchback set up an early touchdown for the Rams (2-4).

The Rams won for just the third time in 19 games against Seattle after somehow recovering a fumble by Tre Mason in the final minute. The Seahawks' Richard Sherman had the ball after it popped out of Cory Harkey's grasp, but Harkey apparently grabbed it back in the scrum

NFL spokesman Michael Signora said the play was reviewed by the league and that there was "no evidence of a clear recovery by either St. Louis or Seattle."

"I thought we had the ball," Wilson said. "But I guess not."

Hekker was a high school quarterback and is 4 for 5 for 60 yards and a touchdown in three seasons. He also serves as the emergency quarterback.

The Seahawks (3-3) have lost two straight for the first time since the middle of the 2012 season.

Seattle outgained the Rams 463 yards to 272. Baldwin's' 9-yard reception cut the deficit to two with 3:18 to go, but the Rams were able to run out the clock after Hekker's completion to Cunningham on fourth-and-3.

Wilson was sacked three times by St. Louis, which trailed the NFL with just one in the first five games. Robert Quinn's got his first of the season; Quinn led the NFC with a franchise-record 19 sacks last year.

The Rams led by at least two touchdowns at home for the third straight game and Bailey's punt return made it 21-3 midway through the second quarter. They couldn't hold on the first two times, coughing up a 14-0 advantage last Monday night against the 49ers, and a 21-point cushion against Dallas in Week 3.

On his tricky TD, Bailey had clear sailing past a stunned Seahawks sideline after an excellent fake by Tavon Austin drew most defenders to the opposite side of the field. Austin sold it well, staggering under the imaginary ball.

"They hokey-dokeyed us," punter Jon Ryan said. "In that situation, we're at the 50-yard line, that ball is going to the left 100 percent of the time, so I'll leave it at that.

"I'm screaming, but too little too late."

AP NFL website: http://www.pro32.ap.org and http://www.twitter.com/AP_NFL

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