Coming up just a yard short in a winnable game made Seattle's loss that much more frustrating, especially given the resiliency shown by the club in battling back from a double-digit fourth quarter deficit.
The Seahawks had scored 18 consecutive points to seize back control but strong safety Dion Bailey inexplicably tripped while in coverage of Rams tight end Lance Kendricks, allowing an easy touchdown down the left sideline with just under a minute remaining in regulation to allow St. Louis to tie the game.
Bailey, of course, is starting in place of holdout Kam Chancellor.
St. Louis took the early advantage in overtime with a field goal after corralling a highly aggressive onside kick attempt by the Seahawks to start the extra period.
Following the game, Pete Carroll explained that the onside kick wasn't executed correctly, indicating that kicker Steven Hauschka was expected to kick the ball deeper.
By doing so, Foles only had to complete two passes to put Greg Zuerlein in position to kick an easy field goal. On a pass that reminiscent of the one Tony Romo completed to Terrance Williams in the Dallas Cowboys' win last year in Seattle, Foles lofted the ball perfectly down the right sideline to slot receiver Stedman Bailey, beating Seattle's All-Pro combination of Richard Sherman and Earl Thomas on the play.
As was the case for much of the game, Seattle's inability to control the Rams' defensive front ultimately was the deciding factor.
Donald's natural leverage advantage over new left guard Justin Britt made the going tough on Seattle's inside. Robert Quinn - the 2014 NFL sack king - beat Russell Okung for two sacks of his own and the Rams finished with six total on the day.
Center Drew Nowak misfired on several shotgun snaps. Right tackle Garry Gilliam held up pretty well in pass protection but was blown up by Michael Brockers on the deciding 4th and 1 rushing attempt by Lynch. Brockers didn't make the tackle but his penetration on this particular play ruined an inside run that Seattle had been using effectively throughout the game.
The Rams dynamic defensive line forced offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell to call a very conservative game with a focus on short passes that initially kept Jimmy Graham under wraps. Some of that is due to the familiarity Rams' defensive coordinator Gregg Williams has with Graham, after working against him for years under head coach Sean Payton in New Orleans. Williams' schemed Graham out of Seattle's game plan a bit, dedicating double coverage to Seattle's splashy off-season acquisition throughout much of the game.
As the game went on, however, Graham became more and more of a factor, showing off his remarkable catch radius by pulling in a quick out for an early fourth quarter touchdown to spark Seattle's comeback.
On the Rams next series, it was another Thomas making what appeared to be the biggest defensive play of the game for the Seahawks, popping the ball free from the arms of Rams' running back Isaiah Pead. Bruce Irvin recovered the fumble for the Seahawks, ultimately earning the club a game-tying field goal from Steven Hauschka.
It was one of the new members of the Legion of Boom, however, who delivered the even bigger play moments later.
With no receiver to his side, cornerback Cary Williams lined up tight to the line and blew past Rams left tackle Greg Robinson to hit Foles from behind, scooping up the ball and returning it seven yards to complete Seattle's stirring 18-0 fourth quarter run.
It wasn't to be, however, as the resourceful Foles guided St. Louis on a 12-play drive to steal back momentum and send the game into overtime.
The loss is particularly frustrating for Seattle because the club did so many things that normally result in wins - including winning the turnover battle (3 to 1) and time of possession (37:27 to 28:32)) battle. The Seahawks surrendered 352 total yards to the Rams, however, not including a 75-yard punt return touchdown from Tavon Austin.
It was Seattle's own dynamic returner, Tyler Lockett, who got things going early for the Seahawks,
Drafted to provide a boost to Seattle's return game, Lockett took the first official punt of his NFL career back for a thrilling 57-yard touchdown that gave the Seahawks an early 7-0 lead. Once he'd secured the ball, Lockett quickly climbed through traffic and broke into the open, ruining pursuit angles with his instant acceleration.
Though Jermaine Kearse beat him with three grabs for 30 yards in the first half, Lockett was arguably Seattle's most dynamic weapon on offense over the first two quarters, as well, gaining much of his 26 receiving yards after the catch. He didn't catch another pass until overtime, however, with Kearse ultimately leading the team with eight receptions for 76 yards.