We wondered how much resolve we'd see out of these Seahawks today.
They need to show even more now.
A first half of penalties, missed tackles, more blown pass protection -- plus one giant case of being inexplicably hoodwinked on a fake punt return for a long Rams score -- have the Super Bowl champions down 21-6 at halftime in St. Louis.
Only a remarkable turnaround will prevent Seattle from being 3-3 amid the fallout of wide receiver Percy Harvin fighting with teammates and then getting traded abruptly to the New York Jets.
Harvin left behind a mess.
Seattle started crisply with a long drive to start the game, with Marshawn Lynch getting five carries -- half of his total from last week's loss to Dallas one fewer than he had in Seattle's loss last month at San Diego. But that march bogged down inside the Rams' 10 and the Seahawks had to settle for a short Steven Hauschka field goal.
It went to Hades fast after that.
The defense got no pressure at all on Austin Davis, the Rams' fourth-string quarterback in August, and he had ample time to complete all nine of his passes in the first half.
Tharold Simon, making his first NFL start in his first league game because cornerback Byron Maxwell is out with a calf strain, had two major penalties in the first quarter -- a pass-interference to extend a Rams drive and a personal foul for grabbing the facemask of Rams wide receiver Brian Quick away from the ball on a running play. He could have had a third flag, but Simon got away with shoving Quick in the chest following a play before Quick retaliated and got flagged.
Simon left with an ankle injury. DeShawn Shead replaced him as the Plan C cornerback opposite All-Pro Richard Sherman. Then the half ended with usual nickel back Marcus Burley out there for Simon.
The most galling play was when Jon Ryan punted inside the Rams 10 to the right side of the field. St. Louis sent all its punt-return team to the left, opposite side of the field -- except for return man Stedman Bailey. Fellow returner Tavon Austin was on the left side where every other Ram ran. The Seahawks, all of them, followed all the 10 Rams to the left. Bailey caught the ball on the far right and ran 90 yards alone for the fake-punt-return touchdown. That made it 21-3 in the second quarter.
Chat live with us here from the press box in St. Louis at http://blog.thenewstribune.com/seahawks/2014/10/19/seahawks-vs-rams-live-chat/.
And read our postgame coverage, including more on why Harvin got traded and what the Seahawks have to say about it, at thenewstribune.com after however this turns out.