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Seattle Seahawks top Rams after goal-line stand

The Seattle Seahawks succeeded in their core objective Monday night in St Louis.

They beat the Rams, 14-9, to reach the halfway point of the regular season atop the NFC West at 7-1. On the surface, all is well.

But this was a performance best viewed from a distance. The Seahawks managed just 135 yards of total offense and converted seven first downs all night. The failures of the offense put serious strain on a defense that spent nearly two-thirds of the game on the field. The exhausted unit stepped up, making a goal-line stand on the final play of the game.

The Seahawks were lucky. They were the benefactor of a costly field-goal miss by Greg Zuerlein and some head-scratching play-calling by Rams offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer in the game's final seconds. It also helped that Kellen Clemens, not Sam Bradford, was under center for St. Louis.

Seahawks coach Pete Carroll called it a "very difficult night to watch the Seahawks," and he wasn't wrong. The team's lone offensive highlight was an 80-yard catch-and-run score by Golden Tate, and even that was overshadowed by an ill-conceived celebration that ended with a taunting penalty. Throw that play out and the Seahawks managed 55 yards on their other 39 plays. 

The offensive line needs to get better. The tackle play from Michael Bowie and Paul McQuistan was poor, allowing Robert Quinn and Chris Long to pile up three sacks apiece. At one point, Russell Wilson was sacked on four of five passing attempts. The line was no more favorable to running back Marshawn Lynch, who spent the night being dragged down in the backfield.

It's not all doom-and-gloom for the Seahawks. First off -- and we can't forget this -- they won the game. That core objective thing, remember? They also now head home to CenturyLink Field -- a building where they're nearly invincible -- to play the winless Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 9. A double shot of tonic for the troubled soul.

But that's not even the best news. Percy Harvin is practicing again, and don't be surprised if the wide receiver makes his Seattle debut on Sunday. A healthy Harvin is exactly the man to jump-start a stalled offense.

*The latest "Around the League Podcast" has takeaways from every Week 8 game. *

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