Seahawks vs. Rams: The Surreal Bowl

Welcome to the Surreal Bowl.

The winner of the Seattle-St. Louis game will be NFC champs.

The NFL announced that the winner  will host the New Orleans Saints on Saturday, Jan. 9, at 1:30 p.m. in a game that will be televised by NBC.

If the Seahawks lose, they will have the eighth overall pick in the 2011 NFL draft, according to

There’s still a little suspense concerning Seattle’s starting QB. Will it be Charlie Whitehurst or Matt Hasselbeck, who strained a hip muscle last week. Hasselbeck warmed up before the game and seemed to be moving OK.  Seattle introduced its starting defense, so we still don’t know who will get the nod at QB.

Highlight play: Earl Thomas just nailed the Rams’ kick returner Danny Amendola with a one-armed tackle that flipped him head over heels.

There’s also some rumblings in the press box that the Seahawks are close to announcing a three-year deal with wide receiver Mike Williams.

Seahawks win the toss and Whitehurst will start at QB.

Good Start for Whitehurst

Charlie W was 5-for-5 for 85 yards, capping an 87-yard TD drive with a 5-yard scoring pass to Mike Williams. Seahawks 7, Rams 0, 11:38 left in first quarter.

Bogging Down

Seattle, faced with 2nd-and-1, couldn’t get a first down on consecutive runs on one possession.

On another, Charlie W missed a wide open Justin Forsett with a short pass that would have kept a drive going.

Still, with 8:54 left in the half, Seattle’s on top 7-3.

Okung Limps Off

Seattle rookie left tackle Russell Okung appears to have re-injured his left ankle. He was helped off with a little over 2 minutes left in the first half. He’s questionable for the rest of the game.

Halftime Thoughts

Seattle 7, St. Louis 3. The defenses have had their way for the most part. Seattle had 87 of its 167 yards on its first possession. The Seahawks have rushed for 22 yards; St. Louis has rushed for 34. Seattle’s going to have to win this one with its defense. So far, so good. I’m not sure if the football is as bad as some of us cynics up here in the press box are making it out to be. The best way to sum up  this titanic struggle: It’s NFC West football at its, ah, er … best. I think.

Charlie W. looks pretty good on paper. He’s 15 for 20 for 145 yards and a TD. No interceptions and a QB rating of 111.5. He’s also scrambled four times for 19 yards. Actually, he’s been pretty solid. The offense has been simplified and he’s doing what’s asked of him. He has, to date, outplayed ballyhooed rookie Sam Bradford, who was 10 for 16 for 93 yards and had four passes deflected or batted down at the line of scrimmage.

3rd Qtr Updates

Rams take advantage of first turnover of the game, a fumble by Marshawn Lynch, to kick a 27-yard FG at the 8:59 mark. Seattle 7, SL 6.

Okung is back on the field for the Hawks at left tackle, but guard Chester Pitts is out with a head injury.

Seattle goes 62 yards in 12 plays and come away with a 31-yard FG. Seattle 10, SL 6, 3:04.

“In the NFC West, they call this pouring it on,” said one wise scribe in the press box.

The Seahawks are on the move again as the quarter ends. They’ve got the ball at the St. Louis 40. It’s 3rd and 1. Twelve minutes away from winning the West and hosting a playoff game.

4th Quarter Updates

If you bet the under in this game, you’re probably like your odds right now. It was 41 1/2 points. Oddsmakers listed the Rams as 3-point favorites to win the game.

Seattle, after defense set up the offense with good field position, tacks on a 38 FG with 10:53 left. Seattle 13, St. Louis 6.

Seahawks chewed up 7:05 on a drive that resulted in another FG by Mare. Seattle, 16, St. Louis 6. 1:37 left.

Game Over

Seattle’s your NFC West champions. The 7-9 Hawks will take on the defending Super Bowl champion Saints (11-5) next Saturday. The celebration’s already started, but there’s 19 seconds to play. MVP? Charlie W? How about the Seattle defense that held the Rams to 184 total yards and two field goals.

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