Now the Seahawks head to Green Bay, needing to beat the team many regard as the favorite to unseat them as NFC champs to avoid falling to 0-2 for the first time since 2011.

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ST. LOUIS — A few days before making the annual trip to St. Louis, veteran Seahawks defensive tackle Brandon Mebane said playing in the dimly lit Edward Jones Dome is like being in the Twilight Zone.

So maybe it was fitting Sunday that the Seahawks and Rams played a game with a season’s worth of unexpected twists and turns.

The Seahawks would have preferred to write a better ending, though, after leaving with a 34-31 overtime loss and dropping their season opener for the first time since 2012.


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“It’s always weird with the Rams,’’ cornerback Richard Sherman said. “It’s always weird and interesting.’’

Add infuriating to that list on this day. The Seahawks appeared poised to use an 18-0 run to start the fourth quarter to rally from a 24-13 deficit and pull out a hard-fought win.

But then Dion Bailey, playing his first NFL game and replacing holdout Kam Chancellor at strong safety, fell down while attempting to cover St. Louis tight end Lance Kendricks, allowing Kendricks to waltz in with a 37-yard touchdown catch to tie the score with 53 seconds remaining.

“I just got my foot stuck in the turf and just fell down,’’ Bailey said. “I promise you it will never happen again.’’

And then normally reliable kicker Steven Hauschka simply mis-hit the ball on the kickoff to start the overtime, with the Rams recovering at the Seattle 49-yard line, setting up a short drive for the go-ahead field goal.

The Seahawks wanted Hauschka to hit a bloop kick to about the 15-yard line, with the thought of possibly recovering the ball, but at the least pinning the Rams deep. Had a St. Louis player touched the ball and Seattle recovered, the Seahawks could have simply kicked a field goal to win the game, because that would have counted as a Rams possession.

“That was a mistake on my part,’’ Hauschka said.

Then came maybe the oddest sight of all — a Seahawk team that was unable to convert a fourth-and-one to keep its final drive alive. Last year, the Seahawks rushed for more yards than any NFL team since 2006.

The game ended with Marshawn Lynch being swallowed up by the Rams’ Aaron Donald and Michael Brockers, unable to gain even an inch, let alone the needed three feet.

“Just got beat up front,’’ left tackle Russell Okung said. “That’s what it comes down to. Got to win on fourth-and-one. Got to win in those situations. We pride ourselves in winning in those situations. We didn’t get that today.’’

It was the offensive line — featuring new starters at three positions — that had been the source of much anxiety before going against a stout St. Louis defensive front.

The Rams’ defensive line had some predictable successes, sacking Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson six times and keeping Lynch from running at will (73 yards on 18 carries, 24 on one play).

But the Seahawks had some successes of their own, combating the St. Louis defense in the second half with an up-tempo offense — often going no-huddle — featuring plenty of quick passes, which allowed Wilson to complete 32 of 41 for 251 yards.

It also allowed tight end Jimmy Graham to finally get going, making five of his six receptions after halftime, including a 7-yard touchdown that cut the St. Louis lead to 24-21.

“This is as athletic a group as we are going to face,’’ Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said of the Rams. “They had an edge on us early. I think once our guys settled down, they played a lot better.’’

Still, the Seahawks scored just one offensive touchdown on 11 possessions. They drove for three field goals, and they got the other scores on a 57-yard punt return by Tyler Lockett in the first quarter and an 8-yard fumble return by cornerback Cary Williams in the fourth.

Williams hit St. Louis quarterback Nick Foles to force the fumble, then picked it up and ran into the end zone to complete an 18-0 scoring onslaught in a span of 7:25 that had the Seahawks on the verge of victory.

But then Bailey fell, Hauschka bungled the kickoff, and the Seahawks once again were left wanting for one more yard.

Wilson said he could have changed out of the call on the final play but added: “It’s a good play. It’s fourth-and-one, and we have the best running back in the National Football League. We’ll see if he can get it, and unfortunately, he didn’t.”

Now the Seahawks head to Green Bay, needing to beat the team many regard as the favorite to unseat them as NFC champs to avoid falling to 0-2 for the first time since 2011.

If that seems to some an already precarious position, Seahawks defensive lineman Michael Bennett protested otherwise.

“Maybe for the fair-weather fans or the people who don’t believe,’’ he said. “There will be a lot of chatter about Kam and all of that kind of stuff. But we’ve got to keep our motivation the same and keep grinding the way we do. Just got to make the plays you are supposed to make.’’

Quarterback comparison
Wilson was sacked six times Sunday while Foles was sacked twice.
Quarterback Att/Comp Yards TD Int Rating
Russell Wilson, Seahawks 32/41 251 1 1 90.1
Nick Foles, Rams 18/27 297 1 0 115.8