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Take 2

A different spin on sports by The Seattle Times staff and readers.

December 30, 2013 at 11:49 AM

Seahawks reaction: What national media are saying about Rams beatdown

Here is some of the reaction from national media about the Seahawks after Sunday’s victory over the St. Louis Rams.

Terry Blount, ESPN.com

The Seahawks (13-3) played one of their best games when they needed it most.

The defense was a virtual brick wall, holding the Rams to 13 yards rushing on 18 carries, a complete turnaround after allowing 200 yards rushing in the 14-9 victory earlier this year in St. Louis. Zac Stacy, who rushed for 134 yards in the first meeting, had 15 yards on 15 carries. …

This was the game that proved how good the Seahawks can be. There were some doubts over the past three weeks.

Mike Coppinger, NFL.com

The path to the NFC Championship goes through Seattle.

The Seahawks clinched home-field advantage throughout the NFC playoffs with their 27-9 victory over the St. Louis Rams.

CenturyLink Field is one of the toughest places to play in the league, and Seattle will be well rested after a first-round bye. NFC contenders beware.

Bernie Miklasz, St. Louis Post-Dispatch

(Jeff) Fisher-coached teams are fierce and aggressive; those are good qualities. They are welcome attributes. But it all falls apart when their motivation and emotion overheat too often.

Moreover, the desire to be chippy and edgy all but invites extra scrutiny and the likelihood of increased infractions. The NFL refs are aware of the Team Fisher reputation; I have to think that’s a factor in how they call the game.

And wily opponents are also aware of how to set the traps for the Rams to walk into. The Seahawks exploited the Rams’ overzealous ways.

Seahawks fullback Michael Robinson likened playing the Rams to a “bar fight.” But here’s the difference: Seattle’s players understand that mental toughness can be even more important than physical might.

Jim Thomas, St. Louis Post-Dispatch

For the Rams, CenturyLink Field has become the place where seasons — and dreams — go to die. Small dreams maybe, but dreams nonetheless.

• In 2010, the 7-8 Rams lost a winner-take-all game for the NFC West title to the Seahawks, 16-6, on the final game of the regular season.

• In 2012, the 7-7-1 Rams had a chance to finish with a winning record for the first time since 2003 but lost 20-13 to the Seahawks, in their regular-season finale.

• And then came Sunday. No suspense this time. With a chance to have their first .500 season since 2007, the Rams were dominated by the Seahawks 27-9 to end the 2013 campaign.

Happy New Year. Auld Lang Syne. Maybe next year.

Chris Burke, SI.com

Tough finish to the season for a Rams team that probably was the best last-place team in the league. Not only did St. Louis drop a 27-9 decision in Seattle, ensuring a sub-.500 year, but also Jeff Fisher’s team totally lost its cool en route to 12 penalties — including several 15-yarders. The worst of the bunch: an ejection for Kendall Langford, who inadvertently knocked the hat off an official.

Referee Jeff Triplette’s crew should not be let off the hook here either. Widely considered one of the most error-prone refs in the league, Triplette allowed this one to get extra chippy, then put his foot down on Langford for almost no reason.

Jacson Bevens, SB Nation

Even my ribs hurt after that game. It’s been a while since I’ve watched a game where the narrative so heavily outweighed the stats. This was two ferocious teams playing ferociously, without abatement, for 60 sinus-crushing minutes. And it was awesome.

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