ST. LOUIS (AP) – Even without their two starting wide receivers, the Seattle Seahawks just kept throwing the ball down the field.

Joe Jurevicius, vaulted to the top of Seattle’s depth chart because of injuries, had a career-best nine catches for 137 yards and a touchdown, and Shaun Alexander ran for a pair of scores in a 37-31 victory over the St. Louis Rams on Sunday.

The win put the Seahawks – playing without Darrell Jackson and Bobby Engram – in first place in the NFC West. Seattle (3-2) ended a four-game losing streak against the Rams that included a first-round playoff loss last season.

Steven Jackson had 79 yards rushing and a touchdown and 62 yards receiving for the Rams (2-3), who couldn’t keep pace due to a porous defense that has surrendered 81 points the last two games. Chris Johnson returned the opening kickoff 99 yards for a Rams touchdown, the team’s first runback in five seasons, but it was all downhill from there for St. Louis.

Rams coach Mike Martz was on the sideline calling plays after missing two practices last week while undergoing tests for a bacterial infection of a heart valve.

The Seahawks totaled 433 yards in total offense to hand the Rams a rare home loss. St. Louis is 40-10 at home since 1999, the best in the NFL.

Seattle clinched the win when Rams punt returner Shaun McDonald fumbled with 2:51 to go, and Jean-Phillippe Darche recovered it for Seattle at the St. Louis 37. The Seahawks drove to the 8 at the two-minute warning and, with the Rams out of timeouts, ran out the clock.

Both of Alexander’s scores followed Rams miscues. A 35-yard pass interference call on Travis Fisher came the play before Alexander’s 1-yard run, and his 18-yarder came four plays after an interception on an overthrown ball by Lofa Tatupu at the Seattle 44.

Jurevicius entered the game with seven catches but had no trouble finding holes in the Rams’ defense with a touchdown catch of 24 yards and another one of 52 yards. D.J. Hackett, the other replacement wide receiver, had five catches for 43 yards.

Seattle was turnover-free and got a 3-for-3 day from kicker Josh Brown, whose 28-yarder that put the Seahawks ahead 37-28 with 7:32 to go banged in off the left upright. Alexander had 119 yards on 25 carries and touchdowns of 1 and 18 yards, and Matt Hasselbeck was 27-for-38 for 316 yards and two touchdowns.

Marc Bulger was 26-for-40 for 336 yards with two touchdowns and an interception for the Rams. But the Rams were also stymied by poor field position and a shaky game from rookie punter Reggie Hodges, who averaged 33 yards on five attempts. St. Louis began drives at the 21 or worse on eight occasions.

Jurevicius’ previous receiving best came with the Bucs, eight catches for 100 yards on Dec. 8, 2002 against the Falcons.

AP-ES-10-09-05 1704EDT


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