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Originally published September 30, 2012 at 7:46 PM | Page modified September 30, 2012 at 10:32 PM

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Seahawks passing game holding offense back

For the third time this season, Seattle had the ball at the end of the game, needing a touchdown to win. "That's all I ever ask for, especially...

Seattle Times staff reporter

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ST. LOUIS — For the third time this season, Seattle had the ball at the end of the game, needing a touchdown to win.

"That's all I ever ask for, especially playing the quarterback position," rookie Russell Wilson said. "The opportunity to have the ball with two minutes left in whatever situation it is."

But after three last-minute chances, a disputed call is all that separates Seattle from three losses in those situations. And after Sunday's game, there's bound to be some conversation about whether Wilson is holding this team back.

The Seahawks' defense played well enough to win this game, holding St. Louis to four field goals — two of them of the exceptionally long variety. Seattle ran the ball well enough to win, too, outgaining St. Louis 179 yards to 75 on the ground as Marshawn Lynch ran for more than 100 yards for the second time this season.

The passing game was the problem, Seattle's difficulties manifesting themselves in the form of three interceptions, trouble converting third downs and a continued struggle to score touchdowns from inside the opponent's 20-yard line.

"I thought he was efficient and sharp and doing things well," coach Pete Carroll said of Wilson, "but when three picks happen, you've got to take a look and see."

Those interceptions weren't all — or even mostly — Wilson's fault. The first interception was the result of a cornerback blitz, Janoris Jenkins hitting Wilson as he released the ball to cause a fluttering pass that linebacker Rocky McIntosh fielded almost like a punt.

The second pick resulted from a throw that wasn't wise and was a little behind Doug Baldwin, but Seattle's receiver had his hands on it when St. Louis cornerback Trumaine Johnson snatched it away.

The final interception came on a pass in which tight end Anthony McCoy slipped and fell on his route after the ball was already released and headed directly to cornerback Bradley Fletcher.

"All three of them, you can kind of tell what happened," Carroll said of the interceptions.

The third-down difficulties might turn out to be the more telling problem. Seattle had nine third downs on Sunday and converted two — both were on runs. Wilson was 0-for-3 passing on third down with an interception, and he was sacked twice.

Seattle drove inside the St. Louis' 20 on three occasions, twice settling for field goals. The only touchdown Seattle scored was the result of an 18-yard run by Lynch.

After the game, Carroll was asked if Seattle was getting enough production from its quarterback.

"He's running the plays we're calling," Carroll said. "He's running the plays we're calling, and he's doing all right. We'll see. I'll watch the film and see where we are."

The questions about the quarterback will only be amplified this week with Matt Flynn looming in the background as an alternative to Wilson, who completed 68 percent of his passes against the Rams, none for more than 17 yards, and for the second time this season failed to finish off a comeback.

"He's showed he can move us, and made some great plays," Carroll said. "He ran around really well and was accurate with the football for the most part. I'm still thinking he's improving and getting more comfortable and all that."

Danny O'Neil: 206-464-2364 or doneil@seattletimes.com. On Twitter @dannyoneil.

QB Wilson's statistics this season
Rookie Russell Wilson has not been an impact player yet in the league.
Game Att Comp Pct. Yds Avg. TD Int Sack QB rating Rush yds
at Arizona 18 34 52.9 153 4.5 1 1 3 62.5 20
Dallas 15 20 75.0 151 7.6 1 0 2 112.7 28
Green Bay 10 21 47.6 130 6.2 2 0 1 99.3 18
at St. Louis 17 25 68.0 160 6.4 0 3 2 45.8 14
Total 60 100 60.0 594 5.9 4 4 8 73.5 80
Source: NFL.com

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