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Rams Keep Things Simple in a 23-7 Loss to Seahawks

TIMES STAFF WRITER

Following the game plan, if not a prescription for successful football, the Rams plodded to a 23-7 loss to the Seattle Seahawks on Saturday night before 47,834 at Anaheim Stadium.

It was night for missed field goals and offsides calls and boos when things got especially unnerving in the third quarter.

The Ram offense, determined to control the football even if that meant looking decidedly lackluster, checked its creativity at the door.

“I don’t think I saw anyone that didn’t play poorly,” Coach John Robinson said.

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“I think we have some work to do on offense, we certainly have some work to do at center. Tom (Newberry) had two holding penalties.”

The Rams close their exhibition schedule Thursday night in Memphis, Tenn., against the Houston Oilers. The Rams’ season will begin Sept. 1 against the Phoenix Cardinals.

When the Rams (1-2 in exhibitions) tried to open things up in the second half, quarterback Jim Everett threw two interceptions and their 5-11 record of last season didn’t seem that far away.

Everett ended the night 12 for 24 for 138 yards. Most of the Ram offensive attack was centered on the running game.

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Tailback Cleveland Gary carried 12 times for 46 yards in the first half. He finished with a game-high 50 yards in 17 carries.

“We had a lot of first downs that we couldn’t turn into touchdowns,” Gary said.

“That’s what preseason is all about. When the season comes around, hopefully we’ll capitalize on those first downs.

“We’re going into the stretch of the preseason. By the regular season, we’ll be OK.”

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At halftime, the Rams had 67 yards rushing on 18 carries, and held a 4:18 lead in time of possession.

They also trailed, 13-0.

Meanwhile, the Ram defense lacked the zip of Monday night’s performance against the San Diego Chargers, but generally did not embarrass itself. Seattle starting quarterback Dave Krieg completed 12 of 20 passes in the first half, similar to Billy Joe Tolliver’s 15-for-33 outing last week for the Chargers.

The first half was a field-position battle highlighted by field goal attempts.

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The only electrifying offense came at the end of the half, when the Seahawks performed a two-minute drill, culminating in a 31-yard scoring pass from Krieg to receiver Louis Clark. It was the first touchdown the Ram defense had given up in five quarters.

On the touchdown play, the Rams blitzed, leaving right cornerback Darryl Henley alone on the left side of the field with Clark. When the blitz failed to produce immediate chaos, Henley was beaten with newly signed Todd Lyght standing on the sidelines watching.

Lyght, who did not suit up Saturday night after signing a $5.5-million deal Friday, is expected to play right corner when he is ready.

The Ram offense finally began moving again in the fourth quarter. Backup quarterback Chuck Long got the Rams on the board with a 19-yard scoring pass to receiver Stacey Bailey.

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The Rams rushed 32 times for 105 yards--a 3.28 average.

Ram Notes

Disgruntled defensive tackle Doug Reed started at right tackle and played the first quarter and in spots in the second half. The Rams wanted to get a look at Reed in game action before making a decision this week on whether to trade, release or keep him.

Defensive end Kevin Greene (leg muscle), tackle Gerald Perry (right knee), guard Duval Love (left knee) and safety Alfred Jackson (right ankle) did not suit up for the game. Tailback Marcus Dupree (left toe) wasn’t scheduled to play, but saw limited action. Recently signed Fred Strickland played most of the fourth quarter at left outside linebacker.

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