ST LOUIS -- The St. Louis Rams entered Sunday's game with only one sack all season, the worst start in league history.
But the Rams sacked Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson three times in the first half Sunday in another bad performance by Seattle's offensive line. Wilson was hit seven times and under duress 14 in the 28-26 loss to the Rams at the Edward Jones Dome that dropped the Seahawks to 3-3.
The offensive line was the weak link on a Super Bowl team last year. It still is, but it's worse now.
ESPN Stats & Information research shows Wilson was sacked, hit while throwing or under duress on 32.6 percent of his dropbacks Sunday. That's actually lower than his season average of 37.3 percent, which remains the worst rate in the league among 33 qualified passers.
He has been pressured on at least 30 percent of his dropbacks in five of Seattle's six games, the most in the NFL.
The Seahawks were also flagged for holding three times and had a false start. One holding call brought back a 15-yard touchdown by Marshawn Lynch. And it was called on Alvin Bailey, who was in the game to help block as a third tackle.
The Seahawks had 171 yards rushing, but that's misleading. Wilson rushed for 106 yards, most of which came when he was forced to scramble. The three running backs -- Lynch, Robert Turbin and Christine Michael -- rushed for 65 yards on 22 carries, less than three yards a carry.
By the way, in two of the three games in his career in which Wilson rushed for 100 yards, the Seahawks have lost because if he's running that much he's under too much pressure.
The line has been whistled for 14 penalties in the past three games that resulted in four potential touchdowns being called back. It isn't just one or two guys. Everyone is making mistakes at key moments that are hurting the offense.
St. Louis Rams rookie defensive tackle Aaron Donald, making only his second NFL start, consistently blew through the interior of Seattle's line. Donald had a sack, another quarterback hit and two other tackles for losses.
Yes, the offensive line is banged up. For a few plays Sunday they were down to their third-team center in Patrick Lewis when backup Stephen Schilling left the game briefly in the second half. And left tackle Russell Okung is playing with a labrum tear in his left shoulder.
Even so, the offensive line isn't playing well when all the starters are on the field and healthy. It appears to be a problem that isn't going away anytime soon, but Wilson remains optimistic after another game in which he had to improvise to try to stay upright.
"I think adversity is opportunity," Wilson said. "We have a team full of fighters. You can't look back. I believe in what we'll do moving forward."