After three straight blowout wins, the Seahawks found a different path to victory against the Rams. This was a grinder game. Nothing came easily. It was the kind of game the Hawks can expect when they travel to (Washington or Dallas) for the first playoff game Sunday.
It was the perfect preparatory test heading into the playoffs, a game that felt as gritty as January.
Quarterback Russell Wilson was under fire. Rams' defensive end Chris Long made himself part of the Seahawks' backfield, sacking Wilson three times.
And, after playing nearly perfectly for most of December, the Seahawks committed penalties that cost them touchdowns and long gains. For the first three quarters, the Seahawks of December were looking a lot like the Seahawks of September.
It was a sobering reminder of just how elusive momentum can be.