SEATTLE (AP) _ Two interceptions on his first nine passes were a bit too much like 2008 for Matt Hasselbeck. The Seattle Seahawks hope their quarterback's response is a sign of things to come in 2009.
Hasselbeck, hampered last season by nagging back injuries, recovered from his early picks to throw for 279 yards and three touchdowns Sunday and Seattle romped past the St. Louis Rams 29-0.
The Seahawks beat their division rivals for the ninth straight time and had their biggest win to open a season since a 38-0 victory over Philadelphia in 1998.
"Nothing but greatness," new Seahawks defensive tackle Colin Cole said. "Great games will come for this team."
That's something never uttered last season as Seattle flopped to a 4-12 record.
St. Louis looked like the same old Rams, who went 2-14 last year before giving former New York Giants defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo his first head coaching job.
About the only highlight was the debut of rookie middle linebacker James Laurinaitis, who had 14 tackles.
"I'm obviously disappointed in the result," Spagnuolo said. "But I'm not disappointed in the effort. ... If we turn that passion into productive play, we'll be OK."
Mora's revived Seahawks took advantage of a rare use of instant replay to cruise past the sloppy, undisciplined Rams, who pushed and shoved their way to 10 penalties. Two of them were personal fouls after plays by volatile offensive lineman Richie Incognito.
Running back Steven Jackson was more active while scuffling with Seattle's rookie fourth overall draft choice Aaron Curry after plays than he was rushing 16 times for 67 inconsequential yards.
"Would you rather us just get our tail kicked and walk back (to the huddle)?" Jackson said. "You saw some fight in this team."
Yet St. Louis gained just 247 yards in a result similar to a 38-3 loss against Philadelphia that opened last season.
Hasselbeck, playing his first game since Thanksgiving Day, overcame the rough start to connect with John Carlson for two touchdowns. The three-time Pro Bowler, who missed nine games last season with a bad back, finished 25 of 36 and had his most passing yards for an opener.
Mora got presented with the game ball by owner Paul Allen in the locker room after the game.
The former visiting locker room attendant for the Seahawks at the old Kingdome returned to his hometown for a day he said he'd thought of "for a long, long time." Yet he showed little emotion on the field. He looked almost stoic jogging off of it following his first win since the end of the 2006 season in Atlanta _ before the Falcons fired him.
"It was especially emotional for me, because there is some significance to it. I'd be lying if I told you there wasn't," the 47-year-old Mora said. "It was kind of a surreal experience."
The game's decisive _ and weirdest _ play came late in the first half. Seattle's Olindo Mare struck a 49-yard field goal try low. C.J. Ah You blocked it, and three other Rams could have. Quincy Butler scooped the ball and ran 49 yards for an apparent touchdown.
As the Rams were about to snap for the tying extra point, referee Pete Morelli announced the booth officials had called for a review _ for whether St. Louis had 12 men on the field.
They did. The Rams' sideline had almost no reaction to the unusual reversal. Three plays later, Hasselbeck found Nate Burleson for a 12-yard touchdown. Instead of 7-7 at halftime, Seattle led 14-0.
"Gigantic play," Mora said.
The Rams never recovered. They managed just 13 first downs against the new, attacking schemes of first-year defensive coordinator Gus Bradley. Marc Bulger, playing with tape on the knuckle of his broken right pinkie, was 17 of 36 for 191 yards. He was sacked three times.
Yet Spagnuolo sounded encouraged.
"We feel we are better than that," the new coach said. "And that's a good thing."