SEATTLE — Mike Holmgren walked into the Seahawks' locker room at halftime and pleaded for his kickoff-return unit to provide a spark for his sputtering team.

SEATTLE — Mike Holmgren walked into the Seahawks' locker room at halftime and pleaded for his kickoff-return unit to provide a spark for his sputtering team.

Minutes later, Nate Burleson took Holmgren's request literally and turned it into a 91-yard return for a game-changing touchdown and the Seahawks pulled away from winless St. Louis 33-6 on Sunday.

"Whatever coach says, you've got to adhere to it," Burleson said after the first kickoff score of his life. "But it's like super heroes stuff. I don't know if I can do that every time."

Seattle overcame Matt Hasselbeck hurting and Shaun Alexander being shut down and booed again to climb back atop the weak NFC West entering its bye week.

The Rams, on the other hand, are off to the worst start in their 70 years in the NFL.

Seattle led just 10-3 at the half, and St. Louis had only 41 total yards. Hasselbeck was feeling the sting of a hit by Claude Wroten that strained his right oblique muscle.

One play before Josh Brown's 38-yard field goal in the second quarter made it 10-3, Wroten drilled his helmet into the quarterback's right ribs on an incompletion. When Hasselbeck threw high off Bobby Engram's hand and into the arms of Ron Bartell for an interception at the Rams 19, he grabbed his side in pain with both hands.

Many of his passes after that fluttered weakly and mostly to the turf. Hasselbeck was 3-of-11 for 39 yards after Wroten's hit until Burleson's game-breaking touchdown return to start the second half. Seattle seized the game by outscoring St. Louis 23-3 in the second half while needing Hasselbeck to throw just 10 times.

Burleson choked the Rams' hope for a breakthrough win. He took the second-half kickoff, ran through a tackle near midfield and then shook off Jonathan Wade at about the 20 for his first career kickoff score. He punctuated it doing a preening shake and waving of the arms like a hawk. The Seahawks soared from there.

The Rams welcomed back quarterback Marc Bulger back to the offense after a two-game layoff in a way no one should ever be welcomed.

With lead runner Steven Jackson out for the fourth consecutive game with a partially torn groin, the Rams had to rely on the passing of Bulger. And Seattle knew it.

Bulger was sacked seven times. Four were by Darryl Tapp, who played the final three quarters with a boxing-like glove over a broken bone in his right hand. Bulger fumbled three times, lost two, and finished 21-of-40 for 225 yards passing with three interceptions.

"I'm a little angry about things. Embarrassed about things. Frustrated about things. There are no good emotions," said Bulger, who limped through the locker room.

Tight end Randy McMichael said: "Right now I am embarrassed to be a (Ram). It is pathetic."

Alexander finished with 47 yards on 19 carries.

Hasselbeck finished 18-of-35 for 195 yards in 31/2; quarters, his second-lowest passing output of the season. He had two touchdowns and an interception.