The Los Angeles Rams traveled to Seattle to face the Seahawks in a battle for second place in the NFC West. The Thursday Night Football primetime matchup did not disappoint. Both teams were 3-1 coming into the game, with the Rams reeling from a shootout loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Seahawks cruising after an easy win off an Arizona Cardinals team still trying to solidify themselves. Both offenses and defenses were firing on all cylinders and it was a nail-biter to the end. The Seahawks snuck by with a 30-29 win as Rams kicker Greg Zuerlein narrowly missed what would have been a 44-yard game-winning field goal.
The Final Minutes
When the Seahawks intercepted Goff with a few seconds left before the two minute warning, their victory seemed nearly assured. Yet they found themselves unable to run out the clock after a botched 3rd-and-2 in which Russell Wilson couldn’t gain the outside edge and flipped the ball to Tyler Lockett for a loss of eight yards, forcing a punt. Goff found himself with a chance at redemption with 1:38 left and steadily drove downfield despite several contested incomplete throws. The fourth-year quarterback brought the team to a 3rd-and-10 at Seattle’s 30 yard line before inexplicably taking a delay of game penalty, pushing them back five yards. They would gain nine yards on the following play before the field goal attempt, but one has to wonder if avoiding that penalty would have changed the outcome of the kick. Alas, we’ll never know.
Rams Offense Moves Towards Balance, Defense Bounces Back
While the Rams offense may have put up 40 points against the Bucs in Week 4, the criticism was that star running back Todd Gurley needed more than just five carries. He received 15 for 51 yards against the Seahawks and the offense ran smoother because of it. Goff played well against a fast Seahawks defense, throwing nearly 40% of his passes 10 yards or further past the line of scrimmage, and avoided taking a sack.
The Rams defense, led by Aaron Donald and Donte Fowler Jr. put pressure on Russell Wilson the entire night and forced him to scramble constantly to escape sacks. Despite the success of the pass rush, the Rams secondary allowed several big plays including a 40-yard touchdown pass to receiver D.K. Metcalf while Donald and Fowler took a breather on the sidelines. Cornerback Marcus Peters was in coverage on the play and looked to be expecting help from his safeties, but they were nowhere to be found. In just the last week, Peters allowed a 67-yard touchdown pass to Bucs receiver Mike Evans, after which defensive coordinator Wade Phillips took blame for not giving Peters help up high.
Russell Wilson For Team MVP, Chris Carson Gives Seahawks Fans (And Himself) a Heart Attack
Down five points, on a 4th-and-goal with 2:34 left in the game, Russell Wilson stepped up in the pocket to avoid the rush, scrambled right, then lobbed an easy pass to a wide open Chris Carson. The sheer panic radiating off the running back as he bobbled the catch in the endzone likely resulted in hysterical screaming among Seahawks fans everywhere before he finally corralled it for what would end up the game-winning touchdown.
Dramatic catch aside, Carson recorded his second game of the season over a hundred rushing yards with 118 yards on 27 carries in a second straight week. Wilson remained cool under pressure and put on a clinic in scrambling, leading to an absurd average time to throw of 3.59 seconds while still demonstrating impressive accuracy. He hit on seven out of nine passes 14 yards or deeper to push the offense downfield and was efficient the entire night, ending with 17 out of 23 passes completed for 268 yards and four touchdowns.