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EPA Replay, Week 5: The 10 biggest plays from the Seahawks’ victory over the Rams

NFL: Seattle Seahawks at Los Angeles Rams Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

As is typical for matchups between the two teams, Sunday’s Seattle Seahawks-Los Angeles Rams game was not pretty. Reflecting the spirit of the game, the list of top 10 plays below includes a muffed punt, missed field goal, Jared Goff scramble, and intercepted screen pass, among others.

For an overview of EPA and this series, see my intro article here. Onto the plays:

#10. Q1 3-8 LA 23: (2:28) (Shotgun) Jared Goff pass short middle to Tyler Higbee to LA 35 for 12 yards (Kam Chancellor).

EPA:2.68. Score before play: LAR0, SEA0. SEA WP change: 54-> 46. TD% before: 25. TD% after: 40

I chose this angle because you can see Higbee boxing out Kam on this play. Nice job by Goff hanging in the pocket.

#9. Q3 3-10 MID 50: (13:21) (Shotgun) J.Goff scrambles up the middle ran ob at SEA 28 for 22 yards (K.Chancellor).

EPA:2.71. Score before play: LAR10, SEA10. SEA WP change: 47-> 37. TD% before: 32. TD% after: 52

Wagner and Wright both blitzed. When neither got home, there was no one left to stop Goff from picking up the 1st on 3rd and long.

#8. Q3 4-12 SEA 18: (10:00) Greg Zuerlein 36 yard field goal is No Good, Wide Right

EPA:3.57. Score before play: LAR10, SEA10. SEA WP change: 42-> 51. TD% before: 3. TD% after: 24

#7. Q2 3-11 SEA 27: (14:20) (Shotgun) Tavon Austin right guard for 27 yards, TOUCHDOWN.

EPA:4.04. Score before play: LAR0, SEA0. SEA WP change: 44-> 30. TD% before: 33. TD% after: 100

Well blocked by the Rams up front. Kam has no chance against Austin in space.

#6. Q3 3-20 SEA 25: (:56) (Shotgun) J.Goff pass short left intended for Todd Gurley INTERCEPTED by Sheldon Richardson at SEA 24. S.Richardson to SEA 29 for 5 yards (Cooper Kupp).

EPA:4.22. Score before play: LAR10, SEA13. SEA WP change: 52-> 63. TD% before: 30. TD% after: 21

Could have been a huge gain if the pass were on the money, but luckily for Seattle the pass was off the mark and Richardson was able to capitalize.

#5. Q1 2-5 SEA 12: (9:25) T.Gurley left end for 12 yards, TOUCHDOWN. The Replay Official reviewed the score ruling, and the play was REVERSED. T.Gurley left end to SEA 1 for 11 yards (Earl Thomas). FUMBLES (E.Thomas), ball out of bounds in End Zone, Touchback.

EPA:4.82. Score before play: LAR0, SEA0. SEA WP change: 37-> 50. TD% before: 49. TD% after: 27

See Samuel Gold break down this play on Field Gulls here. God bless Earl Thomas.

#4. Q4 2-10 SEA 49: (6:17) (Shotgun) J.Goff pass short middle intended for T.Higbee INTERCEPTED by E.Thomas at SEA 35. E.Thomas to LA 46 for 19 yards (C.Kupp).

EPA:5.06. Score before play: LAR10, SEA13. SEA WP change: 53-> 75. TD% before: 34. TD% after: 9

Nice job by Reed collapsing the pocket.

#3. Q4 1-10 LA 43: (2:57) (No Huddle, Shotgun) J.Goff sacked at LA 35 for -8 yards (Frank Clark). FUMBLES (F.Clark) [F.Clark], RECOVERED by SEA-S.Richardson at LA 40. S.Richardson to LA 20 for 20 yards (Andrew Whitworth).

EPA:5.51. Score before play: LAR10, SEA13. SEA WP change: 56-> 87. TD% before: 28. TD% after: 4

Playing without the master of the strip-sack, Cliff Avril, Seattle got a huge play with Clark blowing by star LT Andrew Whitworth. This play added 31 percentage points in win probability.

#2. Q2 4-7 SEA 29: (12:36) Jon Ryan punts 42 yards to LA 29. T.Austin MUFFS catch, RECOVERED by Neiko Thorpe at LA 30.

EPA:5.61. Score before play: SEA0, LAR7. SEA WP change: 21-> 38. TD% before: 19. TD% after: 51

Austin’s second muffed punt of the game. This time Seattle recovered.

#1. Q2 1-10 LA 15: (10:39) (No Huddle) Russell Wilson pass short right intended for Luke Willson INTERCEPTED by John Johnson at LA 12. J.Johnson to SEA 19 for 69 yards (R.Wilson).

EPA:8.92. Score before play: SEA0, LAR7. SEA WP change: 40-> 17. TD% before: 53. TD% after: 4

This was the largest EPA play of the game, and would have been even bigger if not for the heroic efforts of Russell Wilson preventing the pick-6, as detailed here by John Fraley.

Final thoughts

The Seahawks head into their bye week at 3-2. If they are able to defeat the New York Giants (currently 0-5) in their next game, Seattle will have played 4 of their first 6 games on the road and emerged with a 4-2 record with no losses within the division. It hasn’t always been pretty, but it isn’t the worst place to be.

Seattle will then look forward to 6 home games in its final 10 games, including playing host to 2 of the likely challengers for a first-round bye: the Philadelphia Eagles and Atlanta Falcons. Both of those games are scheduled for primetime, with the Falcons coming to town for Monday Night Football and the Eagles being scheduled as the Sunday Night Football game. There is a lot of football left to be played, but as Pete Carroll likes to say, everything is there for the taking.