The Seattle Seahawks were down 10-0 early against a Los Angeles Rams team looking to take a two-game lead in the NFC West, but the offense fought back to tie the game at halftime, take the lead in the 3rd quarter, add an insurance field goal in the 4th, and the defense did the rest. Between the defense and special teams, Seattle forced five turnovers, including three in the red zone, and fended off a Jared Goff comeback attempt in the final 1:09.
Seattle is now 3-2 and have moved into first place in the NFC West, and have the head-to-head tiebreaker on their rivals.
The Seahawks offense managed one first down before punting, then the Rams easily marched their way toward’s Seattle’s end zone with little resistance. Todd Gurley had a touchdown run called back after Earl Thomas knocked the ball loose right at the goal line, and the ball touched the pylon for a touchback. It was almost an identical play to Earl Thomas’ forced fumble on Benny Cunningham back in 2014.
Seattle’s ensuing possession yielded two first downs, with one via penalty and the other courtesy of a 3rd down conversion from Russell Wilson to Tyler Lockett. The Rams got the ball back and went three-and-out, only for Tannaver McEvoy to gift LA possession again with a double pass interception thrown to backup safety Cody Davis. J.D. McKissic was the intended receiver and he was open, but McEvoy’s throw was far too late. By the end of the quarter, Los Angeles had outgained Seattle 124-28 and were a bit unlucky to be held scoreless.
That issue of not scoring a touchdown in the 1st quarter was rectified early in the 2nd, as Tavon Austin took the handoff on a 3rd and 11 and easily scored on a 27-yard touchdown to make it 7-0 Rams. Austin would benefit the Seahawks by fumbling a punt on a fair catch, and Neiko Thorpe made the recovery at the Rams 30. Just when it looked like Seattle would get points on the board, Wilson threw a horrible lofty pass that John Johnson jumped and picked off, returning it deep into Seattle territory. Thankfully, the Seahawks defense held firm and only gave up 3. 10-0 Rams.
In desperate need of points, Wilson engineered a brilliant 15-play, 75-yard drive that took 7:34 off the clock. Wilson converted multiple 3rd down passes and made some money throws under pressure. Jimmy Graham put the Seahawks on the board with a 4-yard touchdown, easily winning the position battle against John Johnson. 10-7 Rams.
The Rams got the ball at their own 40 after Blair Walsh booted the kickoff out of bounds, but Seattle again forced a three-and-out and put themselves in a position to tie or take the lead. Despite two sacks taken by Russell Wilson in the two-minute drill, he was able to put the Seahawks in field goal range, and Blair Walsh knotted things up at 10-10 with a 48-yarder.
Jared Goff led the Rams deep into Seahawks territory, with Kris Richard’s defense playing poorly on 3rd and 10+ on more than one occasion. After actually managing a stop on 3rd and 12, Greg Zuerlein hooked a 36-yard field goal way wide right, marking his first miss in 20 attempts.
A wheel route throw to McKissic was the feature moment of Seattle’s go-ahead scoring series, although on the Rams side you could say that Mark Barron’s vicious hit on Jimmy Graham to deny the Seahawks a first down was pretty cool if you weren’t a Seattle fan. Blair Walsh split the uprights from 49 to put the Seahawks ahead 13-10.
Behind for the first time all game, Goff hit a big pass play to Cooper Kupp, and it didn’t take too long for the Rams to get to Seattle’s 15. From there, a self-sack by Goff after he tripped put the Rams well behind in down and distance, and on 3rd and 20, Sheldon Richardson intercepted a screen pass to deny the Rams red zone points for the third time in four trips.
Not only did the Seahawks not capitalize on the Richardson INT, but the referees wrongly flagged Tanner McEvoy for offensive pass interference, turning a 3rd and 2 into an eventual 3rd and 17. The two offenses exchanged three-and-outs, the Rams running game was getting stifled, but an illegal use of hands penalty by Frank Clark bailed out a failed 3rd and 12. A diving catch by Robert Woods put the Rams in Seahawks territory, but two plays later, Goff threw an errant pass right into the arms of Earl Thomas for one of the easiest interceptions of ETIII’s inevitable Hall of Fame career. Jarran Reed provided interior pressure by backing Rodger Saffold up, and Goff threw a wobbler in the middle of the field.
Despite great field position, the Seahawks gained just eight yards and punted again, squandering a chance to put the game to bed. After a debatable pass interference on KJ Wright prevented the Rams from being in 3rd down deep in their own territory, a huge play to Tyler Higbee got LA out of a bad spot. Looking for the go-ahead or game-tying score, Jared Goff was strip-sacked by Frank Clark, and Sheldon Richardson ran the fumble inside LA’s 30. It was the fifth turnover committed by the Rams, and one of the most amazing days for takeaways for the Seahawks in a long time.
With no timeouts left, the Rams needed another defensive stop or else the Seahawks would be able to run the clock out. Facing a 3rd and 6 after the two-minute warning, Wilson found Tyler Lockett, but he was stopped two yards short of the first. After a failed try to draw the Rams offsides, Blair Walsh drilled a 35-yarder to make it 16-10 Seahawks with 69 seconds left.
Jared Goff threw a 35-yard pass to Tyler Higbee to immediately put the Rams to the Seahawks 40. The next pass fell incomplete with :35 to go. Robert Woods beat Richard Sherman to get to the Seattle 20. Jared Goff spiked the ball with :17 left. He fired a pass way out of bounds with :12, setting up 3rd and 10. Cooper Kupp dropped a touchdown on 3rd down, as he went past Justin Coleman but couldn’t bring in the gimme. Goff went to Kupp again on 4th and 10, and it wasn’t even close. Double coverage and short of the end zone. Ball game.
Seahawks injury report
Michael Bennett walked off the field with trainers after hurting his foot towards the end of the 1st half. He did return to start the 2nd half.
Next week’s game
The Seahawks have a bye, then resume action on October 22nd at the New York Giants, who are 0-5 (likely 0-6 next week when they play at Denver) and probably just lost Odell Beckham Jr. for the season.