Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson threw three touchdown passes and passed for 229 yards in a 24-3 victory over the Rams. Meantime, the defense bottled up Los Angeles quarterback Jared Goff.
Hey, the Seahawks showed they still know how to beat the Rams!
By the time the craziness of a game with 21 penalties, three players departing due to concussions, three Seahawks referee challenges, one punter attempting a pass and another punter rushing for the longest gain of the day had ended, it might have been easy to forget the nemesis that the Rams have been to Seattle.
The Rams entered the game having won three in a row against the Seahawks and four of the last five.
But while this game had more than its share of unsightly moments (and we don’t just mean the uniforms), Seattle ultimately got the kind of dominant victory that had been predicted with a 24-3 win over Los Angeles.
Now for some grades.
Other than a couple of really bad throws — including his career-high 11th interception late in the game — this was mostly the bounce-back performance Russell Wilson wanted as he threw for three touchdowns and 229 yards.
His favorite target was Tyler Lockett, who got the start ahead of Jermaine Kearse and finished with seven receptions for a career-high 130 yards and a touchdown.
That Lockett had moved ahead of Kearse in the receiving pecking order but then proved able to handle the responsibility likely means that’s a change that is here to stay.
But it wasn’t all good for the Seattle offense.
There was a thought the Seahawks would come and really try to bludgeon the Rams with the run.
But while Pete Carroll admitted that Seattle wanted to run it more than the Green Bay debacle, the Seahawks had trouble getting that done.
Take out punter Jon Ryan’s 26-yard run and the Seahawks had just 44 yards on 29 attempts.
That included 34 yards on 21 carries by Thomas Rawls.
Not that it was Rawls’ fault — he rarely seemed to have anywhere to go as the Seattle offensive line again struggled against the Rams’ front.
The Seahawks went back to Garry Gilliam at right tackle for the fourth quarter, with Carroll saying the team just wanted to see what Gilliam could do.
That’ll be something to watch going forward.
While Seattle finished with a 30-26 run-to-pass ratio, the Seahawks seemed to lack confidence in the running game during the series near the goal line in the third quarter, calling passes on three of four plays from the 2-yard line — the sequence that caused Richard Sherman to erupt at coaches. That the only run in that sequence was Marcel Reece getting stuffed for no gain, though, might help explain why the play calls went the way they did.
Also a blot for the offensive line — five false starts, three on rookie Germain Ifedi.
The Seahawks caught a few breaks early on two potential touchdown passes that Jared Goff simply missed on.
But this was mostly the dominant performance that was expected against an offense ranked 32nd in the NFL and that played like it throughout.
After getting just one sack in the last three games — and little pressure Sunday at Green Bay – the Seattle defensive front bounced back in a big way.
The Seahawks, who had blitzed just four times against Aaron Rodgers, had no issue throwing a lot of varied looks at Goff and ultimately finished with four sacks.
Frank Clark, quiet most of the last month, had 1.5 sacks as did Cliff Avril, who set a career high with 11.5 for the season. Michael Bennett had another (though it ended up being nullified due to a penalty away from the ball on the play) for what would have his first since returning from a knee injury.
The Seahawks also did a stellar job on Rams running back Todd Gurley, who was held to 38 yards on 14 carries — 22 on one play — with Ahtyba Rubin seeming to have one of his better games clogging up the middle.
The secondary was shakier as the Rams had some open receivers early. But Goff let the Seahawks off the hook a few times, notably when he underthrew Mike Thomas on a potential long TD in the first quarter.
There was good coverage throughout — tight end Brandon Williams had three tackles in coverage — some decent returns by Lockett (and one amazing catch on a punt) and then the run by Ryan, though a play on which he suffered a potential concussion. Seattle also benefited from the misfire on the pass by Rams punter Johnny Hekker on a fake that led to a Seattle field goal.