The Rams retained their unblemished record…but just barely.
In their toughest matchup to date, Head Coach Sean McVay had to make a very gutsy call to get the win over the Seattle Seahawks.
The Rams received the kickoff but went 3-and-out.
Things were looking rosy when Seattle had to punt out of their first possession. L.A. Linebacker Cory Littleton got a paw on the ball, and blocked it.
Rams Safety Marqui Christian grabbed it, advanced it and the Rams set up shop on Seattle’s 12-yardline.
A Seattle penalty gave L.A. 1st & goal from the 5.
The celebration was short. Two-plays later Rams quarterback Jared Goff’s pass was deflected, the Seahawks snatched it, and a 26-yard return set up Seattle’s first scoring drive, 0-7.
Goff hit wide receiver Cooper Kupp and running back Todd Gurley for big gains and then handed off to Gurley for a 2-yard touchdown. L.A. took the lead at the start of the Second Quarter with a 19-yard field goal from “new-hire” Kicker Cairo Santos, 10-7.
That set off a sequence of scoring on consecutive possessions, by both teams.
Seahawks QB Russell Wilson sent a 39-yard TD pass into the hands of WR Tyler Lockett.
Goff moved the Rams 70-yards on 8-plays (favoring Gurley) before getting the ball to Kupp for a 6-yard TD, 17-14.
The defense stepped it up and held the Hawks to a 52-yard FG just after the 2-minute warning.
L.A. inched across the field as time thinned. WR Brandin Cooks was taken out on concussion protocol following a cringe worthy helmet-to-helmet hit.
A fumble kept L.A. out of field goal range (FGR) so with 3-ticks left to tock, Goff put up a Hail Mary pass into the end zone.
Why not? There was nothing to lose.
The clock zeroed, the pass was intercepted, and they went to the locker room tied, 17-17.
Kupp would not return due to concussion protocol.
Back from the half they continued the alternating scoring trend.
Seattle received the kick and moved 75-yards on 9-plays to take the lead with a 3-yard TD pass.
Goff put together a 75-yard drive that began and ended with Gurley picking up short yardage…and a touchdown.
The Seahawks crossed the field and Wilson capped it with a 30-yard pass for another touchdown.
On L.A.’s next possession Goff handed the ball to WR Robert Woods, who swept to the right and galloped 56-yards into Seattle’s red zone.
Gurley scored his third TD of the day on a 5-yard run up the middle.
Santos missed the conversion.
At the top of the 4th Q the Rams trailed, 30-31.
The Seahawks bogged down, went backwards, and had to punt.
Their kick drew a fair catch, and the Rams started on their own 18.
Woods covered most of the terrain with two catches and a run, totaling 40-yards. But that promising drive got stopped.
McVay gave Santos another try. This time the kick (39-yards) was good and L.A. took the lead, 33-31.
With 5:57 left in the game, Seattle had the ball at their 22.
Wilson busted it wide open by targeting Lockett on a 44-yard catch and run. It put the Seahawks at the Rams 32, and well within FGR of Seattle’s Kicker Sebastian Janikowski.
Penalties pushed the Hawks back. It would be 63-yards for a field goal, which is Janikowski’s career long.
With 3:38 left, Seattle opted to punt.
L.A. ate 2-minutes but couldn’t get to midfield.
It was 4th & 1. Neither team possessed a time out.
L.A. could punt and hope their “D” might keep Seattle out of FGR, or they could take a gamble, get the 1st down, and kneel out the clock.
McVay’s intestinal fortitude was bolstered by his players.
They went for it.
Goff kept the ball and barreled ahead for a 2-yard gain…and the game.
The Rams play the Broncos in Denver, on Sunday.
God Bless and be gutsy.
Mark Felicetti encourages you to observe Cancer Awareness Month. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.