Cooper Kupp Lifts The Rams To A Series Sweep Over The Division Rival Seahawks
I want to get two things out of the way early:
- That missed PI call was awful and Ernest Jones got lucky.
- DeeJay Dallas kicking the ball on the unsportsmanlike penalty was the real final nail in Seattle’s coffin tonight.
The Rams have had wins that could be called ugly, fugly, pug ugly, and tonight’s win was the rare win that was ugly-ugly. That’s okay, they can’t all be Kid Gorgeous level wins and in December a win is a win. The Rams are 10-4 and tied for the NFC West lead against a freeeee… freeee faaaaallin Cardinals team. Tonight was not only a sweep of the Seahawks but possibly the last time Aaron Donald will sack Russell Wilson while he’s a member of the Seahawks so tonight while ugly-ugly, was special. No one understood that more than Cooper Kupp who made history tonight and more importantly HAD to make history tonight.
Kupp finished with 9 catches, 136 yards, and two touchdowns. His 120 receptions on the season put him one ahead of the legendary Issac Bruuuuuuuce for receptions in a single season for the Rams. Kupp was incredible all night, taking advantage of a COVID-depleted Seahawks secondary. The Rams were dealing with a massive COVID situation of their own and it almost consumed them as well. They were without both Rob Havenstein and Joseph Noteboom so Bobby Evans had to start at tackle and YIKES. The Rams struggled to block for Matthew Stafford (21/29 214 yards, two TDS) all night as he was sacked four times. Evans was easier to get past than the admissions board at Arizona State. That said, he wasn’t the only one. The returning Brian Allen struggled as well and the line felt off the entire night. In addition to getting sacked four times, Stafford and Kupp weren’t in sync on an atrocious interception.
The offense picked up steam in the second half as Sony Michel pounded the ball for 18 carries and 92 yards. He was a beast for the entire second half, despite Seattle’s run defense giving the Rams fits all night. Darrell Henderson had 23 yards which were largely aided by Andrew Whitworth who gave the extra push allowing for two Henderson first downs. Early in the game, the Rams seemed like they’d play themselves out of a win due to penalties, drops, miscues, and weird Sean McVay calls but luckily they looked the way they did the last two weeks despite not being able to run their 12 packages. They even used Van Jefferson in a good old fashion jet sweep in the third quarter.
Defensively, Raheem Morris’s unit was HEROIC. Early in the game it looked like Rashaad Penny was going to gash the Rams all night long, but the front seven rallied. Von Miller recorded his first sack as a Ram and as is tradition, Donald sacked Wilson in the fourth quarter. Despite getting two PI calls, Jalen Ramsey‘s return to the lineup did not disappoint. He locked down D.K. Metcalf, most notably on a third-down play where Metcalf looked to have Ramsey beat only for 5 to swat the ball away. Greg Gaines once again stepped up to get pressure on Wilson and despite giving up a Dallas touchdown they didn’t break. Russ even had a pick to Taylor Rapp to seal the win.
Getting back to the no-call for a moment, yes that must have sucked for Seahawks fans (Rams fans will gladly swim in their tears), but they also weren’t able to do anything with the many opportunities they had. They had 214 yards of offense and failed to take advantage of a Rams turnover and several stalled drives. Pete Carroll exhibited poor clock management and bad play-calling. They failed to do anything creative or make up for the lack of Tyler Lockett. It’s too bad that the no-call will define this game but it wouldn’t be the first time a bad Seattle performance was glossed over.
Special teams didn’t even screw up this week. Matt Gay nailed all his kicks, the punts were decent, and Brandon Powell even had a decent return. The big take away though was Kupp as he was all over the field. His two touchdowns were a showcase of what he can do on a weekly basis to make life hard on opposing defenses. He had a short goal-line grab and his second touchdown was a grab out of thin air. He is now only four touchdowns from setting the all-time Rams record for touchdowns in a single-season set by Ellroy “Crazy Legs” Hirsch who had 17 in 1951. He won’t win MVP or OPOY even if he sets the triple crown and it’s already a bigger travesty than Dallas not getting that PI call.
This wasn’t the best Rams win of the year but it was another example of how despite having the deck stacked against them they found a way to win. Yes, they had some help from the refs Next week they should get a few more bodies back as they have a super short week ahead of their game at Minnesota. No matter who is out there for the Rams as long as they have Kupp they have a chance. Even when the team looks like Kid Moe.