Reviewing The X-Factors In The Rams Win Over The Seahawks
The Los Angeles Rams earned a big division win over the Seattle Seahawks on Thursday Night Football at a hostile Lumen Field. The Rams avoided going 0-2 in division play which is a very good thing. It was ugly at times and a lot of weird things occurred but they pulled out a win and that is all that matters. The Seahawks fell to 2-3 while the Rams move to 4-1. Let’s look at the x-factors discussed prior to the game.
Spoil Russell Wilson‘s Cooking
Well, the Seahawks can only go as far as Russell Wilson will take them. So Aaron Donald removed him from the equation. On a pressure, Donald hit Wilson’s hand and it resulted in an injury that will sideline Wilson for 6-8 weeks. Prior to that though, the Rams were putting pressure on Wilson much better than they did against Kyler Murray and the Arizona Cardinals. Raheem Morris’ defense of course allowed some things to happen for Seattle but ultimately continued the trend of allowing yards but not points. The Seahawks only scored 17 points and 3 of those came on a garbage-time field goal.
Wilson and backup Geno Smith totaled 21/33 for 283 yards and 2 touchdowns. However, they also forced an interception by each quarterback. Jalen Ramsey tipped a ball that ended up in the hands of Troy Reeder, and later in the fourth quarter, Nick Scott all but sealed the win with the first interception of his career. Taylor Rapp gave up one target for 25 yards. However, Jordan Fuller finally looked like himself. He gave up a measly 1/3 targets for 4 yards.
Donald broke the official sack record for the Rams but he had help in pressuring the Seahawks. Leonard Floyd continued to have a good season with 4 pressures. Meanwhile, Terrell Lewis has emerged as a legitimate threat so long as he stays healthy. He totaled 5 pressures and recorded a sack. Greg Gaines and Sebastian Joseph-Day each added 3 pressures. Seattle’s interior offensive line allowed 8 of those pressures as they continued to struggle in pass protection. The Rams spoiling Wilson’s cooking as well as Smith’s cooking was one of the critical x-factors in this division win.
Darrell Henderson was a major reason the Rams were able to win this game. He allowed Sean McVay to remain balanced and Henderson was extremely efficient. Henderson’s final stat line was 17 carries for 82 yards averaging 4.8 yards per carry. He also added 1 reception for 17 yards. It was even better when you consider his average went down as a result of fourth-quarter runs to use up the clock. Throughout the game until then, he was averaging 6.6 yards per carry.
The starting running back did leave the game for a time after getting banged up. In his place, Sony Michel added 11 runs for 37 yards and 1 reception for 8 yards. The Rams utilization of Henderson was one of the more fun x-factors to watch in this game.
Halt The Seahawks Ground Attack
The Seahawks were missing Chris Carson this week due to a neck injury. Morris’ defense didn’t allow Seattle to run the ball effectively with their running backs. Alex Collins was the lead back and Seattle sprinkled in DeeJay Dallas and Travis Homer as well. The ground attack of the Seahawks totaled 20 carries for 59 yards and an inefficient 2.9 yards per carry.
Kenny Young played well but only acquired 4 tackles, largely because Donald and Joseph-Day accumulated 14 tackles and 9 stops. The front sevens balanced play was one of the most important x-factors in this game.
A “Get Right Game” For The Rams Passing Attack
Matthew Stafford and the Rams offense struggled mightily in the first half. Thankfully they came alive in the second half and moved the ball at will. Stafford had some of the same miscues we have been seeing early on. However, he tightened up and ended up throwing for 365 yards. The Cooper Kupp connection got back on track with 7 catches for 92 yards. DeSean Jackson also had another long reception that really seemed to swing the momentum in the Rams favor.
However, the biggest story was Robert Woods coming out party. Woods was called a war daddy during the broadcast surely due to his performance which ultimately looked like 12 catches for 150 yards. Getting Woods involved was clearly part of McVay’s plans this week and Stafford executed that plan well. The Rams picked on Sidney Jones who allowed 4 catches for 100 yards.
Stafford and his receivers didn’t clean everything up but they looked much better this week as they continue to build chemistry and timing. The Rams getting right in the passing game, particularly Woods’ involvement was one of the most exciting x-factors in this division rivalry.