Rams' rejuvenated offense makes an encore in victory over Seahawks

December 9, 2019 0 By JohnValbyNation

A playoff atmosphere permeated the Coliseum on Sunday — and with good reason.

Each of the Rams’ remaining games is essentially an elimination game as they attempt to make a run to a third consecutive postseason berth.

Coach Sean McVay felt it in the stadium before his team played the Seattle Seahawks.

“There was a buzz even just walking out,” he said.

The Rams stayed in the hunt for a third consecutive playoff appearance by defeating the Seahawks 28-12 before a crowd of 71,501.

Jared Goff passed for two touchdowns, Malcolm Brown and Todd Gurley rushed for touchdowns, and the defense neutralized Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson as the Rams improved to 8-5.

The Rams survived interceptions on consecutive third-quarter series, including one that was returned for a touchdown, and a blocked field-goal attempt thanks to a defense that has surrendered only a touchdown and two field goals in the last two games.

“It’s taken us a little while to get there, but I believe we’re hitting our stride at the right time,” safety Eric Weddle said.

The Rams’ victory does not affect their standing much in the NFC West.

San Francisco bounced back from a narrow loss to Baltimore and improved to 11-2 with a 48-46 last-second victory at New Orleans on Sunday. The Seahawks are 10-3.

But the Rams avoided falling off the pace for a possible NFC wild-card spot. They are chasing Minnesota (9-4), which defeated Detroit 20-7 on Sunday.

The Rams play the Cowboys next Sunday at Dallas, and then face the 49ers at Levi’s Stadium before concluding the season against Arizona at the Coliseum. The Rams probably need to win all of their games — and receive help from Vikings opponents — to secure a wild-card spot.

“We know what’s at stake,” edge rusher Dante Fowler said. “I mean, it’s no secret.”

Neither is the Rams’ mission.

“It’s more must-wins the rest of the way,” Weddle said. “We kept our season alive, and we’ve got to keep that energy.”

The Rams’ performance was uneven at times Sunday. But it was far better than the last time they played at the Coliseum. Two weeks ago, fans booed them during a 45-6 rout by the Ravens on “Monday Night Football.”

“That’s as bad as you can really get beat — on ‘Monday Night Football’ at home,” said Goff, who completed 22 of 31 passes for 293 yards, “and we’ve come back from that and shown that we do have some fight to us.”


Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson is sacked by Los Angeles Rams outside linebacker Samson Ebukam (50) and defensive end Morgan Fox (97) during the first quarter. 

(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)


Rams wide receiver Cooper Kupp sits in the end zone after catching a touchdown pass against the Seattle Seahawks in the second quarter. 

(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)


Rams wide receiver Cooper Kupp slips the tackle of Seattle Seahawks linebacker Cody Barton after a catch near the goal line during the second quarter. 

(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)


Rams running back Todd Gurley tries to sprint past Seattle Seahawks linebacker Cody Barton while carrying the ball during a touchdown drive in the second quarter. 

(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)


Rams tight end Tyler Higbee hauls in a pass from Jared Goff during the first quarter against the Seattle Seahawks. 

(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)


Rams quarterback Jared Goff is hit by Seattle Seahawks defensive tackle Jarran Reed after attempting a pass during the fourth quarter. 

(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)


Rams free safety Eric Weddle (32) and defensive end Michael Brockers (90) celebrate after stopping a Seattle Seahawks drive in the fourth quarter. 

(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)


Seattle Seahawks defensive back Quandre Diggs intercepts a pass intended for Rams wide receiver Brandin Cooks (12) near the end zone in the third quarter. 

(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)


Rams linebacker Travin Howard knocks the ball away from Seattle Seahawks tight end Jacob Hollister to prevent a touchdown during the second half. 

(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)


Rams cornerback Jalen Ramsey (20) prevents Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Malik Turner from catching a pass on fourth down. 

(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)


Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald (99) and linebacker Dante Fowler (56) sack Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson (3) late in the game. 

(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)


Rams wide receiver Josh Reynolds is flipped by Seattle Seahawks cornerback Quandre Diggs (37) after making a catch during the third quarter. 

(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)


Rams quarterback Jared Goff scrambles for a short gain against the Seattle Seahawks in the third quarter. 

(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)


Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson scrambles past Rams defensive tackle Sebastian Joseph-Day (69) during the fourth quarter. 

(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)


Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald pressures Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson during the fourth quarter. 

(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)


Rams cornerback Troy Hill (22) celebrates with teammate Marqui Christian (26) after intercepting a pass by Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson. 

(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)


Rams linebacker Dante Fowler tries to pump up the crowd in the final minutes of a 28-12 victory over the Seattle Seahawks at the Coliseum. 

(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)


Seattle Seahawks coach Pete Carroll walks off the field at the Coliseum following the Rams’ 28-12 victory. 

(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)


Rams quarterback Jared Goff gives a sweatband to a fan after leading his team to a 28-12 win over the Seattle Seahawks at the Coliseum. 

(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)

The Rams went into Sunday’s game coming off last week’s 34-7 victory over the Cardinals. It was a win that showcased what appeared to be the rejuvenation of an offense that featured heavy doses of Gurley, play-action passes by Goff, and career performances by Woods and tight end Tyler Higbee.

On Sunday, the Rams picked up where they left off, building a 21-3 halftime lead on Brown’s short touchdown run and Goff’s scoring passes to Woods and Cooper Kupp. The Seahawks scored on Quandre Diggs’ 55-yard interception return, but the Rams put together a 95-yard drive that Gurley capped with a touchdown run that featured the stiff-arm move he used so effectively in 2017 and 2018.

“Vintage Todd,” according to Goff.

“He’s a bad man,” Goff said. “That’s what I told him. He’s a bad dude.”

Gurley rushed for 79 yards and a touchdown in 23 carries. He also caught four passes for 34 yards.

Higbee caught seven passes for 116 yards, and Woods had seven catches for 98.

The defense made it easy for Goff and the offense by preventing the Seahawks’ offense from scoring a touchdown. That had not happened to Seattle since the 2017 opener against Green Bay.

“They played great,” Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said of the Rams. “They did just what they wanted to do.”

On Oct.3 at Seattle, Wilson torched the Rams for four touchdown passes in a 30-29 victory. But he faced a different defense Sunday, one that no longer featured cornerbacks Marcus Peters and Aqib Talib — who were traded — and now includes star cornerback Jalen Ramsey.

On Sunday, Wilson completed 22 of 36 passes for 245 yards with an interception. Linebacker Samson Ebukam sacked him twice, and Fowler and lineman Aaron Donald each had 11/2 sacks.

“They got up early, made some plays in the second half on defense, and stopped us on third down when they needed to,” Wilson said.

Ebukam said facing Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson, Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray and Wilson — all dual threats — in consecutive weeks rather than scattered throughout the schedule helped the Rams.

Gurley said this past week that the Rams were “scratching” to get into the playoffs.

“We’re still scratching,” he said Sunday.

McVay and his players refused to look ahead, even to next Sunday’s game against the Cowboys. All they can do, they reiterated, is continue to win.

“We’ll see,” McVay said, “if we can keep things rolling.”

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