The Los Angeles Rams almost spoiled Russell Wilson’s brilliant night.
But the Seahawks quarterback was simply too good as Seattle picked up a critical 30-29 NFC West victory at home over the Los Angeles Rams aided by a huge missed field goal by Greg Zuerlein.
Wilson opened scoring with a stunning touchdown pass to Tyler Lockett in the first quarter that epitomized his trademark improv skills and set the tone in a pivotal divisional clash.
He ended the game by leading a go-ahead touchdown drive after the Rams had taken control of the game in the second half.
Rams punch back after Seahawks take control
Seattle looked ready to run away with things early, driving late in the second quarter while holding a 14-6 lead. But the drive stalled on the Rams 30-yard line with 1:38 remaining in the half.
Jason Myers missed a 48-yard field goal, and the Rams answered by scoring touchdowns to close the first half and open the second, taking control of the game.
But Wilson’s fourth touchdown pass of the night with 2:28 remaining into the bobbling hands of Chris Carson was the final shot of the night, giving the Seahawks a lead they would not relinquish.
The scoring drive was aided by a controversial roughing call on Clay Matthews when he hit Wilson as he threw the ball away with what looked like a legal shoulder-to-shoulder blow, giving Seattle a first down on the Rams 25-yard line.
Rams’ final shot comes up painfully short
The Rams had a shot to win the game on their final drive, but Zuerlein’s missed 44-yard field goal with 15 seconds remaining sealed the Seattle victory.
It was a stunning miss from one of the game’s best kickers who has eight career game-winning field goals on his résumé.
Zuerlein got his chance after the Seahawks failed to capitalize on a Jared Goff interception to Tedric Thompson with 2:12 left. Seattle went three-and-out on the ensuing possession and took just 30 seconds off the clock, setting Los Angeles up for what appeared to be the game-winning drive before Zuerlien’s kick sailed wide right.
Wilson continues torrid start to 2019
Wilson finished the night completing 17-of-23 pass attempts for 268 yards and four touchdowns. He regularly made the types of plays he’s become known for during his five-time Pro Bowl career, evading pressure with his feet and finding tight windows with his arm to come up with first downs and scores.
He also made plays on the ground, picking up 32 rushing yards on eight carries.
Wilson’s big night was the latest in an outstanding start to the 2019 season that saw him enter Thursday averaging 285.3 passing yards with eight touchdowns and no interceptions through four games. He’s still yet to throw a pick on the season.
Seahawks are contenders
Wilson’s excellence next to a running game anchored by Chris Carson and a rejuvenated defense rebuilt in the aftermath of the Legion of Boom has put the Seahawks back squarely in the Super Bowl contender conversation.
Carson tallied 118 rushing yards on Thursday and now has 380 rushing yards on the season. Rookie burner DK Metcalf is proving to be a premium deep threat while Lockett and tight end Will Dissly are regular, reliable targets for Wilson.
Seattle improves to 4-1 while sending its biggest division rival and the defending conference champions a game back at 3-2.
What about the Rams?
For the Rams, all is not lost after almost pulling out a divisional road win. But questions remain about Sean McVay’s once- unstoppable offense that clicked at times and sputtered at others as Goff did the same en route to 395 passing yards with a touchdown and an interception.
Todd Gurley picked up a pair of touchdowns, but still doesn’t look like the elite runner he was before last year’s still-mysterious knee ailment that plagued him through the playoffs. He finished with 51 yards on 15 carries.
The Rams are still a strong football team. But for now they’ve taken a clear backseat to the Seahawks in the division.
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