Seahawks stop Rams’ high-powered offense in win
LOS ANGELES — Pete Carroll finally exhaled after the Seattle Seahawks held on for a 16-10 win over the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday.
“It’s been a long time since we’ve won in the Coliseum,” the Seahawks’ head coach said.
When Carroll was at the University of Southern California, he won with regularity in Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. But that was years ago. Last season, the visiting Seahawks were beaten by the Rams in their return to Los Angeles.
But on Sunday the Seahawks (3-2) took advantage of the Rams (3-2) losing three fumbles and throwing two interceptions in winning for the third time in four games to pull even with Los Angeles (3-2) in the NFC West.
“When you get five turnovers, you’re supposed to win,” Carroll said. “But it was an old-fashioned NFL ballgame that came down to the end.”
Many saw this game as the changing of the guard in the division. The Rams were the new hotshots eager to swat down the mighty Seahawks.
But the Rams were 0 of 4 in the red zone and couldn’t produce any last-second magic as the they were turned away near the end of the game on the Seattle 20-yard line. Two Jared Goff passes just missed wide receiver Cooper Kupp in the waning seconds.
“It wasn’t like we weren’t moving the ball,” said Goff, who was 22 of 47 for 288 yards and two picks. “We just weren’t finishing drives.”
Blair Walsh’s 35-yard field goal capped the scoring with a minute left.
The Seahawks took their first lead of the game at 13-10 on Walsh’s 49-yard field goal in the third quarter.
Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson was 24 of 37 for 198 yards with a touchdown and an interception.
The Rams’ red-zone woes continued late in the third quarter as they whiffed for their fourth time trying to score a touchdown.
Goff, with the ball on the Seattle 15, was intercepted by Sheldon Richardson on a tipped pass as Los Angeles was turned away again. Richardson later had a fumble recovery on a strip-sack by defensive end Frank Clark.
Greg Zuerlein, who made seven field goals in the win over the Dallas Cowboys last week, missed for the first time this year, from 36 yards, early in the third quarter.
Walsh’s 48-yard field goal tied the score at 10 as Seattle produced consecutive scoring drives before the half.
Wide receiver Doug Baldwin’s 4-yard touchdown catch with two minutes left in the second quarter pulled the Seahawks within 10-7. Wilson spotted Baldwin being tracked by safety John Johnson in single coverage and dropped in a perfect pass.
The teams traded turnovers early in the second quarter, with the Rams cashing theirs in for a field goal.
Zuerlein converted from 35 yards for a 10-0 cushion. The Rams got the ball when Johnson intercepted Wilson and returned it 69 yards.
Seattle seized the ball when Tavon Austin muffed a fair catch on a punt, with Seattle recovering and taking over at the L.A. 30.
Austin’s nifty 27-yard touchdown run to start the second quarter put the Rams ahead 7-0. After taking a handoff and cutting to the right, Austin set up safety Kam Chancellor with a stutter-step and bolted past him for the score.
The Seahawks caught a break when running back Todd Gurley II nearly scored on a 12-yard run. But Gurley reached for the pylon with the ball and when safety Earl Thomas swatted it away, it was fumbled out of bounds, a touchback was called and Seattle took possession.
“I saw a chance to strike on the ball,” Thomas said. “I did a great job, watching those Bruce Lee movies and trying to carry it over to the football field.”
And the Rams failed their first big test in the NFC West.
“We know they are good, but we are good, too,” Goff said. “We can do a lot better than that.”
But the Seahawks will gladly take the road win heading into their bye.
“It was really an exciting, hard-nosed, hard-fought, well-deserved win,” Carroll said. “I’m excited because they have that in their back pocket as they go take a little break right now.”
NOTES: The Seahawks signed DE Brandon Jackson from the practice squad and waived LB Justin March-Lillard on Saturday. ... DE Michael Bennett (foot) left the game in the second quarter but returned. ... DE Cliff Avril (neck) and CB Jeremy Lane (groin) were out. ... Rams safeties Lamarcus Joyner (hamstring) and Maurice Alexander (healthy scratch) were inactive. ... With nine rushing TDs, Tavon Austin has the most by any wide receiver since 2013. ... Greg Zuerlein’s missed field-goal attempt broke a steak of 28 straight from inside 40 yards.