Russell Wilson sure made his case for MVP on Thursday night. In the Seattle Seahawks‘ 30-29 victory over the Los Angeles Rams, he threw for 268 yards and four touchdowns. The Rams had chances late to retake the lead, but Seattle’s defense stood tall, as Los Angeles kicker Greg Zuerlein missed a 44-yard field goal with just 15 seconds remaining.
Jared Goff again put together a subpar performance with the exception of some big throws. He completed 29 of 49 passes for 395 yards, one touchdown, and one interception. Todd Gurley rebounded from last week’s poor outing with 51 yards and two touchdowns. He was outplayed by Chris Carson on the other side, however, who rushed for 118 and also caught the game-winning touchdown.
This one came just as advertised: a tough, close divisional battle that came down to the very last play. Here are some takeaways from this excellent “Thursday Night Football” contest.
Why The Seahawks Won
Russell Wilson. The Seahawks franchise quarterback was phenomenal as he finished 17 of 23 for 268 yards for four touchdowns, zero interceptions and a 151.8 passer rating. Wilson made incredible throws throughout the night, starting with his amazing 13-yard touchdown pass to Tyler Lockett, placing the ball only where Lockett could grab it in the back of the end zone.
He even found D.K. Metcalf on a deep pass to show off Seattle’s vertical passing game (when they actually choose to use it). Wilson also had the game-winning touchdown pass to running back Chris Carson to give the Seahawks the lead for good late in the fourth quarter. The Seahawks needed Wilson to be perfect to beat the Rams. The passer rating doesn’t say Wilson had a perfect night, but no mistakes were made throwing the football.
Wilson has placed himself squarely in the MVP race by piling dominant performance after dominant performance to start the 2019 season.
Why The Rams Lost
There are plenty of factors that led to the Rams losing this shootout, but the obvious one is Greg Zuerlein’s 44-yard field goal attempt that went wide right with 11 seconds remaining that would have won the Rams the game. Zuerlein was 112-of-115 (97.4%) on kicks of 44 yards or shorter coming into the game, so there’s no reason for a Pro Bowl kicker of his caliber to miss it. The Rams didn’t do him any favors with a delay of game penalty on 3rd-and-10 from the Seahawks’ 30-yard line, forcing Jared Goff to throw a pass short right to Gerald Everett and recoup the yards back. Without the delay of game penalty, perhaps the Rams set Zuerlein up for a shorter kick inside of 40 yards and he converts it for the win. That doesn’t excuse him for missing a kick he makes on the regular.
A great NFL game without a blown call by the officials? If only that were true. On the Seahawks’ winning drive in the fourth quarter, Rams linebacker Clay Matthews was called for a controversial roughing the passer penalty on a Russell Wilson incomplete pass. Seattle had first-and-10 at the Rams’ 40-yard line as Wilson rolled out to his right and having no open receivers. With Matthews closing in, Wilson released the ball and appeared to be hit shoulder-to-shoulder by Matthews.
He was called for the penalty, giving Seattle a first down at the Rams’ 25. That led to Wilson’s heroics five plays later to give the Seahawks the lead for good.
Play Of The Game
The obvious answer is Wilson’s final Houdini act of the night. On fourth and goal from the Rams’ five-yard line, Wilson stepped up when the pocket collapsed and ran past two Rams defensive linemen. Before going past the line of scrimmage, Wilson found running back Chris Carson in the right corner of the end zone. Carson bobbled the football at first, but he completed the catch (his only catch of the night) to give Seattle the lead with 2:34 left.
Wilson’s final touchdown of the night was an impressive display of his athleticism and awareness, further cementing his status as one of the best quarterbacks in football.
“I thought Russell (Wilson) played one of the best games I’ve ever seen him play. I’ve never seen him have so much, speaking of magic, all of the plays that he came up with his legs … running for one, but also not just to get out of trouble, but find the receivers and make the throws, just one after the other. There was no room for error.” – Pete Carroll on Russell Wilson after the game.
Wilson continues to be one of the most underappreciated players in the NFL, even though e makes amazing plays for the Seahawks week in and week out. Seattle makes questionable decisions in-game along with many other factors, but Wilson continues his incredible play each week. He lives for these moments.
The Rams (3-2) have lost their second straight game, but the road doesn’t get any easier as they host the San Francisco 49ers in 10 days. The 49ers are the only undefeated team in the NFC and lead the NFC West. The Seahawks (4-1) will await to see how the 49ers play against the Cleveland Browns Monday night before they travel to Cleveland in 10 days. The Browns will be on a short week when they face the Seahawks.
Below, you can catch up on our live blog from during the game where we recapped the best highlights, Tweets, stats, and milestones.
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