For the first time since 2004, the St. Louis Rams won in Seattle.
And the Rams not only beat the Seahawks in Seattle, but also swept the season series with their NFC West rivals in the process, as they put together a strong effort on all fronts to win 23-17 on Sunday. Seattle had no answer to St. Louis as their five-game winning streak was snapped.
“It’s nice to win three straight against good teams. We have a chance to go 5-1 in the division and finish on a winning note. That’s what our focus is going to be,” Rams coach Jeff Fisher said after the game.
If the Rams win next week against San Francisco, they will finish at .500 for the first time since the 2006 season.
And so far, the Rams are 3-0 since Rob Boras took over as offensive coordinator, and there seems to be a much more fluent style on the offensive side of the ball. Interestingly enough, however, it was the defense that put the Rams in the driver’s seat early on. With a 3-0 lead in the first, linebacker Akeem Ayers recovered a fumble and returned it 45 yards for a touchdown to make it a 10-0 game.
Offensively, quarterback Case Keenum made it three straight wins as a starter, completing 14 of 23 passes for 103 yards, as well as a 28-yard touchdown to Kenny Britt, who beat Seattle’s top corner Richard Sherman on the play.
As for rookie running back Todd Gurley, he finished the afternoon rushing for 85 yards on 19 carries, though he did not get into the end-zone. In two crucial moments during the game, offensive lineman Tim Barnes recovered two potential fumbles late, which kept the ball in the Rams’ possession.
Defensively, the game-plan was the same as it was during week one’s 34-31 overtime win: stuff the running game of Seattle, and force quarterback Russell Wilson to make erratic decisions. Both of the keys worked throughout the game, as the Seahawks were held to a mere 60 yards, the first time all year they failed to rush for 100+ yards. And while Wilson still had a productive outing, the pressure got to him, as William Hayes garnered three sacks on the day.
In the end, however, it wasn’t enough, as the Rams improved to 7-8 as they look to salvage a season that saw them go from being 4-3 to 4-8 and eliminated from playoff contention once again. There are still many questions about this team, especially heading into next year. But one thing is certain: this team is giving all the effort they can as the season draws to a close.
(Photo by Steve Dykes/Getty Images)