SEATTLE SEAHAWKS

Rams rip injury-plagued Seahawks 42-7 to tighten grip on NFC West

Dec 17, 2017, 1:52 PM | Updated: 4:55 pm
Todd Gurley scored four touchdowns to lead the Rams past the Seahawks. (AP)...
Todd Gurley scored four touchdowns to lead the Rams past the Seahawks. (AP)
(AP)

The Seahawks’ path to the playoffs just got a whole lot more complicated.

The NFC West-leading Los Angeles Rams handed Seattle a kind of loss not seen since quarterback Russell Wilson joined head coach Pete Carroll in 2012, hammering the Seahawks 42-7 at CenturyLink Field.

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Now two games back of L.A. with two weeks remaining in the regular season, the 8-6 Seahawks are not only on the verge of being eliminated from the division title picture but are also on the outside looking in as it pertains to the NFC’s final wild card spot.

Here’s a quarter-by-quarter look at Sunday’s Seahawks loss.

FIRST QUARTER

Rams 13, Seahawks 0

In Week 5, the Seahawks handed the Rams a loss on their home field. Los Angeles got right to work on Sunday trying to return the favor, jumping out to a commanding early advantage. The Seahawks started the game with the ball, and while a 22-yard completion to wide receiver Tanner McEvoy gave Seattle a conversion on third down, it didn’t end well. A hard hit on McEvoy jarred the ball loose and the Rams’ Alec Ogletree jumped on the ball at Seattle 40 to end the Seahawks’ possession after just three plays. The Seattle defense was able to stall out the Rams’ offense five plays later, but Los Angeles was well into field goal range and Greg Zuerlein was good from 36 yards to give the Rams a quick lead. The Seahawks held on to the ball over their next drive, but they didn’t go anywhere but backwards – 10 yards backwards, to be exact – and punted after three plays. Los Angeles gained 37 yards on the ensuing drive, settling for another short Zuerlein field goal to push its lead to 6-0 after Eastern Washington alum Cooper Kupp dropped a Jared Goff pass that would have given the Rams a first down in the red zone. It wasn’t long after that the Rams got another chance at the end zone, though, and that one they would not miss. The Seahawks had to punt out of their own end zone on the next series, and Pharoh Cooper broke away for a 53-yard return, setting up an easy 1-yard touchdown run by Todd Gurley to give L.A. a commanding 13-0 lead. The Seahawks had to punt again on their next series, the third time in four drives (the other ended in the lost fumble), while the Rams were driving near midfield as the quarter came to an end.

Notable: A 23-yard pass to Jimmy Graham from Russell Wilson that ended in an apparent fumble about midway into the quarter was ruled incomplete after a Rams challenge. Wilson was sacked on the next play, and Seattle was forced to punt out of its end zone as the drive stalled.

LAR – Greg Zuerlein 36 FG, 12:06 (LAR 3-0)
LAR – Zuerlein 31 FG, 8:21 (LAR 6-0)
LAR – Todd Gurley 1 run, 5:57 (Zuerlein kick, LAR 13-0)

SECOND QUARTER

Rams 34, Seahawks 0

The Rams missed an opportunity earlier this season to knock off the stalwart Seahawks and show that they’re a true contender in the NFC. By the end of the second quarter, they had proven that wouldn’t be the case this time around, especially with the Seahawks’ defense trying to make due without Pro Bowlers Richard Sherman, Kam Chancellor, Cliff Avril and K.J. Wright. Even in a quarter that started with an interception by Seattle linebacker Michael Wilhoite, the Rams had no problem denying just about everything the Seahawks’ offense threw at them and continued to add to their lead. Seattle went three-and-out after the Wilhoite play, Cooper had another nice punt return, and Los Angeles found the end zone on a second 1-yard touchdown run by Gurley to cap off a quick five-play, 36-yard drive. Seattle then lost the ball on a fumble for the second time in as many quarters, this time coming on a sack of Russell Wilson, and the Rams scored on yet another goal-line play – a 2-yard pass from Jared Goff to the returning Robert Woods – to make it a four-score game. As if that wasn’t enough, Gurley busted off a 57-yard score inside the final 30 seconds, putting a bow on one of the most demoralizing halves in recent memory for Seattle.

LAR – Gurley 1 run, 8:13 (Zuerlein kick, LAR 20-0)
LAR – Robert Woods 1 pass from Jared Goff, 3:26 (Zuerlein kick, LAR 27-0)
LAR – Gurley 57 run, :28 (Zuerlein kick, LAR 34-0)

THIRD QUARTER

Rams 40, Seahawks 7

In news that sent reverberations throughout the fantasy football world, Los Angeles running back Todd Gurley added a 14-yard touchdown reception to his three previous rushing scores. At CenturyLink Field, Gurley’s fourth score just added a few extra feet to the already insurmountable hole the Seahawks found themselves in after the first two quarters. Not much longer after that, Seattle pulled linebacker Bobby Wagner, who didn’t finish last week’s game due to a hamstring injury and was notably hampered by the same issue throughout this one. The Seahawks made sure they wouldn’t be shut out by their division rivals, at least, with Luke Willson scoring on a 26-yard pass to finish off a seven-play, 77-yard drive.

LAR – Gurley 14 pass from Goff, 7:04 (Kick failed, LAR 40-0)
SEA – Luke Willson 26 pass from Russell Wilson, 1:23 (Blair Walsh kick, LAR 40-7)

Notable: A punch thrown by Delano Hill resulted in the Seahawks’ rookie safety being ejected from the game. Linebacker D.J. Alexander, a key contributor on Seattle’s special teams, was ruled out with a concussion.

FOURTH QUARTER

Rams 42, Seahawks 7

The Rams didn’t need any additional scoring, and their offense played as such. That still didn’t stop them from getting an extra two points. With Seattle backed up deep in its own territory, Wilson was flagged for intentional grounding on a throw from the end zone, resulting in a safety. Other than that, it was an uneventful final frame in a loss for the Seahawks that would be forgettable if it didn’t have such a dramatic impact on their postseason hopes.

LAR –Safety, intentional grounding in end zone, 10:14 (LAR 42-7)

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Rams rip injury-plagued Seahawks 42-7 to tighten grip on NFC West