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Seahawks S Tedric Thompson
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Saved by replay: Seahawks get huge 30-29 win over Rams after late pick

Nobody was thinking Seahawks safety Tedric Thompson had made an interception on the third-and-10 pass attempt by Rams quarterback Jared Goff.

But the replay, however, had a different story to tell. And once the Seahawks’ sideline saw, they made sure to let it be known.

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Thompson made a sprawled-out interception off a tipped pass, Rams kicker Greg Zuerlein missed a 44-yard field goal attempt with 15 seconds left, and the Seahawks survived a clash of 3-1 teams, beating the defending NFC champions 30-29 in primetime Thursday night.

At first it appeared Thompson had almost but not quite picked off the Goff pass that tipped off the fingers of tight end Gerald Everett. But it turned Thompson actually got his hand under the ball before it bounced back up and he secured it with both hands. A replay review showed enough to reverse the initial incompletion ruling in one of the biggest replay reversals the NFL has maybe ever seen.

Suddenly the Seahawks had the ball back with a one-point lead and 2:08 to go, but they weren’t out of the woods yet. Los Angeles used up its timeouts and made a stop, and it had one last drive starting at its own 7 with 1:38 remaining. And though Zuerlein got a shot with 15 seconds left, he missed, and Seattle moved on to 4-1 on the season.

Thompson’s pick came three plays after the Seahawks moved back into the lead on an absolutely critical 12-play, 75-yard touchdown drive. That ended with another pass that needed to be caught twice – a 5-yard TD reception by a wide-open Chris Carson, who didn’t squeeze Russell Wilson’s throw on his first try but did on his second.

Seattle made it through with the victory despite trailing at three separate times.

Carson had his second straight 100-yard game, this time running for 118 yards on 27 carries – five more than the 22 attempts he had just four days prior in a win over Arizona.

Russell Wilson continued his MVP-caliber season, completing 17 of 23 passes for 268 yards and four touchdowns. He again had no interceptions, giving him now 12 TD passes to zero picks on the year.

Tight end Will Dissly was Seattle’s leading receiver again, this time hauling in four receptions for 81 yards. Tyler Lockett, DK Metcalf, David Moore and Carson each had a TD reception for Seattle.

The Rams were led by running back Todd Gurley (51 rushing yards, two TDs), Everett (136 yards on seven catches) and wide receiver Cooper Kupp (nine receptions for 117 yards and a TD). Goff had 395 yards, a touchdown and an interception on 29 of 49 passing.

Here’s a quarter-by-quarter look at the Seahawks’ one-point win:

First quarter

Seahawks 7, Rams 6

Based on how things started out at CenturyLink Field, the Seahawks’ defense looked like it may be playing against both the Rams and Seahawks offenses in this one.

Then Wilson was unleashed.

A lost fumble and a lackluster second drive by Seattle’s offense allowed the Rams to jump out to a 6-0 lead, but it didn’t last long as Wilson completed a long ball to Dissly then an unbelievable dime to Lockett in the back corner of the end zone to give Seattle a 7-6 advantage late in the first quarter.

Let’s go back and tell this one in order.

Seattle had the first offensive series of the night, and it didn’t even make it to third down. Seahawks wide receiver Jaron Brown hauled in a reception but had the ball stripped out by Rams cornerback Nickell Robey-Coleman near the sideline, and former UW Husky Marcus Peters recovered it for Los Angeles. While it was initially ruled that Brown was out of bounds when the ball came out, Rams coach Sean McVay’s challenge revealed otherwise.

The Seattle defense did all that could be expected of it on the Rams’ first drive that started at the Hawks’ 33-yard-line, preventing Los Angeles from getting a first down and making it settle for a 47-yard Zuerlein field goal.

The Seahawks’ offense at least didn’t turn the ball over on its next possession, even registering the initial first down of the game on a 7-yard Carson run, but Michael Dickson had to be called on to punt from the Seattle 41.

The Rams gained some momentum from there, starting at their own 14 but picking up 55 yards on the way to a second Zuerlein field goal, this time from 32 yards. Star Rams running back Gurley had four carries on the drive, but it was a 22-yard pass from Goff to Everett that got Los Angeles rolling.

Things weren’t looking so hot for Seattle at that point, but Wilson was just about to move into the spotlight.

First he hit tight end Luke Willson for 10 yards and a first down. Then he hit receiver DK Metcalf for 4 yards and ran for 6 himself for another first down. And on second-and-11, he got some time to pass and chucked one to Dissly for 38 yards, putting the Seahawks inside the red zone. Wilson isn’t paid by the hour, so on the very next play he completed maybe his prettiest pass in a season that has been full of them for a 13-yard touchdown catch by Lockett. Give Lockett credit for his body control and ability to keep his feet in-bounds, too.

Seattle remained the aggressor after that score, quickly forcing the Rams into a three-and-out to get the ball back just before the quarter ended.

LAR – Greg Zuerlein 47 FG, 12:24 (3-0 LAR)
LAR – Zuerlein 32 FG, 4:55 (6-0 LAR)
SEA – Tyler Lockett 13 pass from Russell Wilson, :49 (Jason Myers kick, 7-6 SEA)

Second quarter

Seahawks 14, Rams 13

After falling behind 6-0 and doing basically nothing but lose the ball on offense on the first four combined series of the game by both teams, the Seahawks were in full control for almost the entire time after they took the lead late in the first quarter until halftime. But a late swing in the Rams’ favor nearly evened things up by the half.

Wilson had more up his sleeve after leading Seattle on an impressive touchdown drive in the first quarter, as he continued his MVP-like start to the 2019 season with a second TD pass in the second quarter, this time a 40-yard bomb to Metcalf for the rookie’s second TD of the season.

Seattle’s defense got in on the action, too. First it forced the Rams into their second three-and-out of the night, opening the door for Wilson’s TD to Metcalf. And on the next Los Angeles series, the ball was ripped away from Gurley by Seahawks defensive end Jadeveon Clowney, who recovered it himself.

While Seattle had a promising drive after that fumble recovery that was highlighted by a 25-yard pass from Wilson to Dissly, they had to settle for a 48-yard field goal attempt by Jason Myers that missed just to the right.

That was the opening the Rams needed. Well, that and a personal foul on Ziggy Ansah for a late hit on Rams QB Jared Goff, which kept a late Los Angeles drive alive. Goff then found Yakima native Kupp for a 9-yard score just before the half to make it a one-point game and let doubt creep back in for Seahawks fans.

SEA – DK Metcalf 40 pass from Wilson, 8:08 (Myers kick, 14-6 SEA)
LAR – Cooper Kupp 9 pass from Jared Goff, :06 (Zuerlein kick, 14-13 SEA)

Third quarter

Rams 26, Seahawks 21

While the game early on looked like it would be dominated by defense, a shootout instead broke out in the third quarter.

The Rams took what they did just before halftime and built on it, finding the end zone on only six plays to open the third. They covered 75 yards in just 2:53, with Goff racking up 65 yards on three completions to set up an 8-yard Gurley TD run that put L.A. back in the lead, 20-14. It’s worth noting, though, that it was pretty apparent the Rams got away with both a false start and a delay of game on separate plays during the drive.

Seattle needed an answer, and it eventually had one, though that had to wait until the two teams traded three-and-outs – with the Rams’ coming after a punt by Dickson was downed at the 1, pinning them back by their own end zone.

The Seahawks got the ball back at their own 47, and they reeled off an impressively efficient scoring drive. The combination of three Carson runs, a 12-yard Wilson scramble and completions to Lockett and David Moore put Seattle back on top, 21-20. Moore had the score, making a nifty move on a screen pass for a 10-yard touchdown catch.

The Rams didn’t go away, however, and in fact wasted no time getting back in the lead. Brandin Cooks opened the drive with a 27-yard run, Everett broke away for a 33-yard reception up the middle, and Gurley finished it off with a 1-yard TD run. Los Angeles appeared to add a two-point conversion on a Goff keeper, too, but a challenge overturned that and kept the score at 26-21.

LAR – Todd Gurley 8 run, 12:07 (Zuerlein kick, 20-14 LAR)
SEA – David Moore 10 pass from Wilson, 5:45 (Myers kick, 21-20 SEA)
LAR – Gurley 1 run, 3:07 (run failed, 26-21 LAR)

Fourth quarter

Seahawks 30, Rams 29

Like it had looked at the beginning of the game, the Seahawks didn’t appear to have much of a chance for the early part of the fourth quarter. The Rams not only had a 5-point lead going into the final frame, but they regained it after trading field goals in the first six minutes of the quarter.

The Rams should know this by now, however: As long as the Seahawks have Wilson, don’t let them hang around in the fourth quarter.

So with 9:19 remaining and down by 5, Wilson did what he does, leading the Seahawks on what turned out to be the clinching drive. Seattle drained nearly seven minutes off the clock, using 12 plays to cover 75 yards. It came down to the wire, too. Seattle didn’t score until fourth-and-goal from the Rams’ 5, where Wilson bought himself some time and connected with a wide-open Carson, who made every 12s’ heart skip a beat as he needed two tries to haul the pass in.

Thompson’s interception followed, but the Rams had one last gasp, going 67 yards on 10 plays to reach Seattle’s 26, where Zuerlein missed. The most important play may have come two plays before Zuerlein’s attempt. The Rams were flagged for delay of game, pushing them back a very valuable 5 yards.

SEA – Myers 42 FG, 13:37 (26-24 LAR)
LAR – Zuerlein 36 FG, 9:19 (29-24 LAR)
SEA – Chris Carson 5 pass from Wilson, 2:28 (pass failed, 30-29 SEA)

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