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Seahawks RB Chris Carson
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Instant Reaction: Seahawks survive in 30-29 win over Rams

Seahawks RB Chris Carson needed two tries to haul in a late TD catch. (AP)

The Seahawks made it out of CenturyLink Field with a 30-29 victory over the defending NFC champion Los Angeles Rams in one of the best Thursday night games you may ever see.

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As we do after every Seahawks game, we have put together the instant reactions of the voices of 710 ESPN Seattle to the Hawks’ win. This is just a preview of what you’ll be able to hear all day Friday on the station.

Here’s what they have to say:

The Groz – 710 ESPN Seattle host emeritus

In the Oliver Stone movie “Any Given Sunday,” the head coach played by Al Pacino gives an impassioned speech to his team about fighting for every single inch on the football field.

This game was truly a game of inches.

That having been said, can these teams play every week? The last four times they have played, the games have been decided by 6 points. What an entertaining game between two perfectly matched teams. I thought the game had everything that makes the NFL the most compelling theater in sports.

For the Seahawks, it was the signature division win that they needed, and it took every last inch to get it. For the Rams, a bitter defeat after a tremendous effort. So many pivotal plays and it was decided on the last one. It was 3 1/2 hours of drama that dared you to turn away even for a moment.

There are plenty of details for my colleagues to carve up over the next couple of days and certainly some coaching calls to be questioned, but at the end of the day this was a true example of why the NFL is more popular then all the other sports combined. A great, well-played NFL game with a fantastic finish simply can’t be beat.

We came pretty close to losing the Seahawks during the reign of error of former owner Ken Behring, and it was altogether fitting that a game like this came on the night that Paul Allen joined the Ring of Honor. A fantastic game and great victory on a night that won’t be soon forgotten at CenturyLink.

Tom Wassell of Tom, Jake and Stacy

Let’s just get this out of the way. About a minute after Zuerlein’s kick sailed wide right, my ex-girlfriend said, “I feel like we didn’t deserve to win this game. We won because of a missed kick.” I kinda felt the same until I reminded myself that the defense made enough plays on that final Rams drive to make the kick a difficult one. So should we feel bad in any way about winning in that manner? Absolutely not.

As for what led up to that, it was among the most hard-fought battles we’ve seen in a while. It was a vintage NFL division game between two teams that know each other inside and out. Both teams did what they excel at. The Seahawks ran with punishing force and hit the deep ball with great execution. On top of that, they played relatively good defense in just the right spots. The Rams gained a ton of yards after the first quarter, and even though Jared Goff made some questionable decisions toward the end, he had a darn good showing in a hostile environment. Oh yeah, Aaron Donald was an absolute menace.

Standout performances on the Seahawks’ side include Russell Wilson, who was right in sync with OC Brian Schottenheimer, calling and executing deep passing plays at just the right time. Plus, he used his legs at the end of the game to keep drives going. Chris Carson may not have had the type of explosive game he’s had before, but those numbers sure do add up over the course of 60 minutes. And thank God he hauled in that last TD pass. More coming tomorrow. Tonight took a lot out of me – and possibly you!

Jim Moore of Bob, Dave and Moore

Maybe he’s had a better game and I’ve just forgotten, but I can’t remember one that topped Russell Wilson’s performance Thursday night. For the fourth time this year, he had a game with only six incomplete passes, going 17 for 23 for 268 yards. He was beyond exceptional, squirting free every time the Rams’ pass rush closed in to bury him, finding an open receiver downfield, simply at his improvisational best.

Wilson also threw four touchdown passes, including the game-winner to Chris Carson that he nearly dropped. Wilson now has 12 TD passes this season and no interceptions through five games. Tom Brady holds the NFL record for fewest interceptions in a season with two, and I’m starting to think that Wilson has a realistic chance at breaking the record. He also has a shot at Drew Brees’ single-season record of 74.4 percent. Wilson has completed 73 percent of his passes this year.

Chris Carson gets credit too for surpassing the 100-yard rushing mark for the second consecutive game, but the Seahawks were also fortunate that Greg Zeurlein missed a 44-yard field goal in the final seconds that would have won it for the Rams.

In the big picture, it was a breakthrough win for the Seahawks, who had lost their two previous games in Seattle to the Rams. They are certifiable NFC West title contenders now, and if Wilson keeps playing the way he did Thursday night, they’ll have a shot to win their second Super Bowl.

Jessamyn McIntyre of Danny and Gallant

It wasn’t pretty, but another win in the books is all that matters. Perhaps, as Pete Carroll mentioned in his post-game press conference, the spirit of Paul Allen was in the building tonight.

Ok, yes, there are things to address. Russell Wilson was running for his life. Rams tight ends were running rampant with the ball. And Todd Gurley looked like the Todd Gurley we’ve come to know.

On the other hand, Wilson made fantastic throws – one of which was a touchdown to Tyler Lockett, running in the opposite direction and throwing across his body.  He threw another dime to Will Dissly, who now has almost as many NFL career receptions in just nine games as he did in his entire college career.

And let’s talk about hands, specifically those of Chris Carson, who bobbled and secured a ball in the end zone, and the phenomenal interception Tedric Thompson made falling to the ground. Carroll’s challenge flag couldn’t have fallen more perfectly to the ground. What’s astounding is that the ball never did.

People will question Pete not going for it on fourth-and-1 toward the end of the first half and I’m sure Pete will too. That’s the beauty of a coach like Pete Carroll and those on his staff. They take every moment as a learning opportunity and always get better.

In a not-so-flawless game, the Seahawks still put up a W. They’re 4-1 and have 10 days to prepare to build on it from here.

Bob Stelton of Bob, Dave and Moore

Unbelievable! What a game! That’s all I could say as Zuerlein’s kick went wide right. This was an epic battle between division rivals and arguably the best or at least most dramatic game we’ve seen at CenturyLink since the NFC title game versus the 49ers.

We are watching the best version of Russell Wilson we’ve ever seen. Four more TD passes and still no interceptions. On a night where it felt like he was under siege just about the whole game, he made one brilliant play after another.

Chris Carson was an absolute beast – again! He goes over 100 yards for the second time in five days. And once again, no fumbles.

Tedric Thompson came up with the best play of his career to this point, a game-changing interception late when the team needed it most. It also came on a night where the secondary wasn’t great. Jared Goff threw for 395 yards and a TD and seemed to move the ball at will. But that was a massive moment for Thompson. Al Woods with the stop on Goff on a two-point conversion try was huge as well.

Despite a few moments of concern, everybody chipped in on what was one of the more emotional wins I’ve seen here in years. And that feeling was confirmed by the reaction in the locker room. This team truly likes each other and, more importantly, I think you’re seeing how much they trust each other on the field. They’re not perfect but they’re trending the right way, and it’s clear that they believe.

Paul Gallant of Danny and Gallant

Moving across the country, finding an apartment, and learning about an amazing new city had already been a lot for yours truly to handle. And then Thursday night happened. What an emotionally-draining, hold-on-to-my-butt, roller-coaster of a game. I’m not even sure what to do right now with all this adrenaline coursing through my veins.

I’ve long lusted over the brilliance of Russell Wilson from afar, and his magical powers were on full display for the entire country tonight. His touchdown pass to Tyler Lockett, a perfectly placed ball while rolling to his left, is one of the most impressive throws (and catches) that I’ve ever seen live.

Guess what. There were more wow moments IN JUST THE FIRST HALF:

• Wilson rolled to his right, circled back to his left, shook off Dante Fowler before heading right again, and then tossed it to a wide open Lockett for a first down.
• Later on the same drive, he made a perfect play fake and threw a bomb to DK Metcalf for a touchdown.
• Wilson showed off that perfect touch again, finding a well covered Will Dissly with another beautiful pass.

In a nutshell: Wilson’s first half was perfect.

There were some frustrating moments in this one, too, a game that very well could have been a loss:

• Nickell Robey-Coleman made a great play stealing the ball from Jaron Brown, but Brown was holding that football quite carelessly.
• Jared Goff and company FEASTED on the middle of the Seahawks’ defense, with Cooper Kupp and Gerald Everett racking up big gain after big gain.
• The Seahawks had a chance to break the Rams’ spirit and body at the end of the first half with a third-and-1 at the L.A. 30. But instead of letting Wilson continue his hot play, the Hawks ran up the middle for no gain, tried to draw the Rams offsides on fourth-and-1 instead of going for it, and then missed a long field goal towards the Hawks Nest.

Many of the breaks went Seattle’s way, and this win should serve as a MASSIVE confidence boost for a team that’s been DYING for a chance to become King of the NFC West Hill.

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