First, the defense of the Rams pitched a shutout in the final quarter not allowing their NFC West rival to score a single point.
The second part of the equation to this puzzle is that the offense of the Rams, which had largely been stagnant for most of the afternoon, stepped up when it mattered. Down 16-7, the Rams rallied to stun the Seahawks by scoring 10 points in the fourth period to overcome a double-digit deficit.
Oh yeah, that 22-yard field goal by Lucas Havrisik with 1:31 remaining in the game, pushed the Rams past the Seattle for the first time in the game.
While they celebrated getting on top of the Seahawks, a team that they had beaten already in Week 1, the Rams’ victory did not officially go into the books until Seattle placekicker Jason Myers misfired on a long-distance field goal.
“Unbelievable effort by our defense today,” Rams head coach Sean McVay said after his team had secured their fourth win of the season. “They kept us in the game and I thought it was key and critical for the offense to be able to get into a rhythm when they had to.”
McVay continued, “Would’ve loved to have been able to punch that last in instead of having to kick the field goal where you’re forcing them to have to go get a touchdown at the end there. But man, I’m just so proud of this group. I think the grit was on display, the mental toughness, the ability to get stops, the ability to be able to feed off of one another.”
The Rams closed the game with a flurry to win their fourth game of the season, but for three quarters, this contest had the makings of a Seattle victory. With Seahawks starting quarterback Geno Smith out for a great deal of time in the second half because of an injury, the Rams made their move when it counted.
Darrell Henderson Jr. got the Rams within striking distance of the Seahawks after his one-yard touchdown run. Havrisik finished things off with his field goal. But this game was won in the trenches. The Rams held the Seahawks to 68 yards rushing and limited the number of times Seattle could convert (5 of 15) on third down for the game.
“I was really pleased and they were the key to the game,” Mcvay said. “You can’t say…it’s always a team game, but I thought for them not to be affected by some of the things that we were struggling with and our offense was struggling with as a whole, they just kept playing. They kept competing. They kept it to a tight game.”
Seattle was clearly impacted by the loss of running back Kenneth Walker, who was forced to leave the game after suffering an oblique injury. The Seahawks also felt the sting of being nailed with an abundance of penalties (12 penalties for 130 yards) that allowed the Rams to sustain drives, including the series in which Henderson scored.
“There (were) big penalties in that one and then we did it again in the final drive too. I’m really disappointed because it feels like we did that to ourselves,” Seattle head coach Pete Carroll said.
Carroll added that the Seahawks’ defeat to the Rams was self-inflicted.
“This was the most disappointing loss for us today because of the way we did it,” Carroll remarked. “We made it really hard on ourselves so many times in this game with the calls that were made. I’m not disputing any of them. I’m just saying we made… the penalties that happened were just out of line for us. We have not been good in that area during the season in general and today really blew up on us and gave them a really good chance to take advantage of it and they did and found out that they could get their drive together and get what they needed before the field goal drive.”
The play of the day for the Rams, if there was one, had to be the interception pulled off by Derion Kendrick late in the game. With Smith still out of the game, Seattle backup quarterback Drew Lock attempted a deep pass down the Seattle sideline to Tyler Lockett.
Running stride for stride with Lockett, Kendrick snatched the ball for the interception to give the Rams the ball back which eventually led to Havrisik’s game-winning field goal.
“It was huge,” McVay said. “And I thought he stood up really tall all day. I thought the early penalty. Hey, how do we respond? What does that really look like? And he did that in a big way. I thought, like I mentioned just our defense, but especially it seemed like the guys in the secondary were tight. They were sticky. It seemed like we were pushing the pocket all day. It made it difficult for them to convert on the third downs. But Derion Kendrick, it was outstanding.”
Top Photo Caption: Los Angeles Rams running back Darrell Henderson Jr. (27) runs past two Seattle Seahawks defenders during the team’s 17-16 win at SoFi Stadium on Onv. 19, 2023. Photo credit: Mark Hammond/News4usonline
Dennis has covered and written about politics, crime, social justice, sports, and entertainment. Dennis currently covers the NFL, MLB, NBA, NCAA, and Olympic sports. Dennis is the editor of News4usonline.com and serves as the publisher of the Compton Bulletin newspaper. He earned a journalism degree from Howard University.