A much improved second half showing from quarterback Matthew Stafford was the catalyst for the Los Angeles Rams to get back to winning ways against the Seattle Seahawks on Thursday night.
The Seahawks had led the game at the half, but lost influential quarterback Russell Wilson midway through the third quarter to what looked like a painful finger injury, sustained on the follow through from a long pass to Tyler Lockett.
After he released the ball his hand followed through and hit Rams defensive superstar Aaron Donald, who was a threat in the Seattle backfield all evening, and despite trying to play on, Wilson was eventually replaced by Geno Smith.
Geno Smith is now in at QB for the Seahawks after a finger injury to Russell Wilson. pic.twitter.com/mMoUYp87rC
— FOX Sports: NFL (@NFLonFOX) October 8, 2021
Quiet First Half
A quiet first half saw both teams struggle a little on offense and after a scoreless first quarter, the Seahawks took the lead in the second when Wilson found D.K. Metcalf with a lovely 19-yard pass to open up the scoring.
With Matt Stafford struggling a little, especially after throwing an early interception in the first quarter, the Rams could only respond with a Matt Gay field goal from 31 yards before the half.
A key moment perhaps was at the end of the half when Jason Myers missed a 35-yard field goal which would have put the Seahawks up by seven at the interval.
Stafford Fires In Second Half
If the Rams were in a funk in the first half, then they were awakened from it at the start of the second. Stafford’s 68-yard pass to DeSean Jackson setting up Darrell Henderson’s five-yard touchdown run to put the Rams up 9-7, with Matt Gay missing the extra point.
— NFL (@NFL) October 8, 2021
Wilson then exited the game but his replacement Geno Smith came in. However the Rams increased their lead when Stafford hit tight-end Tyler Higbee with a 13-yard pass to make it 16-7, Gay this time converting the extra point.
Smith then led the Seahawks on a fine drive up the field, culminating in D.K.Metcalf’s 23-yard touchdown, his second score of the game, to cut the deficit to just two at the start of the fourth quarter.
However, Sony Michel’s two yard run saw the Rams increase their lead to 23-14 before Jason Myers cut the deficit to six by landing a 32-yard field goal for the Seahawks.
The Seahawks needed the ball back on offense and they got it by stopping the Rams on their next possession, but on their first play from scrimmage, Geno Smith’s pass intended for Tyler Lockett was intercepted by Nick Scott and the Rams then ran out the clock, adding a field goal for good measure to give the score a more flattering feel.
This is a Nick Scott appreciation tweet. 👀
— Los Angeles Rams (@RamsNFL) October 8, 2021
Matt Stafford underlined his importance to the Rams with another fine showing despite that slow start. He finished with 25 out of 37 passes completed for 365 yards, with one touchdown and that first quarter interception.
Robert Woods was the tormentor in chief for the Seahawks as he caught for 150 yards off 12 catches, while Sony Michel and Darrell Henderson combined well for over 130 yards rushing combined, each scoring one touchdown.
Wilson Out But For How Long?
Following the game, Seahawks (2-3) head coach Pete Carroll explained that his quarterback star had suffered a ‘badly sprained finger’ and that there was no timetable for his recovery at the present time.
“He’s got a badly sprained finger that we need to figure out,” stated Carroll after the game.
“There’s work to be done in accessing all of that. Russell’s one of the great healers of all time and he’ll do whatever he can to get back as soon as absolutely possible.”
Whether he will be back in time to face the Pittsburgh Steelers a week on Sunday at Heinz Field remains to be seen, although the extra few days recovery will certainly give Wilson more of a chance to start.
The Rams (now 4-1) head to New York next to face the Giants in a game that they should be confident of winning.