Rams vs Seahawks—Game, Season, and Franchise Records

SEATTLE, WA - DECEMBER 17: Running back Todd Gurley
SEATTLE, WA - DECEMBER 17: Running back Todd Gurley /

If you enjoy NFL stats, the Los Angeles Rams-Seattle Seahawks game had a lot of unusual ones to offer.

Billed as a season showdown, last Sunday’s Los Angeles Rams at Seattle Seahawks game had playoff ramifications and the division lead in play. The winner would lead the division and likely hold it, ensuring a playoff spot. The loser might not even make the playoffs.

Sean McVay’s Rams had scored 438 points total, in contrast with 224 points for the entire 2016 season. But they had lost a close game to the number one seeded Philadelphia Eagles the week before, and to the number two seeded Minnesota Vikings earlier, calling into question whether they could beat true contenders.

It is notoriously difficult to win in Seattle, a source of pride for the “12th man” crowd. While the “Legion of Boom” is aging, and had some starters out for this game, they had defeated the Eagles, in Seattle, two weeks earlier.

The difficulty of winning a game at CenturyLink Field can be seen in the fact that the Seahawks had won 11 out of the last 12 games against the Rams there.

Yet the Los Angeles Rams not only won the game, they won it in a decisive manner with perhaps the most complete win of any team this season between contenders. Russell Wilson was sacked seven times. Todd Gurley ran for 152 yards, had 28 receiving yards, and scored a personal best four touchdowns. Pharoh Cooper had 170 return yards on kickoffs and punts. The final score was a dominating 42-7.

Underlying that win are some other statistics that show the Rams efforts was even more overwhelming than the basic statistics show.

Related Story: Game Recap: Rams drop the hammer in Seattle, beating the Seahawks 42-7

For the Season

In all previous games this season, Bobby Wagner had no missed tackles. That is a phenomenal statistic after 13 games. But he had seven missed tackles in this game. (He did play with an injured hamstring.)

In six previous games this season, the Rams had caused a turnover on their opponents first drive, the best in the league. This game made seven—half of their games this year!

In the Pete Carroll Era

  • The Seahawks lost last week’s game in Jacksonville, and were 23-4 when coming off of a loss—the best record in the league. The Rams defeated them anyway.
  • This was the worst loss of the Pete Carroll regime, and it happened in their own home.
  • The Rams scored the most points against the Seahawks at home under Carroll. In fact, Sunday’s 35-point margin is almost as much as the combined point margin of Seattle’s eight prior home losses (40 points).
  • The Rams rushed for a total of 244 yards, the second-most allowed by Seattle under Carroll. (The Kansas City Chiefs ran for 270 in 2010.)
  • The Seahawks had not trailed by more than 27 points at halftime since November 7, 2010, in a game against the New York Giants. (Interestingly, they lost that game 41-7.)
  • The halftime score of 34-0 was the Rams’ largest halftime lead on the road in franchise history (572 games).

In This Game

  • Seattle was not able to drive past the Rams’ 49-yard-line until the Rams were up 40-0.
  • The Seahawks single touchdown, coming just before the end of the third quarter, was their lowest point total of the year.
  • On thirty dropbacks, Wilson was either sacked or pressured on nineteen. That is an astonishing 63%.
  • In the first game this season against Seattle, the Rams had five turnovers to Seattle’s one. In this game, the Rams had one; Seattle had two and almost lost three more.
  • In that first game, Gurley rushed for 43 yards. He exceeded that number before the first quarter had ended.

Examples From All Three Phases

Up 26-0 under two minutes, the Rams had a third-and-twenty call to get some yardage and then punt. Instead, Gurley ran for a 57-yard touchdown. It was like that all day, and Gurley hardly played in the second half. Malcolm Brown and Tavon Austin added 89 yards rushing between the two (45 and 44, respectively).

During Seattle’s second series of the game, Aaron Donald split a double team. Being held (which was not called), he dragged both players with him and sacked Wilson with one arm. Donald, and the entire Rams defense, was not to be stopped.

Pharoh Cooper had a monster return game. Even after his 53-yard punt return to the one-yard line to set up the Rams first touchdown, the Seahawks had little answer for him. He could not be stopped.

Taken as a whole, these statistics are overwhelming. Many pundits suggest this game was a symbolic “passing of the torch” in the NFC West; others say it is too early and just one game—after all, the Seahawks were missing crucial pieces of their defense. Still, with the age of the defense, holes in the offense, and lack of cap space, it is difficult not the think the Seahawks may be in transition next year.

Related Story: Here’s how Los Angeles Rams can win division or clinch playoff berth in Week 16

Where the Rams Go From Here

The difference between the schemes and play between the first meeting and the last meeting of the two teams was like night and day. The Rams players are executing better, feeling more comfortable, and making fewer mistakes as the season goes on.

Like the players, McVay learns from his mistakes and gets better at scheming and in-game adjustments. The defensive players are becoming more and more comfortable in Wade Phillips’ defense, allowing their strengths to shine. Special teams is special, as usual. The Rams have not lost back-to-back games all season. One more victory will ensure their place in the playoffs atop the NFC West (or one Seattle loss).

In the playoffs, however, it only takes one loss to end the season. It may be that the Rams’ inexperience will cause their exit. Or perhaps the (significant) loss of Greg Zuerlein will cost them a game.

On the other hand, it may be that they are peaking at the just right time. Regardless of how the Los Angeles Rams end the season, after thirteen years of losing, the Rams have decidedly shown that they are the powerhouse of the NFC West.