California Sports

Los Angeles Rams defeat Seattle Seahawks 20-10 amid COVID-19 ravaged league

The Los Angeles Rams defeated the Seattle Seahawks 20-10 on Tuesday night, robbing the latter of their slim playoff hopes, that is, if they had any left. The Seahawks had their passing game handicapped by the absence of star receiver Tyler Lockett due to him being placed in the COVID-19 health and safety protocols. Additionally, the team was ravaged by penalties and non-calls. The Seahawks were then guaranteed their first losing season since 2011.

Seattle fell to 5-9 with the defeat, meaning the best the team can do will be reaching 8-9 in the new 17-game NFL schedule. The Rams, meanwhile, improved to 10-4, earning them a tie with Arizona for first place in the NFC West.

The game was the first Tuesday game for the Seahawks in their history. Due to the COVID-19 related issues in the Rams last week where at one point there were 29 players on LA’s reserve/COVID-19 list, the game was postponed from Sunday, The Seahawks roster was not doing really well either as seven players were missing from the game due to coronavirus.

“I am very surprised because you feel like you’re behind it when everybody is vaccinated and you’re moving in the right direction,” Rams coach Sean McVay said. “Without a doubt, we have never experienced anything of this magnitude as it relates to COVID. This is definitely something that’s been eye-opening.”

First half

The two teams played well defense-wise in the first two quarters of the game as they reached halftime tying 3-3. Seattle could have entered the break with a small lead, but the Seahawks failed to do so as they blundered with a running into the kicker call on a Rams punt that would have ended the first drive of the game. The five-yard penalty that followed then brought Los Angeles just into kicker Matt Gay’s range, which gave the Rams a 3-0 lead.

The Seahawks struggled to find an opening to attack. Late in the second quarter, however, they put all their might into putting a number on the scoreboard. Russell Wilson found Gerald Everett for 11 yards, DeeJay Dallas for nine, and Everett again for 34. Seattle entered the field goal range. IT was Jason Myers who sneaked a 39-yard kick inside an upright, making it 3-3 with 10 seconds left in the half.

Second half

The Seahawks capitalized their final drive of the first half with a well-executed series of offenses, perhaps one of the best in the entire season. Rashad Penny’s consecutive runs get him the first down, then passes of 9 and 25 yards to DK Metcalf and Freddie Swain, respectively, helped the Seahawks march into Rams territory. Dallas then ran for 25 combined yards on four runs. This included a four-yard touchdown. The Seahawks were then ahead 10-3.

The lead, however, did not last long. The Rams immediately launched a six-play and an 86-yard drive and reached the end zone in just 2:52. NFL’s leading receiver Yakima native Cooper Kupp caught a 32-yard pass from Stafford. Sony Michel immediately followed with a 39-yard run, getting the Rams a first-and-goal. Two plays later, Stafford found Kupp for a 6-yard touchdown pass and the Seahawks endured a slaughter for the rest of the game from then on.

“Yeah, we played really hard tonight,” said Seattle coach Pete Caroll. “We were on it and had a chance to play with these guys throughout. There were some opportunities in there that we needed to go the other way and they didn’t for one reason or another.

“I thought the response right before half and starting the third quarter was exactly what we needed to get rolling. Unfortunately, the next drive that they got, we didn’t get the job done. But it’s still tens, you know? It’s a really good football game on a Tuesday night.”