LOS ANGELES—The Seahawks pushed the Rams to the brink for the second time this season, but as was the case in the earlier meeting between these teams, a late comeback attempt came up just short, with the Rams hanging on for a 36-31 victory at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.
Here are five rapid reactions to the Seahawks' Week 10 loss, which dropped their record to 4-5.
1. These two teams play entertaining games.
For the second time this season, the Rams and Seahawks played a back-and-forth game that went down to the wire, but unfortunately for the Seahawks, the Rams came out on top once again.
Despite the Rams' impressive record—they came into the game 8-1 having just lost their first game of the season last week—Seattle again showed it was up to the challenge of going toe-to-toe with one of the league's top teams.
The Seahawks opened the game with a 75-yard touchdown drive—their third opening-drive TD in the last four games—then the Rams quickly answered with a quick scoring drive of their own.
While neither team could quite keep up that frantic scoring pace, the game stayed close and entertaining throughout, with the Seahawks taking early leads of 14-7 and 14-10 before the Rams made it 17-14 before halftime.
After a Rams field goal to open the third quarter, the Seahawks eventually went back on top on a Russell Wilson to Tyler Lockett 23-yard touchdown pass. That touchdown catch was Lockett's seventh this season, giving him a career high in just nine games.
The game stayed tight until late, but the Rams came up with a crucial takeaway, stripping Wilson on a third-down sack, to set up a touchdown that made it 36-24. Wilson and the Seahawks offense bounced back from that turnover and drove 90 yards for a touchdown to again make it a one-score game, then after a quick stop by the defense, the Seahawks got as far as the Rams' 35-yard line on their final possession before turning it over on downs.
2. The Seahawks running game was great even without two key players, in part thanks to Rashaad Penny's breakout game.
The Seahawks knew they'd have to run the ball well to function well on offense against the Rams, so it looked like a potentially big blow when 90 minutes before kickoff, it was announced that both running back Chris Carson and guard D.J. Fluker were both inactive due to injuries.
Even without those two, the Seahawks still had a season-high 273 yards on the ground, a rushing performance highlighted by a big game from rookie running back Rashaad Penny. In his most extensive playing time this season, Penny rushed for 108 yards on 12 carries, including an 18-yard touchdown for his first career score.
Adding to the rushing total was a season-high 92 yards on nine carries by Wilson, as well as 58 on 11 carries from Mike Davis, who also had 22 receiving yards, including a 3-yard touchdown catch.
In addition to running more than he has all season, Wilson was also efficient through the air, even if the Seahawks didn't put up big volume numbers in the passing game. Wilson, who threw for only 39 yards in the first half as the Seahawks stuck with the ground game, finished 17 of 26 for 176 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions, giving him a 123.2 passer rating.
This marked the sixth straight game the Seahawks have gone over 150 yards on the ground, the longest such streak in franchise history. Penny's 100-yard game makes him the third different running back, along with Carson and Davis, to eclipse that mark this season, something the Seahawks haven't done since 2015 when Marshawn Lynch, Christine Michael and Thomas Rawls all had 100-yard games.
3. The Rams offense produced too many big plays.
The Rams have been one of the league's best offensive teams all season, so it isn't reasonable to expect any defense to shut them down entirely, but for the second time in as many meetings this season, the Rams moved the ball in big chunks too often.
Rams quarterback Jared Goff threw for 318 yards and two touchdowns, completing passes of 20-plus yards to three different receivers. On the ground, Todd Gurley rushed for 120 yards and a touchdown on just 16 carries. Overall, the Rams averaged 7.1 yards per play and gained 456 yards.
Seattle's defense does deserve credit for a big stop late in the game to give Seattle's offense one last chance, but unfortunately that drive came up short.
4. Bobby Wagner had a second straight big game.
A week ago, Bobby Wagner played what Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said might have been the best half of football of his career, and the All-Pro middle linebacker finished with a team-high 13 tackles and three passes defensed.
On Sunday, Wagner was at it again, recording 13 more tackles, which marked a game-high, as well as a quarterback hit.
Another defensive player deserving of recognition is defensive end Dion Jordan, who had five tackles and half a sack. In addition to providing his best pass-rushing performance of the game—he pressured Goff into incompletions on a couple of occasions, Jordan also had a strong game against the run.
5. Michael Dickson is on a roll.
Rookie punter Michael Dickson won NFC Special Teams Player of the Week honors in Seattle's win at Detroit, but he has been even better in the last two games, showing again why the Seahawks took him in the fifth round of this year's draft.
Last week against the Chargers, Dickson punted six times, averaging 52.8 yards per punt with a net average of 50.0, and had four of those six downed inside the 20. This week Dickson averaged 55.0 yards on three punts and had a net of 47.7, with a long of 68 yards, as well as a 40-yarder that was downed at the 3-yard line.