LOS ANGELES —Coming into Sunday's game, Seahawks at Rams appeared, on paper, to be a potentially high-scoring game. The Rams led the NFL in scoring through four weeks at 35.5 points per game, and the Seahawks offense had picked up considerably in the previous two weeks, producing 910 yards of offense in two games.
But apparently Seahawks at Rams is still, well, Seahawks at Rams, because the two NFC West foes did what they usually do, play a low-scoring, physical and tightly-contested game. Only this time, it was the Seahawks coming out on top, winning 16-10 to earn their first road victory over the Rams since a 2013 win in St. Louis.
The win improves Seattle to 3-2 heading into their bye week, putting them on top of the NFC West.
1. Earl Thomas Is Special.
It appeared the Rams were going to score on their opening drive—in fact, officials signaled touchdown as running back Todd Gurley extended the ball towards the pylon. But after review, it turned out that Earl Thomas had knocked the ball loose at the last possible moment, and since the fumble hit the pylon, a Rams touchdown became a turnover, with the Seahawks getting the ball at the 20-yard line.
If that all sounds familiar, it should. Thomas did the same thing, against the Rams no less, in Week 17 of the 2014 season. Later in the game, Thomas helped secure a Seahawks victory with his first interception of the season.
And while those were Thomas' most memorable plays of the game, they were hardly the only ones he made while flying around with his usual reckless abandon. Thomas finished the game with 7 tackles, and had a big pass breakup in the red zone to help force the Rams into settling for a field goal.
2. Seattle's Red Zone Defense Was On Point.
Until the Rams' final drive of the game, Thomas' stop at the goal line was the Seahawks' most dramatic red zone stop, but it wasn't their only one on Sunday. They got another turnover when Sheldon Richardson made a spectacular play to intercept a pass that bounced off Gurley's hands. The Seahawks also forced field goal attempts on two other trips into the red zone, including a three-and-out after a turnover, and one of those attempts was missed. Finally, the Seahawk came up with another stop with the game on the line to secure the victory. Meaning that while the Rams did get a 27-yard touchdown run in the first half, Los Angeles' five trips to the red zone produced only three points.
3. Seattle's Defense Came To Play.
As mentioned above, the Rams were the highest-scoring team in the NFL coming into the game, but facing the toughest defensive challenge they've seen this season, they were able to move the ball but were held to just 10 points by a stingy Seattle defense.
The Rams were able to move the ball, gaining 375 yards, but were held to only 10 points because Seattle was able to force four turnover and, as noted above, the Seahawks were nearly perfect in the red zone.
4. Frank Clark Stepped Up In Cliff Avril's Absence.
Frank Clark has been a big part of Seattle's defense for a while, but with Cliff Avril sidelined with a neck injury, Clark stepped into a starting role. And seeing more playing time than usual, the third-year end had his best game of the season, recording two tackles for loss on running play, and most notably, sacking Jared Goff to force a fumble late in the fourth quarter with the Rams driving for the potential tying or go-ahead score.
5. Blair Walsh Remains Accurate.
With both teams struggling to score, the kicking game was important for both teams, and Blair Walsh, who came into the game with only one miss this season, played a big role in Seattle's win. Walsh made all three field goal attempts, including kicks of 48 and 49 yards, as well as a clutch 35-yarder late.
Fan photos from the Seahawks' Week 5 game against the Rams in Los Angeles.