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Week 15 Game Recap: Los Angeles Rams 42, Seattle Seahawks 7
What you need to know
The Rams set out to make a statement this week against their division rival and managed to do just that. Both the Rams defense and offense had their way against Seattle and there was little doubt left as to who the best team in the division was. The Rams need a win or tie or a Seahawks loss in the next two weeks to wrap up the division. They are also within striking distance of a first-round bye if the Vikings happen to stumble in their last two games of the season. Jared Goff
finally got the monkey off his back and threw his first touchdown against a banged-up Seattle defense. The Rams close the season with games against Tennessee and San Francisco and are a true worst to first story.
It was that bad, it absolutely was. Nothing softens the blow, and there are no “bright” spots this time. It wasn’t ALL Russell Wilson
’s fault, of course. Much of the credit goes to the O-line for allowing the Rams to completely dominate them to the tune of 7 sacks. It begins and ends with Wilson, though. He went to his usual bag of tricks, but this time none of them work. The more desperate the team got – and going into halftime down 34-0, they were capital-D Desperate – the more the Rams forced Wilson into mistakes. The result is a complete absence of good news for the Seahawks, real or fantasy.
Los Angeles Rams
|QB Jared Goff, 56 offensive snaps, Pass: 14 - 21 - 120 - 2 TD / 1 INT|
With the game that Melvin Gordon
had, Goff simply needed to be efficient to cement the blowout. His two touchdown passes were not needed, and his lone interception came on a 4th and 1 play in a goal to go situation where all of his receivers were covered. It was a little strange that the Rams went for it on 4th down after they already had a 2-score lead early in the game, but Goff's interception actually pushed the Seahawks further back than had he thrown an incompletion. His touchdown passes came to Robert Woods
and Todd Gurley
. The first touchdown came on a 1-yard strike to Woods after Gurley had already ran the ball in from the 1 twice before. The second touchdown pass came to Gurley on a 14-yard catch and run to put the Rams up 40-0. This was a thorough thrashing that allowed the Rams to give Sean Mannion
a few reps at the end of the game and give Goff a rest. There is still plenty for the Rams to play for in the final 2 weeks of the season and Goff seems to be up to the task after this week.
|QB Sean Mannion, 15 offensive snaps, Pass: 1 - 2 - 4 - 0 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 2 - 3 - 0|
The Rams offense was playing so well that Mannion was able to spell Goff late in the 4th quarter. There is no real risk of Goff losing any time to Mannion as the Rams still have a lot to play for in the season's final weeks. Mannion managed 7 total yards in what will most likely be his last appearance of the season.
|RB Todd Gurley, 45 offensive snaps, Rush: 21 - 152 - 3, Rec: 3 - 28 - 1 (3 targets)|
Gurley put up his best game of the season with 3 rushing touchdowns and a receiving touchdown for good measure. There was even potential for a 4th rushing touchdown, but Gurley was tackled on the 1-yard line and the Rams elected to throw it from the 1 instead of giving Gurley another shot. The first 2 touchdowns were of the 1-yard variety and was just straight power football up the middle. His third touchdown was a 57-yard scamper down the sideline where he made several defenders miss on his way to the end zone. Even if you took out this 57-yard run, Gurley still would have had 95 yards rushing. He was also the second-leading receiver on the team this week with 28 yards and a 14-yard touchdown catch. Gurley almost singlehandedly ran over the Seattle defense this week and he looks primed to continue that run with matchups against the Titans and 49ers to close out the season.
Normally you would expect Austin to make this list because of what he did in the receiving game, but he actually did not register a catch. Interestingly enough, he carried the ball 10 times and was the third leading rusher. Austin was used primarily on end-around plays but did line up in the wildcat a few times despite not really being a risk to throw the ball. This is a trend that will most likely not continue and Austin will revert to his 2-3 carries per game that he has averaged the rest of the season.
|WR Robert Woods, 52 offensive snaps, Rec: 6 - 45 - 1 (7 targets)|
It was not the most productive day for any receiver in the Rams offense this week, but Woods continues to be Jared Goff
's favorite target. Despite trading for Sammy Watkins
, it has been Woods that has taken over in the receiving core. Woods was rewarded this week with a 1-yard touchdown catch on a simple quick out route. Todd Gurley
had just been stopped on the 1-yard line after already scoring twice from the same spot. Goff faked to Gurley up the middle and found Woods wide open to continue the blowout. Woods did not see a lot of work outside of that and his longest play of the day was 14 yards. Receivers do not need to do very much when you have a running back that goes for over 150 yards and 4 total touchdowns.
|WR Sammy Watkins, 52 offensive snaps, Rec: 2 - 14 - 0 (5 targets)|
For all of the success that the Ram's offense had this week, Watkins was almost a non-factor. He was second on the team with 5 targets but only managed to pull in 2 of them. Watkins was brought in to stretch the field and for his quick hitting ability any time he touches the ball. However, Goff and Watkins just do not seem to be on the same page most games. There was no reason to try and force the ball to Watkins as the Rams held a comfortable lead almost the entire game. Todd Gurley
is not going to score 4 touchdowns every week, so Watkins and Goff will need to work on their chemistry if this team wants to make a deep run into the playoffs.
|WR Cooper Kupp, 50 offensive snaps, Rec: 2 - 21 - 0 (3 targets)|
After breaking on to the scene earlier in the season, Kupp has been rather quiet in recent weeks. He managed a 15-yard and 6-yard reception this week and has seemingly disappeared behind Robert Woods
. His 21 yards was third best on the team this week in a game that they really did not need to throw the ball very much. Kupp will need to regain his success from earlier this season if the Rams want to make a deep playoff run.
|QB Russell Wilson, 54 offensive snaps, Pass: 14 - 30 - 142 - 1 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 5 - 39 - 0|
Wilson was pressured by the Rams in a way that we haven’t quite seen yet this season. They got to him hard and fast, and there was little he could do about it because they broke through so quickly, making it impossible for Wilson to get into any sort of rhythm. When he scrambled, the Rams were for the most part able to keep up with him. Wilson’s rushing yards came mostly in garbage time. The game got away from him by halftime, but for the first quarter at least, Wilson still had a chance to make a contest of it. The overall effect of the pocket pressure was a rash of mistakes by Wilson: several overthrown passes, multiple fumbles that seemed almost careless (they weren’t, if you know how Wilson doesn’t quit until he’s out of options). Every time he gave the Seahawks a step forward, he’d blow it by taking three steps back. It didn’t help that multiple catches were reversed and called incompletions, as well as an early receiver fumble; but that’s just it – everything went wrong, and not for one moment did it look like it was going to get better.
|RB J.D. McKissic, 36 offensive snaps, Rush: 6 - 20 - 0, Rec: 3 - 38 - 0 (4 targets)|
McKissic’s speed and receiving skills looked like a really nice complement to Mike Davis
’s up the gut running. When the Seahawks fell behind, McKissic started to play more. He looked fantastic on a sideline catch late in the second quarter, and made a short catch for a first down as well.
|RB Mike Davis, 20 offensive snaps, Rush: 6 - 19 - 0, Rec: 2 - 20 - 0 (2 targets)|
If there was a bright spot – I say, “IF” – it was Mike Davis
. The game plan went out the window pretty quickly, but early in the game when the Seahawks were still running the ball, Davis ran strong up the middle, and seemed to be building momentum. He also contributed as a receiver, making a big play on a screen pass, similar to one he capitalized on last week. In the second half, down 34-0, the Seahawks all but abandoned the run game, and J.D. McKissic
started taking more snaps in the backfield.
In a game in which no Seahawks receiver had any fantasy value, Lockett was a true afterthought, with two catches for a mere eight yards. He just never really factored in, as Wilson going through his progressions, rarely got as far as Lockett before the pass rush got to him.
Richardson was the closest thing to reliable that the Seahawks had. He had several near misses that simply killed drives, including a couple that were thrown off target, and one sideline catch that was overturned and ruled incomplete. Richardson continues to look like the real deal, however, but simply did not get any breaks today.
|WR Doug Baldwin, 48 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - 6 - 0 (4 targets)|
Baldwin had a couple of close-but-no-cigar chances, one in which he was pretty open over the middle, but Wilson misfired with the pass. This is not a chemistry issue, but one of Wilson not having enough time to find his receivers.
|TE Jimmy Graham, 46 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - -1 - 0 (3 targets)|
Graham made a nice looking catch early in the game, but the ball bounced out when he hit the ground, and after review, they called it incomplete. He had a couple of near misses, and in the end, lacked opportunities and was simply unable to get on track.