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Week 5 Game Recap: Los Angeles Rams 33, Seattle Seahawks 31


What you need to know

Los Angeles Rams

The Rams got their first real scare of the season, as Seattle played them very tough. The wide receiver unit got depleted as the game entered the second half. Impressively, the Rams were able to shift their focus and ride the healthy offensive players they did have - most notably Robert Woods and Josh Reynolds stepping up to carry the offense in crunch time.

Seattle Seahawks

With three straight games of a dominant ground game, itís fair to say the Seahawks play calling that favors the run is more than a trend. Chris Carson and Mike Davis formed a bruising and intimidating committee, while the threat of Russell Wilsonís speed on read-option plays (yes, even though he didnít really run) kept the defense honest. Meanwhile, Wilson still managed three scores through the air, despite the lowest passing attempt total of his season thus far. As for the receivers, outside of Tyler Lockett, who had another excellent game, itís hard to predict who will be productive on any given week.

Los Angeles Rams

QB Jared Goff, 66 offensive snaps, Pass: 23 - 32 - 321 - 1 TD / 2 INT, Rush: 5 - 15 - 0
This was a solid if unspectacular day for Goff. His most impressive play of the game on the first drive - where he fumbled and was still able to avoid disaster. On the first 3rd down of the game, he was stripsacked by Frank Clark on the blindside. He picked up his own fumble and scrambled before tossing it downfield to Robert Woods for an incomplete pass, saving a turnover. His first interception came on the Rams' first trip to the redzone, where he forced a pass to the flat to Gurley that the defender turned into a tip drill interception. He fumbled the ball as it slipped out of his hands mid-release during the two minute drill - recovered by one of his OL. He capped a fairly disjointed 2 minute drill with a Hail Mary interception. In the second half, with a depleted WR core, Goff fed Robert Woods and Josh Reynolds on critical drives and they rewarded him by jumpstarting the offense in critical moments for scoring drives.

RB Todd Gurley, 66 offensive snaps, Rush: 22 - 77 - 3, Rec: 4 - 36 - 0 (5 targets)
Seattle's defensive line won the matchup overall in the run game against the Rams. His production as a runner was middling overall, although he capped off almost all of the Rams' drives with short scores. He did carry the offense on their first scoring drive with a big time catch and run conversion on 2nd and 16. He broke a tackle on a catch in the flats. On the next play, he wiggled his way through the middle of the defense on an inside carry for 16 yards to take the ball to the 2 yard line before punching it into the endzone on the next play. He almost scored a TD on a touch pass again, but dove from the three yard line and came down at the one. He was stuffed on the next carry and the drive ended in a field goal. He capped off the Rams' scoring drives in the second half with short touchdown runs after the team rode Josh Reynolds and Robert Woods down the field.

WR Robert Woods, 66 offensive snaps, Rush: 2 - 53 - 0, Rec: 5 - 92 - 0 (7 targets)
Woods was having a quiet day overall in the first half. He did have a target for a 30 yard catch-and-run slant on 3rd and 6. He broke safety's tackle attempt in the open field and got big yards after the catch. He got big YAC again on a short pass over the middle in the 2 minute drill - a 16 yard catch and run. He carried the offense in the second half after Cooks and Kupp went down. He had the biggest play of the game - a 56 yard run on a Jet Sweep in the second quarter. Later in the drive, he drew a Pass Interference penalty on a critical 4th and 2 deep in Seattle territory. Gurley ended the drive with a short touchdown run. On the next offensive possession, with the Rams down 31-30 in the fourth quarter, Woods had short catches that he turned into 20 and 17 yard gains on consecutive plays. The Rams drive did eventually stall out but they were able to kick the game-winning field goal.

WR Cooper Kupp, 36 offensive snaps, Rec: 6 - 90 - 1 (9 targets)
Kupp was tearing the Seahawks defense up in the first half - running into wide open voids in the middle of the field and in underneath zones. He did have a drop that was popped up into the air on a tip drill after Kupp got hit during the catch attempt - and was bailed out by Higbee catching it off the deflection. His TD reception came off of PA Boot, where he faked as the backside slice blocker before releasing into the flat as he often does. He broke a diving tackle attempt at the 5 and scampered into the endzone. Did not play during the second half because of an apparent concussion sustained during the 2 minute drill to close out the first half. He was hit making a catch over the middle, but finished the drive.

WR Josh Reynolds, 36 offensive snaps, Rush: 1 - 10 - 0, Rec: 2 - 39 - 0 (3 targets)
Reynolds was the injury replacement for Kupp. The Rams showed that they weren't afraid to go to him. They opened up the second half going to him on the first two pass attempts - a 22 yard dig route that he won on the perimeter and then a 17 yard Deep Over. On the next play, he carried a Jet Sweep for a 10 yard gain. Gurley ended up capping the drive with a short touchdown run.

WR Khadarel Hodge, 27 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - 14 - 0 (1 targets)
Came in at X receiver after Cooks and Kupp both went down. He had a catch on the perimeter in the fourth quarter than went for 14 yards but was not notably involved otherwise.

WR Brandin Cooks, 28 offensive snaps
Cooks was injured on his only target of the day. He made a reception on a Deep Over route and was drilled after the catch by the safety coming downhill. He fumbled the ball before hitting the ground. He was ruled out for the rest of the game with a concussion.

TE Gerald Everett, 16 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 24 - 0 (3 targets)
Everett had more playing time than normal in the first half even before Kupp and Cooks went down. He did draw some underneath targets in the pass game, but was not a focal point of the offense. I thought that he might draw some of Kupp's usage as a big slot/wing tight end, but it seemed that all of Kupp's snaps/targets in the second half went to Josh Reynolds.


Seattle Seahawks

QB Russell Wilson, 60 offensive snaps, Pass: 13 - 21 - 198 - 3 TD / 0 INT
13-21-198 seems like such pedestrian numbers for Wilson, but when you tack on his three touchdown passes, itís suddenly quite impressive. Two of the scores were to fringe player David Moore, who Wilson first found in the back of the end zone while scrambling, and then so wide open on a fly route that he caught a slightly underthrown ball. Wilsonís favorite downfield target was Tyler Lockett, whom he found wide open on a deep post route. Wilson spread the ball out, targeting an incredible nine different receivers, and surprisingly only found Doug Baldwin Ė his usual go-to guy -- once. The Seahawks often worked out of the shotgun formation and the passing game was heavily skewed to short patterns, including a few opportunities for the running backs. The only unfortunate part of the game for Wilson was that he did not get an opportunity to run a 2-minute drill in either half, which usually brings out the best in him.

RB Chris Carson, 35 offensive snaps, Rush: 19 - 116 - 0, Rec: 1 - 11 - 0 (1 targets)
After missing the last game and watching his backup top one hundred yards, Carson had something to prove in this one. He came out running hard up the middle, and continued to do so with success throughout the game, wearing out the Rams defense in the process. Carson was the 1A back of this committee and looked even better than he had in his first hundred-yard performance in week three. The ground game as a whole looked healthier, and Carson was able to showcase a true blend of patience and power running between the tackles. Many of his carries came out of the shotgun formation, including a 16-yard draw play on 1st and 20 that showed he can be more than just a straight ahead power runner. As for the committee, Davis got the touchdown run this time, but the rotation did not seem to intentionally designate one or the other as the short yardage back.

RB Mike Davis, 25 offensive snaps, Rush: 12 - 68 - 1, Rec: 2 - 7 - 0 (2 targets)
After last weekís career day of 100+ yards and two scores, Davis was the 1B back in a committee with Chris Carson. He got only twelve carries to Carsonís eighteen, but also chipped in with a six-yard score. Davis and Carson seem to be similar backs, both with power and quickness, with Davis seeming a little more versatile, being used for outside runs and as a receiver, while Carson did most of his damage up the middle. Expect the committee to continue, and flourish, as the stout Rams defense had all kinds of trouble stopping the duo.

RB Rashaad Penny
The disappearance of Penny was apparently collateral damage, due to Davis and Carson being so productive. He was active but played zero snaps, including giving back the kickoff return role to Tyler Lockett this week. One canít predict what is in the mind of the coaches in a situation like this, but Penny has showed he belongs at this level, and sooner or later, heíll get another chance. For now, however, heís purely a dynasty stash in fantasy circles.

WR Tyler Lockett, 52 offensive snaps, Rush: 1 - 6 - 0, Rec: 3 - 98 - 1 (5 targets)
Lockett is finally emerging from the shadows, with his fourth score in five games this season. He has yet to top 100 yards, but came close in this one. Add to that his prowess as kickoff returner (which last week, was given to rookie Rashaad Penny, so keep an eye on that going forward), and he may be the most valuable offensive player, after Russell Wilson. In the first half, Lockett showcased his return skills, ran a reverse that he nearly broke for a big gain, made a big play after beating the pants off of a cornerback that was playing back like a safety, and made a great play coming back to grab an alley-oop like jump ball at the end of a quarterback scramble. He saved the best for the second half, though, when he split the safeties on a deep post pattern, caught the ball wide open, and saw daylight to the end zone.

WR David Moore, 31 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 38 - 2 (4 targets)
Moore sure made his first two NFL catches count, as they both went for touchdowns. First, he found pay dirt in the back of the end zone, hauling in a pass at the end of a broken play; on the second catch, he found himself near the goal line on a fly route, so far ahead of the defensive back that he still easily caught a slightly underthrown pass. They were his only targets, however, and heíd only received one target prior to this game, so it remains to be seen whether he is a one-week wonder or not. The other part of this equation is the production of Doug Baldwin, who was invisible this game, and Brandon Marshall, who could be on his way down the depth chart. Speculatively, Moore seems to have earned himself a look at the third WR role next week.

WR Doug Baldwin, 53 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - 1 - 0 (1 targets)
Baldwin returned LAST week from injury and seemed healthy in his return. So it comes as quite the surprise that the only pass he caught was a shovel pass 1-yarder on the sideline, at the end of a Russell Wilson scramble; an afterthought, basically. He has been Russell Wilsonís go-to guy for quite some time, so a fair assumption would be that this is but a blip on the radar. However, red flags abound when a player comes back from a serious or chronic injury. Wilson is skilled at finding the open man Ė which so often has been Baldwin in the past Ė but, speculatively speaking here, if Baldwinís knee has slowed him so much that he is no longer the open man, this could easily become more than a passing trend.

WR Brandon Marshall, 7 offensive snaps (1 targets)
Marshall was an afterthought in this one and is quickly losing any fantasy relevance Ė potential relevance, that is Ė that he may have had. He only played seven snaps against the Rams, while his replacement, David Moore, reeled in two touchdown passes. Marshall at this point is a one trick pony. He is unable to gain separation in coverage, and simply has to win the ball with his positioning and size, which he is still capable of doing. Itís a marvel to watch his determination and humility in playing the possession role for the Seahawks, but unfortunately the experiment may be coming to a close. Even if he does hang on as a role player, any significant production will be few and far between.

TE Nick Vannett, 50 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 43 - 0 (4 targets)
Letís be clear: Vannett is not a fantasy starter. He may be a spot-starter to cover a bye week, at most. But he is the starting TE for the Seahawks, and is proving to be a reliable safety valve for Russell Wilson, who looks his way enough that he could be relevant on weeks that heís able to score. His biggest pickup against the Rams was on an impromptu shovel pass that he turned into a 32 yard gain.