Week five of the NFL season is an arbitrary but convenient place to start talking about football. Most teams are finding out exactly where they belong in the standings and the good separate themselves from the pack. Coming into their bout versus the 3-1 Los Angeles Rams on Thursday night, the Seattle Seahawks held a 3-1 record that was far less impressive than it sounds.
Seattle’s season started with a narrow 21-20 victory over the Cincinnati Bengals, who are currently winless and in contention for the worst team in the NFL. The next week they pulled out of Pittsburgh with a 28-26 victory over the Steelers, who currently sit at 1-3, looking quite out of it as a team and could very well be winless if it wasn’t for getting to play against the Bengals. Seattle’s week three game against the New Orleans Saints netted them their first loss of the season as they fell 33-27 in a game that wasn’t even that close.
Heading into week four, the Seahawks needed a decisive victory over the struggling Arizona Cardinals to even show that they could win, which they did. A 27-10 domination game put Seattle at 3-1 coming into their hardest test of the season. The Los Angeles Rams came to Seattle after a brief four-day delay in hopes of bouncing back from their first loss to the Buccaneers in week four.
Quite frankly, this game was everything fans could want and then some. After Jaron Brown fumbled it in the opening minutes of the game, the action began with two unanswered Los Angeles field goals, putting the Rams up 6-0 just 10 minutes in. Not to be outdone, Seattle took the lead on a 75-yard drive shortly afterwards, ending on a potential catch of the year for Tyler Lockett.
The score would remain 7-6 Seattle until the second quarter, where the Seahawks would extend their lead on a wide open 40-yard completion to rookie receiver D.K. Metcalf to double their score. This would be their last score until halftime, with an equalizing touchdown by the Rams making it a one-point game heading into the second half.
Little did fans know, the game was far from over. On their first drive in the second half, Todd Gurley pushed the Rams ahead 20-14 on an 8-yard run and the offenses lit up. Three drives later, the Seahawks answered back with a 10-yard catch and run by David Moore to make the score 21-20. Almost immediately, the Rams scored in just five plays off another touchdown run by Gurley, and even then the Seahawks had time to kick a 42-yard field goal before the third quarter was over.
It was the moment of truth. The final 15 minutes commenced, with the Seahawks down 26-24, but the odds piled against them. Greg “the Leg” Zuerlein kicked a 36-yard field goal to extend the Rams lead by three, and Russell Wilson had to work his fourth-quarter magic once again. With the help of Chris Carson, Seattle put together a massive 12-play, seven minute drive. It was fourth and goal on the five-yard line when they finally punched it in with a five-yard touchdown pass to Carson to put them up 30-29.
It came down to the Seattle defense having to do what they couldn’t for the entire second half: stop the Rams offense. After three plays and 11 yards of offense, safety Tedric Thompson came up big with an interception that made Lockett’s catch earlier in the game look all too easy. All Seattle needed was a first down to ice the game and take the victory.
This is exactly what they didn’t get. Using both their timeouts and forcing a punt, the Rams found themselves with under two minutes to get any sort of score to win the game. Jared Goff made it look convincing, too. Everett for nine yards, Woods for 11 yards, Kupp for nine yards, Kupp again for 11 yards, and then capped off by a 28-yard pass to Everett to put them well within field goal range and with it the victory.
If only it was that easy. Zuerlein’s field goal went wide right and it was an anti-climactic end for the Rams, but the Seahawks were victorious and overcame their first real challenge. Their 4-1 record no longer feels like it’s just for show, and I’m perfectly convinced we’re looking at a top team.