LOS ANGELES — Confronted with a digital must-win state of affairs whilst webhosting divisional foe Seattle, the Los Angeles Rams pulled off 28-12 victory Sunday evening.
In so doing, the Rams stored one recreation again of the Minnesota Vikings for the overall wil-card berth and likewise knocked the Seahawks down from the primary seed within the NFC standings to the 5th.
The Rams nonetheless have an overly narrow margin for error, however for this week no less than, they took care of commercial.
Listed below are 3 issues we realized on this matchup.
1. Protection solutions the decision — The Rams’ protection hasn’t persistently lived as much as expectancies this season, however Sunday evening the unit gave the impression of the unit that helped elevate L.A. to the Tremendous Bowl final season. And due to that time out by way of the protection, the Rams emerged victorious and stored their narrow playoff hopes alive.
Whilst the Rams’ offense apparently did the whole lot it might in the second one 1/2 to present Seattle an opportunity, the protection many times delivered one sturdy stand after any other to erase the transgressions of the offense and particular groups gadgets. The Rams did a just right task of pressuring Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson, sacking him 5 instances, they usually held the Seahawks to 5-of-14 on third-down conversions. The Rams additionally denied Seattle on a first-half fourth-and-1 play through which the Seahawks elected to move for a primary down relatively than try a box purpose.
One of the most largest stops got here past due within the 1/3 quarter when Aaron Donald sacked Russell Wilson for an 11-yard loss, shifting the ball from the L.A. 41 to the Seattle 48, forcing a punt.
2. Flashes of the outdated — Jared Goff picked up the place he left off in final week’s special occasion in opposition to Arizona and marched his workforce downfield on a pressure capped by way of a Malcolm Brown landing run at the Rams’ first play of the sport. Then, Goff threw two landing passes within the first 1/2. Completing with 292 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions on 22-of-31 passing, he gave the impression of his 2018 self and no longer the participant that has struggled with decision-making and accuracy this season.
Rams coaches did a just right task of the usage of the play motion to shop for their quarterback time, they usually steadily rolled him out so he wasn’t a sitting goal. Goff were given the ball out temporarily and stored force on Seattle’s protection.
Some other Rams participant that gave the impression of the 2018 model of himself used to be Todd Gurley. He completed with 79 speeding yards and 34 receiving yards on 27 general touches as Rams coaches have it appears that evidently finished away with their load-management manner. L.A.’s offense simply works such a lot higher when the Rams have the whole products and services of the flexible again. The Seahawks needed to recognize the specter of the run and couldn’t key on Goff as aggressively as they’d have favored.
The 1/3 quarter, on the other hand, used to be no doubt unsightly for Goff and the offense. He threw two interceptions — one returned 55 yards for a landing — to protection Quandre Diggs. And the Seahawks additionally blocked a 37-yard box purpose try. However thankfully for the Rams, a robust defensive time out ensured that the Seahawks inflicted best such a lot injury. After which, within the fourth quarter, the offense regained its footing and Gurley capped a seven-play, 95-yard pressure with a 7-yard landing run, his 9th of the season.
3. Highest department in soccer? — With 3 weeks left within the common season, 3 of the NFC West’s 4 groups stay in search of a playoff bid. The 49ers regained the highest spot within the NFC, the Seahawks dropped to the 5th seed and the Rams stored their hopes alive. And so, it’s onerous to argue with the perception that the NFC West is the most efficient department within the league.
The Cardinals aren’t an element, however it’s onerous to discover a department with a extra bold trio than San Francisco, Seattle and Los Angeles. The NFC North has a robust tandem within the Packers and Vikings, however the Bears are wildly inconsistent. The NFC South has the Saints and no different demanding situations. The NFC East is a humiliation. The AFC North has one (Ravens) and most likely two (Steelers) playoff groups. The AFC East has New England and Buffalo, however the Jets and Dolphins are beside the point. And the AFC West principally has just one professional squad: the Chiefs. So the crown for perfect department in soccer has to visit the NFC West.
Observe USA TODAY Sports activities’ Mike Jones on Twitter @ByMikeJones and concentrate to the Soccer Jones podcast on iTunes.