Top photo of Cooper Kupp by Claudia Gestro
Coming into this second game against the Seattle Seahawks, the Los Angeles Rams knew the Seattle offense was good enough to put points on the board and that Russell Wilson is still an elite quarterback in the NFL. Their record may not show it, but the Seattle Seahawks are still a tough team to play. They beat the Indianapolis Colts and the San Francisco 49ers twice.
They have struggled all season and rank near the bottom of the league when it comes to total yards and yards per game. They have struggled defensively, being ranked close to the bottom in the NFL stats. But that doesn’t stop them from coming out and doing their best.
Defensively the Rams have struggled as well. They are not the best defense in the league this season, they rank somewhere in the middle (the Buffalo Bills are the #1 defense), but a defense with Aaron Donald, Von Miller, Leonard Floyd, Greg Gaines, Taylor Rapp and Jalen Ramsey is still a tough, mean defense to try and defeat.
The offense for the Los Angeles Rams features the best receiver in the NFL, Cooper Kupp — who was named to the Pro Bowl for the first time in his career (Many say he should have been selected several years ago). Some people are wondering why he isn’t listed as a First Team Pro Bowler this season. This offense also has other great receivers like Van Jefferson and Odell Beckham, Jr, both of whom make covering these receivers extremely difficult. And of course they have tight end Tyler Higbee who is a big threat from the line or the backfield.
One play the Rams use well is the jet sweep and it was no surprise they used it in the Tuesday night game against Seattle.
This was a well matched game for most of three quarters. The good Seahawks defense put a tough lid on the Los Angeles offense, keeping the Rams from taking over the game. All either team could score in the first half were one field goal each. They went into half time tied.
It was in the second half when the Rams defense began to contain Russell Wilson and his offense. The Seahawks scored a touchdown on their first drive of the half, but then the Los Angeles defense clamped down. After the game I asked Rams linebacker Von Miller what changed in the second half that had them controlling the Seattle offense. He said, “Honestly I don’t know, I have to watch the film. They drove the ball down the field and scored on us with that first drive. We’ve got a team full of ballers. When I look to my right you have 99 (Aaron Donald) and when you look across you got 54 (Leonard Floyd) and you have Greg Gaines in the middle … If there’s a sack to be had or a play to be made, we’re going to make it. It’s refreshing to be here.” Miller added, “They scored a touchdown. They did an incredible job driving down the field. I feel extremely confident in my team, I feel extremely confident in my skills. Whatever it is we are to have out there on the field we are going to get it for sure.”
Containing Russell Wilson and keeping the Seahawks from scoring in the 4th quarter was a key to the Rams win tonight. Throughout his career Wilson has been known for staging big 4th quarter comeback wins. The Rams didn’t score that second field goal, by Matt Gay, until late in the final frame so there was the opportunity for Wilson to create one of his comeback wins. But the strong Rams defense held.
In this game Von Miller got his first sack as a Ram and he and his teammates were very happy about it. Aaron Donald also sacked Wilson.
As we come to expect from him, wide receiver Cooper Kupp had another big game with 136 receiving yards and two touchdown catches. For the season Kupp has 1,625 yards, 122 receptions and 14 touchdown catches. He is the top performing receiver in the NFL this season. Still, the strong Seattle defense held Rams QB Matthew Stafford to just 244 yards of passing, intercepting him once as well. The Rams average 281.7 passing yards per game so the Seattle defense did a good job on Stafford, sacking him once as well (by DE Rasheem Green) Stafford did have the two touchdown passes to Kupp,
Once again Sony Michel had a good game. He had 92 yards rushing and 23 yards receiving, helping this Los Angeles offense get the best of the Seattle defense in the second half.
The Rams got him in a trade with the New England Patriots before the season and now as the season is winding down and getting to these important final games, Michel is becoming the running back everyone was expecting.
If Michel and Darrell Henderson, Jr. continue to get better, the jet sweep and play action plays could be very successful. After the game I asked coach Sean McVay about how they used the running backs in this game. He said, “Yeah, Sony (Michel) got the majority of the workload. I thought (RB) Darrell (Henderson Jr.) came in and did a nice job. He was really kind of getting his wind underneath them. He had a couple big time carries.” McVay was very excited about his running backs. He added, “But I thought Sony was outstanding today. (Assistant Head Coach/Running Backs Coach) Thomas Brown is such a leader for that room, he’s assistant head coach, he’s a running back coach. He has a great feel during the course of the game. I thought (Assistant Quarterbacks Coach) Zac Robinson did a great job being able to spell those guys, have a good feel, communicate with them in between drives. Sony was outstanding and then Darrell did a nice job with the opportunities he had today.”
The Seahawks are a tough team and were never completely out of the game. Even when the Rams had a 10 point lead, everyone knows Wilson has the talent to lead his team to a comeback win. It took a combined focus of offense, defense and special teams to get the win.
With three games left the Rams need to close the season on a winning streak and this win keeps that streak going. Next they play the Minnesota Vikings on the road, followed by the Baltimore Ravens on the road and finishing the season at home against the very tough San Francisco 49ers. Three tough games the Rams must win.
The are now tied with the Arizona Cardinals for the lead in the NFC West Division and in the NFC Conference, they are in a four-way tie with the Cardinals, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Dallas Cowboys for second place, just one game behind the league-leading Green Bay Packers. Anything could happen in these next three games so the Rams have a shot at winning not only the division, but the top seed in the NFC conference for the playoffs.
Claudia is of Peruvian and Italian descent, having been born in a small town, in the North of Peru, South America. She was raised by her grandmother from an early age, living in poverty until Claudia’s mother brought her to America. She landed in Miami, FL and started her new life, playing high school basketball and eventually becoming a United States citizen. Claudia completed her education at Florida International University with a BA in Broadcast Journalism and became a model to supplement her income. Since graduating from FIU Claudia has worked with many of the Spanish Language broadcasting companies, including Telemundo, Univision and most recently Spanish Language channels on SiriusXM satellite radio and PasTV Deportes in Venezuela.She encourages you to follow her on Twitter and Facebook. Her content appears here under a shared content agreement with her Spanish television clients.