Seahawks shut down high-scoring Rams for 16-10 victory

Seattle will take on New York next

When Todd Gurley stretched the ball toward the goal line, Earl Thomas soared in with perfect timing and a martial arts-style chop to the running back’s arm, knocking the ball out for a touchback.

After an impressive start to the season, the Rams thought they were ready to run past the NFC West’s perennial power.

Thomas and the Seattle Seahawks barely swatted away the upstarts in a defensive performance full of timely brilliance.

Russell Wilson passed for 198 yards and a touchdown, and Thomas forced two of the Rams’ five turnovers in the Seahawks’ 16-10 victory Sunday.

Jimmy Graham scored late in the first half in a defence-dominated win for the Seahawks (3-2), who shut out the NFL’s highest-scoring offence in the second half and won despite getting outgained 375-241.

“We all played so well on defence,” Thomas said. “Even when our back was against the wall, we squared up in the red zone. This is the No. 1 offence, and we did a great job.”

READ: B.C. woman singing O Canada at Seahawks game to kneel after U.S. anthem

Thomas made enormous plays early and late. The veteran safety stripped Gurley at the pylon to kill the Rams’ opening drive, and he intercepted Jared Goff’s fluttering pass at midfield with 6:02 to play.

Sheldon Richardson also came through with two big plays, diving to intercept a deflected pass in the third quarter before scooping up Goff’s fumble near midfield with 2:45 left.

“He’s going to be all right,” Richardson said of Goff, who went 22 of 47 for 288 yards with three costly turnovers. “He’s not the same guy from last year. But he’s no Tom Brady yet.”

Goff moved the Rams 55 yards in the final 1:09, but Seattle’s defence made its final stop. Rams rookie Cooper Kupp barely missed a diving TD grab on third down, and Goff’s fourth-down pass to Kupp was too low.

“For our guys to come through and finish like that, that’s as exciting as the game gets,” Seattle coach Pete Carroll said.

Tavon Austin rushed for a 27-yard TD for Los Angeles (3-2). After a quick start to the season that caught the NFL’s attention, the Rams wasted their strong defensive game when new coach Sean McVay’s offence ran into the Legion of Boom.

“We had a 12-play drive and a 13-play drive that went for no points, so it wasn’t so much we weren’t moving the ball,” Goff said. “We just weren’t finishing drives. We got into the red zone and didn’t do a good job. That’s where it shows up. You see why Seattle has been so good for so long defensively.”

Wilson didn’t have big numbers, but the quarterback put on a performance of vintage resourcefulness, repeatedly wriggling away from the Rams’ pursuing defence to make plays. Blair Walsh’s two second-half field goals turned out to be the difference for Seattle, which managed just 97 yards in the second half.

SOLID START FOR RAMS

Austin, the wide receiver used more often as a ball carrier by McVay, scored the game’s first points when he took a handoff and high-stepped to the end zone early in the second quarter.

Wilson then threw an interception to Rams rookie John Johnson, who returned it 69 yards before Wilson made a possible touchdown-saving tackle.

SO CLOSE

Thomas forced Gurley’s fumble on a play that was ruled a touchdown on the field, but went to video review because it could have been seen three ways: A touchdown, out of bounds on the 1, or a fumble and touchback. Officials eventually ruled Gurley had lost control of the ball an instant before stepping out of bounds.

“I did a great job watching the Bruce Lee movies, and it kind of carried over to the football field,” Thomas said of his chop.

Thomas made an incredibly similar play against the St. Louis Rams in 2014, chopping the ball out of Benny Cunningham’s hand at the goal line.

SO CLOSE AGAIN

Kupp, the Rams’ impressive third-round choice, barely missed the biggest catch of his young career on a tough ball. “I expect to make that play,” said Kupp, who had three catches for 44 yards. “I can’t say anything about whether it was behind me or a one-hand catch. If I’m putting my hands on the ball, I’ve got to make that play.”

INJURIES

Seahawks: DE Michael Bennett went to the locker room late in the first half after injuring his right foot. He returned for the second half, keeping Seattle sound at the position while playing without injured Cliff Avril and Quinton Jefferson.

Rams: Starting safeties Lamarcus Joyner and Maurice Alexander both didn’t play. Joyner had a hamstring injury, but Alexander’s absence wasn’t injury-related. “It was nothing disciplinary,” McVay said, calling it a personnel decision.

UP NEXT

Seahawks: A bye week, followed by a trip to the New York Giants on Sunday, Oct. 22.

Rams: At Jacksonville on Sunday before travelling to London.

___

For more NFL coverage: http://www.pro32.ap.org and http://www.twitter.com/AP_NFL

Greg Beacham, The Associated Press

Just Posted

New book about Vanderhoof’s past will be on shelves this spring

Nechako Valley Historical Society is finishing up the book that has involved the whole community

B.C. chiefs show solidarity with Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs

Chiefs from around B.C. outside the Coastal GasLink pipeline route in Smithers show support.

Woman killed in head-on crash near Vanderhoof

RCMP say driver crossed the centre line and hit a loaded fuel tanker truck

RCMP to review actions at Wet’suwet’en pipeline protest camps

Senior Mountie says he hopes protests will be peaceful following deal with hereditary chiefs

‘Tripod’ delays access to Unist’ot’en camp

Social media rumours of cultural significance quashed, meaning police “exclusion zones” should end.

VIDEO: U.S. Congress to probe whether Trump told lawyer Cohen to lie

At issue is a BuzzFeed News report that about negotiations over a Moscow real estate project

Explosion sends B.C. firefighter to hospital

Kelowna fire crews responded to a blaze at Pope’sGallery of BC Art & Photography on Friday

Ex-Mountie investigating ‘Surrey six’ murders pleads guilty to obstruction

Derek Brassington entered his plea in B.C. Supreme Court on Friday

Rare ‘super blood wolf moon’ takes to the skies this Sunday

Celestial event happens only three times this century

Arrest made after historic B.C. church hit by arson

The fire at the 150-year-old Murray United Church in Merritt was considered a possible hate crime

B.C. dangerous offender in court for violating no-contact order, sends letter to victim

Wayne Belleville was shocked to see a letter addressed to him from his shooter, Ronald Teneycke

Man blames his loud car radio, sirens for crash with B.C. ambulance

Tribunal rejects bid to recoup ICBC costs after crash deemed 100-per-cent his fault

RECALL: Salmon Village maple salmon nuggets

Customers warned not to eat product due to possible Listeria contamination

More than 100,000 toxic toys named in Canada-wide recall

Plastic doll contains levels of phthalates over allowable limit and may pose chemical hazard

Most Read