EditorsNote: Updates with quotes
Cam Akers rushed for 131 yards and a touchdown and Darious Williams returned an interception for a score as the sixth-seeded Los Angeles Rams upset the host Seattle Seahawks 30-20 on Saturday in the opening round of the NFC playoffs.
Matt Gay kicked three field goals for the Rams and their defense allowed 278 yards of total offense against the third-seeded Seahawks, who had won their previous 10 postseason games at Lumen Field. Seattle’s last home playoff loss was to the St. Louis Rams in 2004.
“I have no place in my brain for this outcome,” Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said.
Jared Goff, who suffered a fractured right thumb at Seattle two weeks ago that required surgery, came off the bench to guide the Rams, throwing a 15-yard touchdown pass to Robert Woods with 4:46 remaining to help clinch the victory. Goff was 9 of 19 for 155 yards in place of starter John Wolford.
“We were going to fight hard for whoever was playing (quarterback),” Rams safety John Johnson III said.
Seattle’s Russell Wilson was 11 of 27 for 174 yards and two touchdowns, both to DK Metcalf. Wilson was sacked five times, twice each by Aaron Donald and Leonard Floyd, and the Seahawks converted just 2 of 14 third-down attempts.
“When you get rushed like that, get sacked five times, against that group, it’s really tough … the pressure was hard, the coverage was good. He was up against it all day,” Carroll said.
Metcalf’s 12-yard touchdown reception with 2:28 pulled the Seahawks within 10 points, but Woods recovered the ensuing onside kick.
There were three touchdowns scored in a span of 4:48 late in the first half, giving Los Angeles a 20-10 lead.
With the Rams up 6-3, Williams jumped a Wilson screen pass intended for Metcalf, picked it off and went 42 yards for a touchdown with 6:46 left in the half.
Wilson scrambled to his left and lofted a ball over the secondary, finding Metcalf for a 51-yard touchdown with 3:43 remaining.
On third-and-9 from the Rams’ own 26-yard line, Goff hit Akers with a screen pass. The rookie took it 44 yards down the right sideline, setting up his own 5-yard touchdown run with 1:57 to go in the half. Akers, a second-round pick from Florida State, missed the Week 16 matchup between teams with an ankle injury as the Seahawks won 20-9, clinching the NFC West title.
“He’s made of the right junk,” Rams left tackle Andrew Whitworth said about Akers. “His heart, his passion for the game is special.”
Wolford started at quarterback for the Rams and led them into field-goal range on their second possession before suffering a neck injury while being tackled by Seattle’s Jamal Adams. Wolford didn’t return and was taken to the hospital.
The Seahawks’ Chris Carson rushed for 77 yards and Jason Myers kicked 50- and 52-yard field goals.
–Field Level Media