The Los Angeles Rams and Seattle Seahawks did battle in a huge NFC West game Thursday night.
Seattle was hoping that home-field would be a major advantage here. Meanwhile, the Rams were looking to rebound from a humiliating 55-40 home loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last week.
When all was said and done, Seattle came out on top by the score of 30-29 to take sole possession of second place in the division behind the San Francisco 49ers.
Here, we look at the biggest winners and losers from this “Thursday Night Football” rivalry game.
Winner: Russell Wilson
Wilson has been an absolute dynamo to start the season. He entered Thursday night’s action completing a league-best 72% of his passes for 1,141 yards with eight touchdowns and zero interceptions. At least initially, Wilson continued this record-setting pace. He completed 10-of-13 passes for 190 yards with two beautiful touchdowns (watch here and here) in the first half.
Showing that he has the best improvisational skills in the NFL, Wilson continued to make something out of nothing throughout the game. He extended plays and drives. It was something to behold.
When all was said and done, the MVP candidate finished Thursday’s game completing 17-of-23 passes for 268 yards with four touchdowns and zero interceptions. He also led Seattle on the game-winning drive that culminated in a five-yard touchdown pass to Chris Carson with 2:28 left in the fourth quarter.
Loser: Brandin Cooks
Prior to going down to injury early in the fourth quarter, Cooks had caught just 1-of-3 targets for 29 yards. It represented his worst performance since all the way back in October of last year.
That’s not necessarily what the Rams had in mind when they signed this former first-round pick to a five-year, $81 million extension prior to the 2018 season. Cooks needs to come up big for Goff in prime-time matchups like we saw Thursday evening. Let’s just hope the injury won’t prevent him from doing that moving forward.
Winner: Jared Goff
We’ve touched on Goff’s recent struggles. The Super Bowl quarterback gave the ball away four times in a 55-40 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last week. Over the course of his past 12 starts, Goff has accounted for 13 touchdowns and 20 turnovers. He most definitely was not at the top of his game early Thursday night in Seattle.
The first half saw Los Angeles score 13 points on four drives inside of the Seahawks’ 30-yard line. Goff was 0-for-4 passing on third down. That’s when the former first-round pick upped his game in a big way.
Goff finished the evening completing 29-of-49 passes for 395 yards with one touchdown and an interception. He also led Los Angeles on a potential game-winning drive in the final seconds before Greg Zuerlein missed a 44-yard field goal at the end. No matter the outcome, Goff upped his game when it counted the most.
Loser: Greg Zuerlein
We hate to make a kicker a loser, but that’s exactly what this former All-Pro is. After connecting on his first three field goals of the evening, Zuerlein had an opportunity to win it with a 44-yard field goal in the final seconds. He failed miserably.
It was an absolutely huge miss and could have wide-ranging ramifications in the NFC West moving forward. Los Angeles is now one game behind Seattle and could potentially find itself two games behind San Francisco in the loss column when all is said and done this week.
Winner: Will Dissly
There’s a reason Seattle traded backup tight end Nick Vannett earlier in the season. General manager John Schneider and Co. are confident in Dissly being a breakout star. We saw first hand Thursday evening why the team is so confident.
Dissly finished the evening with four catches for 81 yards on four targets, making a couple huge plays in the process.
Russell Wilson has not always used his tight ends to the best of their abilities. However, it looks like he’s built a tremendous relationship with Dissly. That could loom large moving forward.
Loser: Marcus Peters
It just seems that the playmaking ability we saw from Peters in Kansas City has not really continued in Los Angeles. The Pro Bowl cornerback struggled big time out on the boundary against Seattle Thursday evening.
He was seemingly lost in coverage on D.K. Metcalf’s 40-yard touchdown in the first half. Peters then whiffed on a tackle of David Moore, leading directly to a go-ahead touchdown for Seattle in the third quarter.
Sure Peters continues to make some plays, but his inconsistencies have really come back to haunt the Rams. That reared its ugly head Thursday evening.
Winner: Cooper Kupp
After starting out slow Thursday evening, the NFL’s leading receiver picked it up down the stretch. Kupp continued to get open for Goff, leading to a much improved Rams passing offense in the second half.
That included the veteran catching nine passes for 117 yards and a touchdown. In a game that saw Robert Woods and Brandin Cooks struggle to do much, Kupp acted as that safety valve for Goff. It’s something he’s done throughout his career. He’s not about to let up any time soon.
Loser: Germain Ifedi
Wilson might have only been sacked one time in the game. That’s fine. However, he continually had to improvise throughout the game. That was magnified when right guard D.J. Fluker went down to injury. Like we’ve seen throughout the vast majority of his career, Ifedi was the main culprit here.
Seattle simply needs better pass protection from the right side of its line. That’s especially true given that the left side has been fortified. Up to this point in his career, Ifedi has not provided it.