On paper, it looked as if fans were going to be in store for a great “Thursday Night Football” matchup.
While “great” may not be the right way to describe it, the game was certainly an entertaining — and unusual — one.
The Los Angeles Rams overcame a slow start — and survived a near-comeback led by Seattle backup quarterback Geno Smith after Russell Wilson went down with a finger injury — to beat the Seahawks 26-17 at Lumen Field.
A slow, mistake-filled start
At least for the first 30 minutes of the night, the game didn’t live up to expectations.
Both teams went into the locker room with a combined 10 points and plenty of opportunities left out on the field — including a missed field goal and an end-zone interception. Neither team converted on a third down in the first half, going a combined 0-of-7.
Now, that’s not to say it was all bad. Quandre Diggs had a wild interception after Matthew Stafford was seemingly trying to throw a ball away into the back of the end zone. Rams cornerback Jalen Ramsey and linebacker Troy Reeder teamed up for an interception just four plays later, too.
It wasn’t until Wilson, after a nearly 50-yard pass interference call put them in position, found D.K. Metcalf for a 19-yard score that either team was on the board.
The Rams ended the half with a field goal, and only entered down four after Seattle missed a 35-yarder of its own.
Geno Smith replaces Wilson after finger injury
Things got extremely interesting in the second half — thanks to a weird finger injury that led to Smith’s first action of the season.
Wilson’s throwing hand collided with Rams defensive end Aaron Donald's hand in the third quarter just after he got rid of the ball, which sent his middle finger back and out of place.
He tried to return on the next drive, but Seattle went three-and-out. Eventually, the Seahawks turned to Smith instead.
That decision, while they were down nine, nearly worked out.
Smith went a perfect 5-of-5 for 72 yards on his opening drive and found Metcalf for a 23-yard touchdown.
That momentum shift, however, didn't last long.
Stafford and the Rams needed just six plays to find the end zone themselves to retake control of the game in what felt like an instant.
Smith brought the Seahawks back down the field quickly, though they had to settle for a field goal to make it a one-score game. He got one final shot after the Seahawks defense came up with a huge stop to give Smith just more than two minutes to find the end zone and grab the win.
Smith’s great night, though, came to an end on the very next play. He threw an interception right to Rams safety Nick Scott after Tyler Lockett fell down (or was knocked down) — which led to a clinching 47-yard field goal for the Rams.
Stafford finished 25-of-37 for 365 yards with a touchdown and an interception, and Henderson led the Rams with 82 rushing yards and a TD on 17 carries. Robert Woods, though he didn’t find the end zone, had 150 receiving yards on 12 receptions.
Smith ended the night with 131 yards on 10-of-16 throwing in his fourth-quarter run. Metcalf had 98 yards and two TDs on just five receptions. Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said after the game that Wilson was taken out of the game because he just couldn’t hold the football. He said that it’s like “a badly sprained finger,” but that they need further evaluation to determine how severe it is, via CBS Sports’ Jonathan Jones.
The Rams now sit 4-1 in the NFC West, behind only the unbeaten Arizona Cardinals. The Seahawks are just 2-3 on the season — though that's likely not their biggest concern at the moment. If Wilson's injury lingers over the next few weeks, they could have a bigger problem on their hands.