Studs and duds from Rams’ Week 5 victory vs. Seahawks

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The Rams had a lot of room for improvement coming out of their 37-20 loss to the Cardinals in Week 4. The offense didn’t play nearly well enough, while the defense was torched by Kyler Murray on seemingly every drive.

They regrouped and got better during their three-day preparation for the Seahawks, looking much more impressive in Thursday night’s 26-17 win over Seattle. There were some issues on special teams, but the offense and defense both played at a higher level than they did against Arizona.

Here are the standouts from this win, as well as three players who struggled to make much of a positive impact.

Stud: Robert Woods

Woods caught 15 passes for 172 yards in the first four games of the season. On Thursday night alone, he caught 12 passes for 150 yards, nearly matching his four-game total with one impressive performance against the Seahawks. He was unstoppable on in-breaking routes over the middle, consistently getting open for Stafford and breaking off 20-plus-yard gains to move the chains. He’s an important player on offense and deserves a bigger role than the one he had in the first four weeks, even if he doesn’t put up these numbers consistently. Good things happen when the ball is in his hands.

Stud: Terrell Lewis

The loss of Justin Hollins was a big one, but Lewis is doing a good job filling in as a starter opposite Leonard Floyd. His athleticism and speed have been apparent on the edge, and he flashed quite a few times on Thursday night. He drew a holding penalty to negate a touchdown, he sacked Russell Wilson for a 12-yard loss and pressured him a few times – including on a play that forced a hurried throw into Aaron Donald’s helmet. He’s been impressive in his larger role on defense.

Stud: Matthew Stafford

Stafford was looking like he’d be a dud in the first half after throwing an unsightly interception in the end zone and sailing a handful of passes. But he was excellent in the second half, completing 12 of 18 passes for 234 yards and a touchdown. He showed great poise and looked more comfortable in the pocket once he settled down and wasn’t going through his progressions as quickly. He made some really impressive throws over the middle to Robert Woods and Cooper Kupp, leading the Rams on three touchdown drives in the second half.

Stud: Aaron Donald

When is Donald not a stud? He dominated the Seahawks once again with seven tackles and three quarterback hits, both tying his season-high. He also had a sack and two tackles for a loss, setting the Rams’ all-time record for the most sacks in franchise history. Even when he wasn’t the one making tackles, he was pushing blockers into the backfield and disrupting plays like he always does.

Dud: Matt Gay

Gay had a bizarre night. He made 31- and 47-yard field goals, but he also missed an extra point attempt and pulled not one, but two kickoffs out of bounds to give the Seahawks excellent field position. He’s now missed two kicks in his last two games after being perfect through the first three weeks, so there might be some concern growing here.

Dud: Robert Rochell

It was a rough first start for the rookie. He was burned badly by Tyler Lockett on a deep pass, but he tackled the receiver to prevent a touchdown and draw a pass interference penalty. He was also beat by DK Metcalf for a touchdown in the left corner of the end zone, struggling a bit in coverage in his first career NFL start. He wasn’t much better than David Long Jr. has been so perhaps the Rams will just make this an open competition between the two.

Dud: Taylor Rapp

Rapp has been unreliable in coverage this season and unfortunately, that trend continued against the Seahawks. He bit on a play fake early in the game and allowed a big play down the left side. He also didn’t provide much in the way of run support, either, failing to make a single tackle until Geno Smith’s scramble on the second-to-last play of the game. It might be time for the Rams to give Terrell Burgess an opportunity in the secondary.

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