Did you notice these small details that often led to big plays in the Rams’ 9-3 win over the Seattle Seahawks Sunday afternoon at the Coliseum?
The Rams settled for a field goal on their first possession but could have lengthened the drive if Case Keenum had spotted some wide-open receivers. Keenum had both tight end Lance Kendricks and wideout Kenny Britt uncovered on a play, but he went instead to Tavon Austin, who was draped by a defender as he caught the ball out of bounds.
From the start ,the Seahawks’ offensive line had trouble with the Rams’ defensive front. On a second and 12 on Seattle’s first possession, Alec Ogletree spied quarterback Russell Wilson and read run all the way. The middle linebacker came through the left side of the Seattle line, closely followed by Aaron Donald, who ultimately pulled running back Thomas Rawls to the ground. On the next play, Robert Quinn used his speed to get around the left tackle and hit Wilson as he passed, the quarterback taking another big hit on the three-and-out series.
Before the start of a third-and-goal play, running back Christine Michael tried to get Wilson’s attention. The quarterback took the snap, looked left toward Jermaine Kearse and threw, only to see cornerback Trumaine Johnson break up the pass. Had he looked the other direction, he would have seen Michael open in the middle of the end zone. Instead the Seahawks had to settle for their only field goal.
Keenum’s deepest pass of Week 1 went 22 yards. One of his longest Sunday went 44 yards, to Kendricks, when the Rams used play action. Kendricks broke loose because Seahawks linebacker Mike Morgan got caught watching Todd Gurley running to the flat as Kendricks sprinted up the sideline.
Wilson was sacked twice, but Rams defensive end William Hayes’ quarterback takedown on a first-and-10 play was a thing of beauty. Ogletree ran around the end to draw the line’s attention while Hayes split the middle and sacked Wilson to stall a drive near midfield.
Seattle got to Keenum three times. The biggest sack came from defensive end Frank Clark, who got off the line so fast that center Tim Barnes and guard Cody Wichmann had no chance to stop the 6-foot-3, 260 pounder. He split the blockers and came down hard on Keenum for a 10-yard loss.
The Seahawks didn’t take a lot of chances on first down. After Seattle ran on first down on three of four possessions, the Rams showed single coverage on the outside receivers, but Seattle played it safe, Michael ran again for a two-yard loss, and the setback led to its seventh punt.