SEATTLE: Russell Wilson threw for three touchdowns as the Seattle Seahawks clinched the NFC West Division title with a 24-3 victory over the struggling Los Angeles Rams on Thursday (Friday in Manila).
The Seahawks used an intensive pass rush and some big second half plays to rout the Rams, who fired their head coach Jeff Fisher three days ago.
The coaching change seemed to do little to shake up or inspire the Los Angeles players as quarterback Jared Goff was sacked four times and had to leave the game in the fourth quarter after a hard hit.
The Seahawks clinched the NFC West for the third time in four years with the win in front of a crowd of 69,000 at Seattle’s CenturyLink Field.
Following the NFL game, Seattle corner back Richard Sherman boasted that they could go all the way this season.
“We got a chance to win the Super Bowl,” Sherman said. “We got a chance to win it all.”
Seattle’s pass rush spent a good portion of the contest beating up on Rams rookie quarterback Goff. The Seahawks (9-4-1) held him to 13 of 25 passing for 135 yards.
Goff left the game after a big hit from Sherman midway through the fourth quarter and was evaluated for a possible concussion. Backup QB Case Keenum finished the game for the Rams.
Sherman said he laid an extra lick on Goff because he looked too casual running down the sideline with the ball.
“There was disrespect in his running style,” Sherman said. “He was acting like he was going to get a freebie into the end zone.”
Los Angeles guard Rodger Saffold refused to use the team’s coaching change as an excuse.
“You can say we lost Fish, that it’s a short turnaround, but that’s just BS,” he said. “We didn’t execute.”
Seahawks quarterback Wilson went 19 of 26 for 229 passing yards and three touchdowns. His lone interception came on Seattle’s final drive.
“He was excellent,” Sherman said of Wilson. “He was using his legs, and using all weapons we got for him.”
Referee Brad Allen spent much of the first half under the replay hood as Seattle coach Pete Carroll threw his challenge flag three times in the first 20 minutes. The first gave the Seahawks a new set of downs after a reception was marked just short, and the second forced a turnover on downs after the Rams attempted a fourth-and-one.
Soon after, Seattle made it 10-0 with a 48-yard field goal by Steven Hauschka.
Los Angeles cut the deficit to 10-3 with a 36-yard field goal by Greg Zuerlein less than a minute before the half.
The victory snapped a three-game Seattle losing streak against the Rams dating back to last season.