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A Thursday night game worthy of a primetime Sunday slot, the Seattle Seahawks (2-2) and Los Angeles Rams (3-1) spearheaded Week 5 with an intradivision showdown from Lumen Field.
With both teams representing the crème de la crème of the NFC West — the NFL’s most punishing division — the night’s victor would assuredly assume status as prime Super Bowl contender, even against the NFL’s only unbeaten team and fellow NFC West contender, the Arizona Cardinals.
The home team Seahawks were the first to score for the night, when Russell Wilson hit DK Metcalf for a 19-yard touchdown in the second quarter. Los Angeles picked off Wilson shortly after, and Matthew Stafford also threw an early pick in the game before his offense started to heat up.
Sean McVay and the Rams scored 27 first-quarter points in their first four weeks of the season — but went scoreless against the Bucs in Week 3. Los Angeles went scoreless against the Seahawks in the first, but found their groove shortly after Stafford’s interception to former Lions teammate Quandre Diggs.
Stafford threw for 365 yards off 25-of-37 passes and a touchdown to tight end Tyler Higbee. Rams running back Darrell Henderson, Jr. came back from his Week 4 absence with a solid 82 yards on 17 carries and a touchdown.
Luck began to fully tilt in the Rams’ direction after the half, and they scored 13 points in the third quarter. Seattle’s offense never had the chance to respond once Russell Wilson dislocated his middle finger after his throwing hand came down on an incoming Aaron Donald.
Backup Geno Smith started the fourth quarter as Wilson remained on the sideline, testing his injured throwing hand after the finger was popped back in. The third quarter proved to be Wilson’s last. He finished the game with 11-of-16 passes completed for 152 yards, with a touchdown and interception.
Down 16-7, Geno Smith led a 98-yard touchdown drive to put the Seahawks in striking distance early in the fourth, 16-14. As the game wound down, Smith got the ball back to commandeer a potential game-winning drive, now down 23-17, before Rams’ safety Nick Scott sealed the win for LA with an interception on the Seahawks’ 35.
Rams placekicker Matt Gay closed out the evening with a 47-yard field goal, 26-17.
Though serviceable as a backup, Smith failed to inspire as much hope as a late-game Russell Wilson-led offense would have. Pete Carroll and the Seahawks await further diagnosis on their franchise QB’s injured hand.
Los Angeles goes up 4-1, while the Seattle Seahawks slide to 2-3 and facing the Steelers in Week 6. The Rams face off against the New York Giants next.
Tonight marks Wilson’s first loss wearing the Action Green uniform (7-1).
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Follow along on Twitter: @AlejandroAveela