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California Lutheran University's Student Newspaper Since 1961

The Echo

California Lutheran University's Student Newspaper Since 1961

The Echo

Echo Special Feature: Los Angeles Rams produce comeback victory over Seattle Seahawks

Yousef Manna
The Los Angeles Rams’ comeback win over the Seattle Seahawks was the team’s first win in over a month.

The Echo had the opportunity to attend and cover the Los Angeles Rams’ National Football League game against the Seattle Seahawks at SoFi Stadium on Sunday, Nov. 19.

The Los Angeles Rams’ recent dominance over their divisional rival continued on Sunday, Nov. 19 as the Rams mounted a comeback to secure the season sweep over the Seattle Seahawks with a score of 17-16.  

After three straight losses and several injuries, the Rams were able to hit the reset button thanks to last week’s bye. 

“It’s good to be able to get a lot of these players back feeling good,” Rams Head Coach Sean McVay said in Friday’s pregame press conference. “I think it’s really been good for some guys that have played a really physical presence to have a week to get refreshed and rejuvenated.”

Veteran quarterback Matthew Stafford started his 200th regular season game and his first full game in almost a month. He missed the Rams’ previous game with a thumb injury he sustained against the Dallas Cowboys. 

Stafford’s injury did not waver his confidence, though, as he said earlier in the week that he was certain he would still be able to play at a high level in this week’s matchup.

The status of Stafford’s injury remained in question after the first three-quarters of play against the Seahawks as, at the time, he led the Rams to one touchdown while completing nine of 18 pass attempts for 82 yards.

“I’m not 100%, but I’m good enough to go out there and make some plays,” Stafford said in a postgame press conference. “I definitely want some back, but there’s some that I missed today that have nothing to do with [my thumb].”

Seahawks defensive end Mario Edwards Jr. provided Stafford and the Rams with another injury scare as he delivered a hit on the Rams’ signal-caller early in the fourth quarter. After the game, Stafford said the hit he took “wasn’t great,” but he was proud of the team for bouncing back.

“We had some, obviously some poor drives in the first and in the second half that didn’t give our defense a ton of chances to rest or flip the field or anything,” Stafford said. “They played outstanding, especially there in the second half and we were able to find something late and just great to get a win.”

According to ESPN analytics, the Rams were given a 17.8% chance to win the game at the start of the fourth quarter. Faced with the task of a fourth-quarter comeback, Stafford’s resilience after taking the hit only motivated his team further.

“It comes from our leader, from number nine,” Rams rookie wide receiver Puka Nacua said. “The grit – you see him take some of those shots during the game, and the ability to stand back up and still command our offense and lead him in the way he does. When you have number nine in the backfield, a lot of things are going right.”

After the hit, Stafford did more than lead the offense, as he went on to throw seven of 11 passes, accounting for 111 yards and setting up kicker Lucas Havrisik for the go-ahead field goal. 

Havrisik punched it through the uprights with 1:31 remaining in the game to give the Rams a 17-16 lead–their first of the game.

Stafford’s fourth-quarter comeback on Sunday was his 35th time doing so, ranking him number one among active quarterbacks in the National Football League. 

Afterward, the Rams’ defense was able to limit the Seahawks to 38 yards and, with time winding down, forced them to kick a 55-yard field goal that was hooked wide right to give the Rams their first win in over a month.

McVay reiterated the team’s grit postgame, saying, “I’m just so proud of this group. I think the grit was on display, the mental toughness, the ability to get stops, the ability to be able to feed off of one another.”

The Rams’ leader in receiving yards this season, Nacua, continued his stand-out rookie season, leading all Rams wide receivers during the game with five receptions for 70 yards and one touchdown. Running back Royce Freeman led the attack on the ground, recording a career-high 73 yards on seventeen carries. 

Usual Rams offensive star Cooper Kupp recorded one catch in the first half before exiting the game with an ankle injury, as the Rams continue to get bit by the injury bug.

After the game, McVay did not have an update on the severity of Kupp’s injury but said he was moving around at the start of the second half, trying to get back in the game.  

On the defensive side of the ball, three-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year recipient Aaron Donald recorded his 172nd tackle for loss, establishing sole possession of the fourth-most all-time in NFL history. 

Defensive tackle Derion Kendrick snagged Seahawks quarterback Drew Lock’s pass for the Rams’ only interception of the game and Kendrick’s first of his career. After the interception, the Rams marched down the field to kick the eventual game-winning field goal. 

“Isn’t that crazy though when you think about that, [it] all comes down to that one play,” Rams Head Coach Sean McVay said. “This game is nuts, man. I just love it.”

The Rams will look to jumpstart a late-season playoff push when they face off against the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday, Nov. 26 at State Farm Stadium.

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