In the first official game post-Jeff Fisher, the Los Angeles Rams suffered much of the same fate on Thursday night falling 24-3 to the Seattle Seahawks, who clinched their third NFC West division title in the last four years.
It was a defensive battle throughout much of the game with the Seahawks maintaining control on both sides of the ball. The Rams' offense was held check gaining just 183 total yards with 90 coming in the fourth quarter while picking up just 13 first downs.
Jared Goff had another ineffective game throwing for 135 yards on 13 of 25 completed passes for 5.4 yards per completion, and a 19.2 quarterback passer rating. The 22-year-old struggled to get any rhythm going against the constant pressure he faced nearly every time he dropped back in the pocket being sacked four times and hit seven times.
Despite that, it was a close game in the first half with Seattle only leading 10-3. Los Angeles had some key mistakes with Goff failing to connect with his receivers on potential touchdown-scoring plays on the second drive of the game. The first was a pass that hit rookie Michael Thomas in the hands while the latter was an errant throw by Goff that was well behind Brian Quick, who was wide open in the end zone for a seven-yard grab.
Punter Johnny Hekker also failed to convert a pass attempt on a short-armed throw to Thomas on a fake punt in the second quarter on their own 30-yard line. Seahawks responded to that mistake by converting the strong field position into a 48-yard field goal from Steven Hauschka.
Things didn't fare much better in the second half with the Rams' failing to string together any scoring drives with a pair of punts and two of their four failed fourth downs conversion on the night. On top of that, Goff saw his night end prematurely in the fourth quarter when he was viciously hit by Richard Sherman during a 15-yard scramble down the sideline that was called back on a holding penalty. He was forced to leave the game due to concussion protocol with Case Keenum taking the field completing five-of-nine passes for 32 yards.
Following the game, there wasn't much concern from interim head coach John Fassel and several of his teammates regarding Goff's condition. However, Fassel was wary about the possibility of some lingering effects from the hit.
Todd Gurley was once again ineffective in the running game recording 38 yards on 14 carries, which a significant chunk came from a 22-yard run late in the second quarter. This was just his second run of 20 or more yards this season and the seventh time that he rushed for fewer 70 yards with no touchdown.
Meanwhile, the Seahawks saw a bounce-back performance from Russell Wilson, who completed 19-of-26 passes for 229 yards with three touchdown passes. His only flaw in the contest was an interception midway through the fourth quarter from Alec Ogletree, who made his second interception of the season. Tyler Lockett also had a huge game recording seven catches for 130 yards and a touchdown.
The Rams have now dropped nine of their last 10 contests after finishing with a 3-5 record on the road this season.The next game on the docket will on Christmas Eve against the San Francisco 49ers back at the Los Angeles Coliseum.