News & Analysis

NFL Wild Card PFF ReFocused: Los Angeles Rams 30, Seattle Seahawks 20

Jan 9, 2021; Seattle, Washington, USA; Los Angeles Rams cornerback Jalen Ramsey (20) reacts after blocking a pass against the Seattle Seahawks during the third quarter at Lumen Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

The Seattle Seahawks entered the day not knowing whether it would be Jared Goff or John Wolford starting at quarterback for the Los Angeles Rams. Wolford ultimately opened the game under center, but he was knocked out of the contest with an injury in the first quarter, forcing Goff — who is a couple of weeks removed from thumb surgery — in at quarterback. 

To no one's surprise, we saw some ugly quarterback play for the Rams. Fortunately for Los Angeles, Russell Wilson and the Seahawks offense couldn’t get anything cooking as the Rams secured a 30-20 victory.

Editor's note: All of PFF's grades and advanced stats from this game will be finalized and made available to ELITE subscribers within 24 hours of the final whistle. 

STORY OF THE GAME

Through the first three quarters of play, the Seahawks generated -0.78 expected points added per pass play. That’s the fifth-worst mark we have recorded by any team in a game this season. Wilson did toss a couple of big-time throws in that span, but he also held onto the ball too long on several occasions (3.25-second average time to throw).

That resulted in plenty of collapsing pockets, as Wilson was pressured on 13 of 24 dropbacks — three of which were sacks. Even so, the offensive line also didn’t perform up to snuff. A pick-six on a screen pass didn’t help matters, either. The Seahawks were able to put together a scoring drive late in the fourth quarter, but it was too late.

On the other side of the field, Goff wasn’t much better and produced a poor passing grade upon first review. He completed only three passes over 10 yards downfield, one of which was a severe underthrow on which Cooper Kupp bailed him out.

Wilson wasn’t heroic enough to overcome woes along the offensive line and a conservative game plan from head coach Pete Carroll, opening the door for an upset win for an injured Goff, Sean McVay and the Rams.

Jan 9, 2021; Seattle, Washington, USA; Los Angeles Rams running back Cam Akers (23) runs the ball against the Seattle Seahawks during the third quarter at Lumen Field. Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

ROOKIE WATCH

Cam Akers was one of the game’s highest-graded offensive players. He forced four missed tackles, averaged more than three yards after contact per attempt and finished the day with 138 rushing yards and a score. Fellow rookie Jordan Fuller led the Rams defensively with four defensive stops and a 75.0-plus PFF grade on first review. 

The story of Damien Lewis’ rookie campaign has been poor pass protection but stout run blocking. Today, we saw the 69th overall pick perform poorly in both facets. He had himself a rough day in pass protection, giving up a sack and four hurries to Aaron Donald and company. In the run game, Lewis produced a grade that is likely to fall in the poor range.

ELITE subscribers can view player grades, advanced statistics, positional snap counts and more in Premium Stats 2.0.

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