Jared Goff, Rams Demolish Seahawks 42-7 as Todd Gurley Scores 4 TDs

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistDecember 18, 2017

Los Angeles Rams running back Todd Gurley runs for a touchdown, his fourth of the game, after making a catch in the second half of an NFL football game against the Seattle Seahawks, Sunday, Dec. 17, 2017, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
Elaine Thompson/Associated Press

The Los Angeles Rams seized firm control of the NFC West on Sunday with a commanding 42-7 victory over the Seattle Seahawks at CenturyLink Field and looked like Super Bowl contenders in the process.

Todd Gurley led the way with 152 rushing yards, 28 receiving yards and four total touchdowns as the Rams moved to 10-4 and two games ahead of the 8-6 Seahawks with two games remaining. Seattle won the first matchup, meaning Los Angeles didn't clinch the division just yet despite sending a message to the rest of the league.

That message was it's time for anyone who wasn't already taking the Rams seriously as a title threat to start doing just that.

Gurley made the headlines, but every facet of the game was clicking for the visitors. Even the special teams contributed to the 34-0 halftime lead thanks to a 53-yard punt return from Pharoh Cooper to set up Gurley's first touchdown.

It started a parade of one-yard touchdowns for the Los Angeles offense with Gurley scoring another and Jared Goff hitting Robert Woods from a yard out. Despite the touchdown, Goff was relatively quiet during the win with 120 passing yards, two touchdowns and one interception.

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It was Gurley who did the heavy lifting, consistently exploding past and through a Seattle defense decimated by injuries and playing without cornerback Richard Sherman, safety Kam Chancellor, defensive end Cliff Avril and linebacker K.J Wright.

His 57-yard touchdown run on Los Angeles' final possession of the first half essentially clinched the win, and his 14-yard touchdown reception in the third quarter added insult to injury.

Focusing solely on Gurley's dominance would be an injustice to one of the best defensive performances of the season from the victors. It's not as if Seattle's offense was faced with the same attrition its defense was either, as playmakers such as Russell Wilson, Jimmy Graham, Doug Baldwin and Paul Richardson were unable to do anything against the Rams' stout group.

Robert Quinn, Connor Barwin and the rest of the front seven overwhelmed Seattle's offensive line, swallowing rushing lanes and serving as a nightmare for Wilson nearly every time he dropped back.

The Rams finished with seven sacks and caused turnovers when Lamarcus Joyner forced a Tanner McEvoy fumble and Quinn forced a Wilson fumble. They also forced a safety on an intentional grounding in the end zone.

Wilson did throw a touchdown pass to Luke Willson after the outcome was already determined but finished with just 142 passing yards, much of which came in extended garbage time.

He also wasn't given much help considering J.D. McKissic led all Seahawks running backs with 20 rushing yards and the offensive line was essentially a turnstile when the contest was hanging in the balance.

Seattle is looking up at the 8-5 Atlanta Falcons in the race for the final NFC wild-card spot after Sunday's abysmal performance and will attempt to turn things around in Week 16 with a game against the Dallas Cowboys. The Rams will strive to clinch the division against the Tennessee Titans in their next contest.