Rams season ends in OT with loss to Seahawks

SEATTLE — Jalen Ramsey’s two interceptions against the Seattle Seahawks were for Bobby Wagner. Taylor Rapp launched himself for a game-saving tackle and Leonard Floyd had an impactful hit on Seahawks quarterback Geno Smith — those, too, for Wagner. Wagner himself attempted to win the game with a hit on Smith in overtime.

It wasn’t enough.

After Seahawks kicker Jason Myers missed a potential game-winning field goal at the end of regulation time by hitting the right upright, Seattle completed a rally for a 19-16 victory in OT Sunday at Lumen Field.

Myers redeemed himself with a 32-yard field goal to win it for the Seahawks, who were fighting for a playoff spot.

The Rams were motivated for Wagner’s grand return to Seattle, where he played his first 10 NFL seasons.

But in the back of the Rams’ minds, they were probably also thinking: “Win it for Coach Sean McVay.”

Reports have emerged about McVay possibly walking away from coaching to accept a TV analyst job for next season. The Rams (5-12) completed their 2022 season, but now questions will rise about who will return for 2023.

Rapp kept the game alive after his tackle forced the Seahawks to settle for a field goal to tie it 16-16 with 2:19 left in regulation. But Rams quarterback Baker Mayfield failed to get a drive going, allowing the Seahawks to stay in the game.

Wagner got a standing ovation from the 60,000-plus fans in attendance after he walked to midfield for the opening coin toss, which he won to give the Rams the option to defer and receive the ball after halftime. The crowd chanted “Bobby, Bobby” and many had signs expressing their gratitude for Wagner’s 10 impressive seasons in Seattle.

With the win, the Seahawks stayed alive in their quest to clinch the NFC’s final wild-card spot. Seattle needs the Detroit Lions to beat the Green Bay Packers on Sunday Night Football to receive the seventh seed.

Smith erased the Rams’ lead with a 36-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Tyler Lockett to tie it 13-13 with 9:09 in the third quarter. Mayfield responded with lengthy completions to wide receivers Van Jefferson and Tutu Atwell to put the Rams in Seattle territory, but they again had to settle after Matt Gay’s 38-yard field goal to retake the lead 16-13 with 4:13 in the third quarter.

The Rams’ commitment to the running game paid off early in the second quarter after Akers broke free on the right side for a 32-yard run on third-and-1. It was the Rams’ first first down of the game. Akers entered Sunday with a three-game streak of averaging more than 5 yards per carry.

The Rams’ first “explosive” play from their passing game didn’t arrive until late in the first half after Mayfield connected with Jefferson for 35 yards on third-and-6. That led to an 11-yard touchdown run from wide receiver Atwell to give the Rams a 13-6 lead at halftime. The Rams recorded 95 rushing yards in the opening half.

Ramsey was left frustrated the last time he played the Seahawks because he allowed the game-winning touchdown after he lost track of Metcalf in coverage.

On Sunday, Ramsey got some early revenge after he intercepted Smith’s pass during the first play of the game. Ramsey jumped the route on the throw that was intended for Metcalf and put the Rams’ opening drive on the Seattle 11-yard line. But the Rams went three-and-out and settled for a 22-yard field goal from Gay for a 3-0 lead with 13:28 in the first quarter. With Ramsey shadowing, Metcalf didn’t record his first catch until the final minute of the first half.

After the early throwing mistake, the Seahawks leaned on their running game to get back on track in the opening quarter. They gained 53 rushing yards during their second drive and tied the score 3-3 after a 37-yard field goal from Myers with 7:09 in the opening quarter.

Seattle had 79 rushing yards, 18 passing yards and a 6-0 advantage to start the second quarter. Myers’ second field goal had a distance of 36 yards. The Rams only managed five total yards in the opening quarter.

More to come.

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