Geno Smith hits Metcalf for late TD, Seahawks top Rams 27-23

DK Metcalf caught an 8-yard touchdown pass from Geno Smith with 36 seconds left and the Seattle Seahawks won 27-23 over the Los Angeles Rams.

INGLEWOOD, Calif. (AP) — Whenever Geno Smith looked over the line in the final minutes at SoFi Stadium, he saw an inspired Bobby Wagner leading an entire Los Angeles Rams team in dire need of a win.

The Seattle quarterback didn’t flinch as he wrapped up the most prolific game of his decade in the NFL in style.

DK Metcalf caught an 8-yard touchdown pass from Smith With 36 seconds to play, he ended the Seahawks’ late rally for a 27-23 win over the spiraling Rams on Sunday.

Smith rushed for a career-high 367 yards and threw three TD passes for the Seahawks (7-5), who barely cracked their two-game sled. Smith’s offense rushed for 438 yards against a Rams defense that Aaron Donald missed, but it wasn’t nearly enough until Smith found Metcalf in a narrow window between defenders in the end zone.

“Maybe he’ll do it again next week,” Metcalf said of Smith. “He’s been doing it since he got here. Every time we field him and ask him to shoulder the burden of being a leader as a quarterback, he’s done nothing but exceed expectations.

While Russell Wilson fails in Denver, the quarterback who replaced him in Seattle is putting together an increasingly remarkable year that now includes a career-high 3,169 yards.

To Cam Akers’ second TD run leading the Rams 2:56 to 23:20, Smith patiently orchestrated the winning 75-yard drive and hit Marquise Goodwin for 17 yards in one stroke before finding Metcalf.

“We had a chance there,” said Smith, who played despite feeling ill. “We could have said, ‘Hey, let’s just settle for the field goal.’ Nobody was in that mindset, you know. We all thought, ‘Let’s win the game,’ and we did it.”

Tyler Lockett and Noah Fant caught early TD passes from Smith. Metcalf had eight catches for 127 yards and Lockett had nine receptions for a season-high 128 yards as the Seahawks sent defending Super Bowl champion Los Angeles (3-9) to their sixth straight loss.

Wagner had two sacks and an interception for the Rams in his first career game against Seattle, where he spent the last 10 years and made six All-Pro teams while becoming one of the greatest linebackers of his generation. Though Wagner downplayed the matchup throughout the week, he played with a fire that nearly propelled the injury-strewn Super Bowl champions to their first win since Oct. 16.

“They only did a few plays,” said Wagner, who Tony Jones Jr. snatched the ball out of his hands for his first interception with LA late in the third quarter. “Geno has found his recipients, and you must tip your hat to him.”

John Wolford crossed for 178 yards without touchdowns and two interceptions for the Rams, which is sure to be their first losing season in coach Sean McVay’s six-year tenure. Los Angeles has not won a game since October 16.

“I’m proud to get through this with this group,” said McVay. “I am proud to fight with them through adversity. I’ll continue to do everything in my power to try and change the result but there’s no denying there has been an improvement.

“They’re not walking away with the moral victories, but I think we can all see the steps this group has taken.”

Wolford made his fourth career start in place of Matthew Stafford, who missed his third game in four weeks for the Rams with injuries that put him on the NFL’s concussion record twice. Stafford went on injured reserve on Saturday and McVay announced after the game that Stafford’s season is likely over due to bruising around his spinal cord.

Donald, the seven-time All-Pro defense tackle, also missed the first game of his nine-year Rams career through injury and sat out with a high ankle sprain. He joined a dizzying list of contributors with major injury problems for Los Angeles, including All-Pro wide receiver Cooper Kupp and several key players on an offensive line that used its 12th starting combination in 12 games.


After Jason Myers’ second field goal made the 20-16 with 6:46 left, the Rams went 75 yards in 3:50 to score on a strong 6-yard run by Akers. Wolford had no regrets taking the lead as Smith had more than enough time to beat her.

“It’s tough. It’s a delicate balance,” Wolford said. “I think you just have to score. You know, it’s not like we can have Cam play that piece and then go down on the 1. You have to Taking the lead and I think we’ve done well managing it as well as we can.


Seattle lost rookie running back Kenneth Walker to an ankle injury in the first half. DeeJay Dallas was then injured in the last game before halftime, but he returned after Jones – the only healthy running back on Seattle’s roster – suffered a hard hit from Russ Yeast. Walker will have further tests on his ankle. … Seattle defenseman Josh Jones was ruled out early in the second quarter with a hamstring injury. … Seattle safety Ryan Neal has a knee bursa problem.


Seahawks: host Carolina on Sunday.

Rams: Host Las Vegas on Thursday night. Geno Smith hits Metcalf for late TD, Seahawks top Rams 27-23

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