SEATTLE (AP) Todd Gurley rushed for 152 yards and scored four total touchdowns in just 2 1/2 quarters, and the Los Angeles Rams moved to the cusp of their first division title since 2003 with a 42-7 thumping of the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday.
The matchup to determine first place in the NFC West was completely one-sided.
Los Angeles (10-4) was dominant, embarrassing Seattle into the worst loss during Pete Carroll’s eight seasons in charge.
Taking advantage of field position, the Rams scored on six of seven first-half drives, including a 21-point scoring blitz in the second quarter capped by a 57-yard TD run by Gurley on third-and-20 with less than a minute remaining in the first half to take a 34-0 lead at the break.
Gurley had 144 yards rushing in the first half, twice scoring from the 1. He added a 14-yard TD reception midway through the third quarter for a 40-0 Rams lead and spent the rest of his day watching. The 152 yards rushing were the second-best of his career.
The Rams don’t have the division wrapped up, but have a two-game lead with two weeks to play. A win against either Tennessee or San Francisco is enough for their first division title in 14 years.
Perhaps bigger than the division title was the statement made by the Rams. They didn’t just win in Seattle – a place losing its aura as the toughest to play in the league. They completely dominated the Seahawks, making a Carroll-coached team look rarely overmatched in a big game.
Seattle (8-6) is barely alive for the postseason, but it will likely need some help.
While the Seahawks don’t look playoff ready, the Rams look playoff scary, dominating the line of scrimmage and taking advantage of their first-half opportunities.
Six of the Rams seven possessions in the first half started at midfield or inside Seattle territory and they scored on all six.
The only miscue of the half was a questionable fourth-and-1 decision at the Seattle 24 where the Rams called a play-action pass that was tipped and intercepted. It was the one highlight of the first half for Seattle.
Seattle avoided the shutout on Russell Wilson‘s 26-yard TD pass to Luke Willson late in the third quarter. But it was one of Wilson’s uglier performances. He missed key throws early when Seattle’s offense couldn’t get started. He threw a backward pass for a 23-yard loss in the second quarter when Seattle finally got to midfield. He fumbled trying to spin out of a sack. And he cost Seattle a safety being flagged for intentional grounding in the end zone in the fourth quarter.
Wilson was 14 of 30 for 142 yards and rushed for 39 yards. He was sacked seven times.
Rams punt returner Pharoh Cooper had a big first half that helped Los Angeles build its huge lead. Cooper set up the Rams first touchdown with a 53-yard punt return to the Seattle 1 in the first quarter. He later had a 26-yard return to set up another short field for the Rams that was capped by the second of Gurley’s 1-yard TDs.
The 34-0 halftime deficit was the largest for Seattle since the 2010 season – the first under Carroll – when it trailed the New York Giants 35-0 at halftime on the way to a 41-7 loss.
It was the largest halftime lead in a road game for the Rams in franchise history.
Rams: Los Angeles is at Tennessee next Sunday.
Seahawks: Seattle is at Dallas next Sunday.