Seattle Seahawks quarterback Geno Smith throws during the first half against the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday in Inglewood, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

Seattle Seahawks quarterback Geno Smith throws during the first half against the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday in Inglewood, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

Grading the Seahawks in their 27-23 victory over the Rams

Quarterback Geno Smith leads the way as Seattle stays in the hunt in the NFC West

Here’s how the Seattle Seahawks grade out in their 27-23 victory over the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday at SoFi Stadium:

OFFENSE

As remarkable and unexpected a season as quarterback Geno Smith has had, the one thing that was missing from his resume was a game-winning fourth-quarter drive. He engineered one to perfection Sunday, culminating with his 8-yard touchdown pass to DK Metcalf with 36 seconds remaining. Overall it was another big game statistically for Smith (367 yards, three TDs), which was all the more impressive because Seattle found itself down to its fourth-string running back by the end of the game. Smith did turn the ball over twice, but one of those he had nothing to do with as it was a tremendous play by former Seattle captain Bobby Wagner to wrest the ball away from running back Tony Jones for an interception.

Grade: B+

DEFENSE

For a large stretch of this game Seattle’s defense played well. The Seahawks held the Rams to field goals when Los Angeles began drives with good field position, created turnovers and got pressure on Los Angeles quarterback John Wolford. But that long stretch was bracketed by two long touchdown drives that were far too easy, particularly considering the Rams were playing with what amounted to their B team on offense. And the issues Seattle has had with stopping the run were not solved as Los Angeles ran for 171 yards, making it three straight games allowing 161 or more yards on the ground.

Grade: C

SPECIAL TEAMS

It was another uneventful day on special teams. Kicker Jason Myers made all of his kicks, none of which were a high degree of difficulty. Punter Michael Dickson was only called upon twice and he got good distance on both occasions — including tremendous coverage on one of them. The only questionable moment came when punt returner Tyler Locket let a punt bounce, and a good Rams roll resulted in a 60-yarder that pinned the Seahawks inside their own 20.

Grade: B

COACHING

There were some really good things happening with the offensive game plan, including good in-game adjustments based on the circumstances: targeting the tight ends on play action in the first half, taking advantage of Los Angeles aggressiveness with dump-offs in the second half. Defensively there continue to be issues, and it’s time the coaching staff figured out how to better stop the run, especially against an opponent playing without it’s franchise quarterback and top two receivers.

Grade: B

OVERALL

This was a game the Seahawks had to win if they think of themselves as a playoff team. The Rams came in 3-8, had lost five straight, and the team is a shell of itself because of injuries. A loss in this one, which would have been Seattle’s third straight, would have been the type that ruins a season, and the Seahawks still have to sweat the ankle injury suffered by No. 1 running back Ken Walker III. But Smith came to the rescue when Seattle absolutely had to have it, and Seattle now remains right in the hunt for both the NFC West and a playoff berth.

Grade: B-

– Nick Patterson, Herald writer

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