Two Straight Good Thursday Night Games

Russell Wilson is unreal.

Jim Rome
October 04, 2019 - 9:21 am
Russell Wilson

USA Today

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I’m starting today’s show with a deca-yeah and a double WE DID IT! WE DID IT! 

Because we did it. Two straight Thursday Night games that didn’t suck. Not only did last night’s Rams-Seahawks game not suck, it was good. It was damn good. And it was a reminder that Russell Wilson is good. Damn good. Nobody’s handing out MVP trophies in Week 5, you’d carve Russ’ name into the hardware, because right now, he’s a no-brainer for it. Because, to quote Rams safety Eric Weddle, “Russell Wilson is playing out of his mind right now.”

That is the truth. He is doing things that I’m not sure anyone else can do. And I know those 300 total yards and four touchdowns came against a defense that got smoked by Tampa Bay a few days earlier. 

But a bunch of those passes last night were the result of the Rams playing good defense, and Russell Wilson just being better. 

I’ll get to that in a second, but before I do – let’s just take a moment to bask in what happened last night. That was a Thursday Night game that didn’t make you want go all Antonio Brown and dot pedestrians 14 floors below by dropping your flat screen off your balcony. The rare Thursday night game that was an utter waste of our time. 

Going into that game, the thinking was that we were going to find out a lot about both teams. And now that I’ve seen it, while it is still early, I can say this with certainty. But teams are good.

They aren’t perfect, even if Russ nearly was. But starting with the Rams defense: it didn’t look nearly as bad last night as it did on Sunday. The offense looked good, but it’s not quite clicking, and although they did everything they could to get Todd Gurley going early, he’s still a question mark. And so is his usage.

And speaking of question marks, Seattle still does some weird things at weird times. Like the Pete Carroll call and the inability to kill the game off after the Tedric Thompson interception.

But they also have Russell Wilson. And when you have him, he erases a lot of mistakes. Because he can do things…seemingly impossible things; like completing this pass to Tyler Lockett in the back of the end zone.

If you want to go all stat-head on it, you can point to the fact that according to NFL Next Gen stats, that pass had a completion probability of 6.3 percent. Uh, okay. Thanks, nerds. That is a classic case of stats telling us something we already know. And actually, I’d say 6.3% is high.

Jim Rome’s Current Gen stats give that about a one in a billion chance of being completed, give or take. 

Forget completing the pass, how many people on the planet can even throw that pass? Rolling to his left, being pursued, throwing across his body from the 25 to the back of the end zone in just the right spot.

And then Lockett makes the catch and somehow taps his toes? Are you kidding me? 

And then there was the touchdown that gave Seattle the lead. Trailing 29-24, fourth and goal from the five with just over 2 and a half minutes on the clock. Roll it.

Chris Carson had himself a hell of a game, but he made the play a hell of a lot more exciting than it had to be. Russell Wilson did all the work, moving through the pocket, stepping through the traffic, finding Carson, flipping it to him…

And Carson nearly blew it. 

But after volleyballing it up in the air, he caught it and you could hear the entire Pacific Northwest exhale. 

But the game still wasn’t over, even if it should have been. Because as good as Russell Wilson was last night, Jared Goff was pretty damn good too. 

That is until Tedric Thompson did this.

As good as Tyler Lockett’s feet were on that touchdown pass, Tedric Thompson’s hands were that good on that pick. You aren’t going to see better hand-eye coordination ever. 

And again, I need to remind you, this is all happening on a Thursday night. We aren’t supposed to be blessed with this kind of magic on a Thursday night. This is supposed to be two teams, playing in the rain, committing holding penalties on every play, and eventually settling for a 6-6 tie. 

But even though you thought Tedric iced it there and gave Seattle the 30-29 win, he didn’t. Because the Rams defense came up with a stop and got the ball back for the offense. Jared Goff went to work again, starting from his own seven. 

And he did everything needed to do, short of kicking the game winning field goal. That was Greg Zuerlein’s job from 44 yards out.

You know how Josh Lambo came on the show yesterday and said that after he missed a kick for the Chargers against the Browns back in the day, a teammate cursed him out?

Nobody better be doing that to Zuerlein on the flight back last night. Sure, it sucks to lose like that. But it’s not like the kicker is intentionally trying to miss. Does Zuerlein get to curse out everyone for the delay of game on the offense earlier in that drive?

The Rams are handling that the right way. As Sean McVay said “He just missed it. We have a lot of confidence in Greg. It’s one kick. He’s made a lot of big kicks for us. He’s going to continue to make a lot of big kicks for us.”

And it didn’t sound like Jared Goff is looking to f-bomb Greg the Leg either: “It didn’t all come down to that kick. There are a lot of plays that we could have done better. . . . There’s a million things that could have gone differently to change that game.”

So what do we know now that we didn’t know before kickoff last night? 

The Rams are good, but they aren’t dominant the way they were last year. And the Seahawks are good in a bunch of spots, and great in one spot. And somehow, some way, we’ve managed to get two straight good Thursday Night games. And that is the biggest win of all.