You could tell the Halloween spirit was in the air in our first Thursday Night Football game in October. We saw the Seattle Seahawks come out in their neon green uniforms, looking like a bunch of aliens to set the tone. Then, right on the opening kickoff, Tutu Atwell took the kick and made it about 10 yards before the ghost of Cortez Kennedy blindsided him causing him to hit the ground and fumble out of bounds with no other players around him. Before the game was over, both quarterbacks had bandages on their hands after having to mummy wrap their respective finger injuries. You knew something spooky was going on when we saw Geno Smith out there with his first real game action since 2017. We are definitely in the Halloween season!

The divisional battle between the Los Angeles Rams and the Seattle Seahawks came with strong expectations of an exciting game between Matthew Stafford and Russell Wilson. In the first half, the 2 teams who have plenty of offensive weapons got off to a slow start. There was no scoring in the first quarter at all and it wasn’t until about 6 minutes into the 2nd quarter that we saw the game’s first score when Wilson connected with DK Metcalf for a 19-yard touchdown. The only other score in the first half was a Matt Gay field goal and the teams went into halftime with Seattle holding a 7-3 lead after Jason Myers failed to connect on a 35 yarder to end the half.

Matthew Stafford looked off his game in the first half, missing his receivers badly on several throws, which we haven’t seen from him much this season. He also made a poor decision on a drive that looked promising for the Rams when he rolled right, had nobody open, and instead of throwing the ball out of bounds, he threw a terrible interception to his former teammate Quandre Diggs. Going into halftime, Stafford was 13 for 19 with 131 yards and the interception. He appeared to be holding his finger after one throw in the first half, and the trainers wrapped the finger for Stafford to play through it. In the second half, Stafford looked much better and even though he underthrew a few passes, he ended the game with a solid stat line, going 25 for 37 for 365 yards and a touchdown. I’m sure fantasy managers would have liked to see more touchdowns, but the Rams got 2 touchdowns on the ground from short yardage in this one.

Russell Wilson on the other side played well in the first half going 8 for 11 for 133 yards and the touchdown to Metcalf. Unfortunately, early in the 3rd quarter, Wilson hit his throwing hand on the arm of Aaron Donald and his middle finger appeared to pop out of place. The trainers were able to pull the finger back into place, but Wilson was clearly in discomfort. The Seahawks ended up having to turn to veteran backup Geno Smith in the 4th quarter and Wilson ended his day with an 11 for 16 for only 152 yards, 1 touchdown, and 1 interception. It was the 3rd week in a row that we lost a key player to injury in the Thursday night game, so somebody better wrap Tom Brady in bubble wrap before next week’s game!

Geno Smith actually looked good coming in to relieve Wilson. He came in early in the 4th quarter and led the Seahawks on a 10 play, 98-yard drive that was capped off with a touchdown pass to DK Metcalf for 23 yards. It was Smith’s first touchdown pass since his last NFL start in December of 2017. Smith had the chance to play hero and lead Seattle on a game-winning drive with about 2 minutes left, but Tyler Lockett got tripped up on his route and Smith threw a game sealing interception instead. He finished the game 10 for 17 with 131 yards the touchdown and the interception. He added 23 yards with his legs on 3 runs.

Robert Woods re-emerged for the Rams last night and we finally saw the player many of us expected to see when we drafted him on our fantasy football teams. Woods and Stafford connected early and often, and Woods led the team in targets, receptions, and yards. Stafford targeted Woods 14 times which he turned into 12 catches and 150 receiving yards. It was refreshing to see after the first 4 games of the season were dominated by Cooper Kupp.

Speaking of Cooper Kupp, he got off to a real slow start in this game. He only had 4 catches and 23 yards in the first half. He picked it up towards the end of the game though and he finished the game with 7 catches for 92 yards and a near touchdown in the 4th quarter.

On the Seattle side, DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett were the main targets as expected. Metcalf did score the 2 touchdowns and was extremely efficient with only 5 targets in the game. He caught all 5 of those targets for 98 yards to go with the 2 touchdowns. Tyler Lockett doubled Metcalf in targets but only turned those 10 targets into a 5 catch for 57-yard game. What you don’t see in the stat line is that he drew a big pass interference call on what could have been a long touchdown early in the 2nd quarter, and then caught a touchdown pass later in the 2nd quarter that was called back on a holding penalty. Fantasy managers shouldn’t panic on Lockett if you take those things into consideration.

The Los Angeles run game was led by Darrell Henderson Jr. who carried 17 times for 82 yards and a touchdown. He left the game briefly with what looked like an arm or shoulder injury, so Sony Michel was involved and finished the game with 11 carries for 37 yards and a short touchdown of his own. Henderson is clearly the lead back here when he is healthy, but Michel showed that he could fill in when needed.

Seattle was missing their top running back Chris Carson who sat this game out with a neck injury. Alex Collins led the team in carries with 15 rushes for 47 yards. He also caught 2 passes for another 25 yards. DeeJay Dallas chipped in as well with 4 carries for 7 yards along with 2 catches for 32 yards.

Other Notes:

Van Jefferson drew 4 targets, all in the first half, but Stafford missed him on a couple of them. He only had 1 catch for 16 yards on the game.

DeSean Jackson also caught 1 pass and it was a big 68-yard completion that set up the Henderson touchdown run.

The Los Angeles defense got back on track with a lot of pressure on Wilson to go along with their 2 sacks and 2 interceptions on the game.

Tyler Higbee caught a 13-yard touchdown pass but was largely absent from the game with only 2 catches on 2 targets for 14 yards.

Seattle punter Michael Dickson delivered the most talked-about play of the game when he had a punt blocked, scooped it up with one hand on the run, realized he wasn’t getting anywhere, and kicked it again, pinning the Rams deep in their own territory. There was a lot of discussion on if the “double punt” was legal and if Dickson was still behind the line of scrimmage, but it was an exciting play nonetheless.

That will do it for the week 5 Thursday Night Football Wrap Up. Make sure you head over to Razzball.com and check out Rudy Gamble’s Pigskinator as you get ready to set the rest of your week 5 lineup. You are always invited to follow me on Twitter @FantasyCoachJB and ask me any questions you may have. Good luck in your upcoming matchups!