The official stats will say forever that the Seattle Seahawks beat the Los Angeles Rams, 30-29, on Thursday night.
But in reality, this was a game the Seahawks won on April 27, 2012, the day they drafted Russell Wilson.
Oh, they also won it when normally reliable Rams field goal kicker Greg Zuerlein stunningly missed a 44-yard field goal with 11 seconds left that preserved Seattle’s 30-29 lead.
They also won it when Tedric Thompson bobbled, and tipped and then finally controlled a pass that went off the hands of the Rams’ Gerald Everett with 2:08 remaining, a play that had the press box rocking and Seattle players running around the field in celebration even before the replay was reviewed.
And they won it when Chris Carson had his own memorable bobble, of a Wilson pass on a fourth down on the series before that put Seattle ahead.
But in a game in which the Seahawks needed Wilson to play perfectly to hold off a Rams team that rediscovered its offense, Wilson basically did.
Wilson evaded the Rams’ hard-charging rush all night and made one highlight-reel throw after another to lift Seattle to one of its most exciting wins in years, a win that also gives Seattle the opening salvo of the year against the team that has won the NFC West each of the past two seasons.
Wilson finished 17 of 23 for 268 yards and four touchdowns and a passer rating of 151.8.
The final one came with 2:28 remaining on a Wilson five-yard pass to Carson on fourth-and-goal.
Wilson, working out of the shotgun, evaded a rush from Rams superstar Aaron Donald to find a wide open Carson in the side of the end zone.
Carson initially bobbled the ball before holding on.
A two-point pass to DK Metcalf was incomplete, and CenturyLink Field was understandably nervous having seen the Rams score on four of their previous five possessions.
But after two games last year in which the breaks at the end seemed to go the way of the Rams, this time the ball bounced to Seattle.
On a third-and-10 play, Everett was open for a potentially sizable gain but the ball went off his hands.
A diving Thompson fought for control of the ball but then finally won the battle, even if it was initially ruled incomplete.
The Rams got the ball back at their own 7 with 1:27 left and moved 67 yards to set up a field goal.
But Zuerlein’s kick went wide right and Seattle had one of its most improbable, impossible and downright indescribable wins in years.
Wilson’s only poor play came on the series after Thompson’s interception, when he tossed it behind him to Lockett on third down.
The Rams took over at the 7 and to the increasing bemoaning of the crowd moved pretty easily into field goal range, Goff hitting taking it to the 26 with 15 seconds left.
But on a night when Seattle just seemed destined, Zuerlein this time missed.
Seattle improved to 4-1 on the year while the Rams fell to 3-2.
Wilson was 10 of 13 for 190 yards and two touchdowns in the first half, a passer rating of 157.9 just shy of a perfect mark of 158.3 (which Wilson actually hit for an entire game last season at Detroit).
The first TD, to Lockett was an unstoppable play that the Rams actually had covered but still couldn’t stop. Wilson was initially looking for Lockett on a crossing route but Eric Weddle saw it coming and was draped over Lockett. Wilson then rolled to his left to keep the play alive and Lockett kept moving — as Seattle’s receivers are taught to do.
With Lockett in the back corner of the end zone, Wilson finally decided it was safe to throw it, putting it high and tight and where only Lockett could get it.
Lockett did, dragging his feet inbounds as he caught the ball, to the amazement of Seattle fans and the astonishment of Weddle — regarded as one of the best safeties in recent NFL history — and Rams coach Sean McVay.
Wilson’s next TD seemed routine by comparison as he hit a wide open Metcalf for a 40-yard TD with 8:08 remaining in the second quarter.
Wilson faked to Carson and initially looked again to Lockett, who lined up in the slot to the right.
But when Rams safety John Johnson came up on Lockett, leaving the middle of the field wide open, Wilson saw that Metcalf had burst past cornerback Marcus Peters and into the open. The pass seemed to take a while to come down but ultimately did for Metcalf’s second TD of his young NFL career.
That put Seattle up 14-6.
And when the Seahawks forced a Todd Gurley fumble on the next series — Bobby Wagner and Jadeveon Clowney appeared to combine on the strip, though Clowney got the official credit as well as the recovery — everything seemed to be going Seattle’s way.
Carson, though, was stopped on a third-and-one trying to go over right tackle at the Rams 30.
Seattle lined up as if to go for it on fourth down but then changed its mind.
Jason Myers then missed a 48-yard field goal to the right.
The Rams quickly drove for a TD with Goff hitting Cooper Kupp from 8 yards out to make it 14-13 with six seconds remaining in the half (Los Angeles caught a break when Ziggy Ansah was called for roughing Goff on a third down play).
The Rams then got the ball to start the second half and almost as quickly moved 75 yards, with an 8-yard Gurley run with 12:07 to play in the third quarter.
It was a stunning turn considering how Seattle seemed in control throughout the second quarter.
But Wilson helped Seattle regain control with a TD drive in the third quarter capped by a 10-yard TD pass to David Moore.
After the Rams responded to take a 29-24 lead, Wilson then led a 75-yard drive for the winning TD to Carson to again put Seattle ahead.
And it was the Rams that left the most stunned of all.