Welcome to another NFL Sunday.
The Rams (10-4) cruised past the Seahawk (8-6) 42-7 on Sunday and are in firm control of the NFC West with two games left in the regular season.
The Carolina Panthers have announced that owner Jerry Richardson is selling the NFL franchise amid an investigation by the league into allegations of sexual and racist misconduct by Richardson in the workplace.
The team announced on Twitter that Richardson is selling the team, linking to a five-paragraph letter by the franchise's only owner.
Richardson said in the open letter “I believe it is time to turn the franchise over to new ownership. Therefore, I will put the team up for sale at the conclusion of the NFL season.”
The NFL awarded Richardson an expansion franchise in 1993 and he has been the team's only owner.
The letter did not directly address the investigation.
A Sports Illustrated report Sunday cited unnamed sources who said Richardson made sexually suggestive comments to women and on at least one occasion directed a racial slur at an African-American Panthers scout. The report states that the settlements came with non-disclosure requirements forbidding the parties from discussing the details.
The NFL on Sunday said it has taken over the investigation of allegations of workplace misconduct by the 81-year-old owner. NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said the league had no comment on the report.
Panthers spokesman Steven Drummond said Sunday the team requested the league take over the investigation.
“We thought it would be best for transparency reasons,” Drummond told The Associated Press.
The investigation was originally going to be led by the law firm of Quinn Emanuel Urquhart and Sullivan, LLP, and overseen by Erskine Bowles, a minority owner with the Panthers.
Richardson attended the game Sunday's game against the Green Bay Packers at Bank of America Stadium and was photographed sitting beside his long-time wife Rosalind in his luxury box.
The team announced Friday was under investigation, but declined to provide any details.
Drummond said in a release that the Panthers take these allegations very seriously and are committed to a full investigation.
“The entire organization is fully committed to ensuring a safe, comfortable and diverse work environment where all individuals, regardless of sex, race, color, religion, gender, or sexual identity or orientation, are treated fairly and equally,” Drummond said in the release Friday. “We have work to do to achieve this goal, but we are going to meet it.”
Members of the organization have been mostly quiet on the situation, although coach Ron Rivera said in a statement he has “enormous respect for the man, but will wait for the results of the investigation before making any judgment.”
Richardson, a former football player with the Baltimore Colts, is responsible for bringing the NFL to the Carolinas in 1993 when the Panthers joined the league as an expansion team.
The Panthers began play two years later in 1995.
It has been a whirlwind year for the organization.
Team president Danny Morrison abruptly resigned in February. Richardson then fired general manager Dave Gettleman on the eve of training camp and replaced him with former general manager Marty Hurney on an interim basis. It was a surprising move considering Carolina made the playoffs three times in four seasons under Gettleman.
Crowds at CenturyLink Field are renowned for making so much noise in support of the Seattle Seahawks, the stadium shakes.
But on Sunday, with 69,077 on hand, it was the Rams who caused a seismic shift.
Todd Gurley rushed for 152 yards and scored four touchdowns and the defense and special teams dominated in a 42-7 victory that kept the Rams on track for an NFC West title and signaled what appears to be a changing of the guard in the division.
Rams lead Seahawks 34-0 at halftime.
Buffalo Bills running back LeSean McCoy has become the NFL's 30th player to surpass 10,000 yards rushing.
The ninth-year player, who entered the game against the Dolphins with 9,961 yards rushing, topped the milestone with a 14-yard gain in the second quarter. McCoy burst through a hole off right guard but was shaken up after a tackle by linebacker Kiko Alonso.
McCoy lay on the field for a few minutes before getting up on his own, and he returned after sitting out one play. McCoy scored his 80th career touchdown with a four-yard run on Buffalo's opening drive.
Arizona Cardinals: Veteran running back Adrian Peterson was put on injured reserve with a neck injury, ending his season with 529 yards rushing and two TDs.
Carolina Panthers: Cam Newton leads all quarterbacks with 585 yards rushing and has five rushing touchdowns. He also has 2,720 yards passing with 17 touchdowns.
Chicago Bears: Last week, Mitchell Trubisky became the first Bears rookie with passing and rushing touchdowns in the same game since Jim McMahon in 1982.
Green Bay Packers: Davante Adams is tied for second in the NFL with nine TD catches, including a 25-yard winner in OT last week. Aaron Rodgers was activated to start Sunday at Carolina.
New Orleans Saints: Alvin Kamara left the game last week with a concussion but is expected to play this week. He ranks third among rookies with 608 yards rushing.
Philadelphia Eagles: This is the third time the Eagles have started 11-2 or better through 13 games. Philadelphia reached the Super Bowl the other two times, in 1980 and 2004.
RAMS: Cooper Kupp, who leads all rookie receivers with 783 yards, dropped a potential game-tying touchdown pass against the Seahawks in Week 5.
San Francisco 49ers: Jimmy Garoppolo makes his first home start as a 49er Sunday vs. Tennessee. RT Trent Brown was put on injured reserve.
Seattle Seahawks: Russell Wilson needs one TD pass and 18 yards rushing Sunday vs. the Rams to become the first player with 500 yards rushing and 30 TD passes in one season. Kam Chancellor was put on injured reserve.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Linebacker Lavonte David leads the NFL with five fumble recoveries and ranks second with five forced fumbles.
Washington Redskins: Rookie Samaje Perine is the only running back on the roster with more than 30 career carries. He has 510 yards with a touchdown.
Baltimore Ravens: The Ravens control their playoff situation and are assured a berth with a 3-0 finish. Baltimore has won eight of its last nine games in Cleveland.
Buffalo Bills: Bills running back LeSean McCoy, only in his ninth NFL season, is 39 yards rushing short of becoming the 30th player to reach 10,000.
Cincinnati Bengals: The Bengals had a streak of 22 games in which they held teams to fewer than 30 points end last week in a 33-7 home loss to the Bears. Center T.J. Johnson was put on injured reserve.
Cleveland Browns: Rookie quarterback DeShone Kizer has five rushing touchdowns, one shy of the Browns record held by Hall of Famer Otto Graham.
Houston Texans: Punter Shane Lechler, about to play in his 252nd consecutive game, can pass Sean Landeta (284) to move into 15th on NFL’s total career games list.
Indianapolis Colts: The Colts blew a double-digit lead over the Denver Broncos in a 25-13 loss Thursday night, extending their losing streak to five games.
Kansas City Chiefs: Kareem Hunt (1,435 yards going into Saturday) and Abner Haynes (1,451 in 1960) are the only players in Chiefs history with 1,400 total yards as a rookie.
Miami Dolphins: After Monday’s win over the Patriots, the Dolphins have defeated both of last season’s conference champions, including their 20-17 win at Atlanta in Week 6.
New England Patriots: Rob Gronkowski was suspended for the Patriots’ loss to the Dolphins last week. He has eight touchdowns in five career games against the Steelers.
N.Y. Jets: Robby Anderson has 100-plus yards receiving in two of his last three games. He has a career-high 848 yards receiving and seven touchdowns.
Oakland Raiders: Quarterback Derek Carr needs one touchdown pass to reach 100 for his career over his first four seasons in the NFL, all with Oakland.
Pittsburgh Steelers: Kicker Chris Boswell has made four game-winning kicks this season, including in each of last three games. His 32 field goals are third-most in Steelers history.
Tennessee Titans: The Titans play at the 49ers’ Levi’s Stadium for the first time Sunday.
Russell Wilson was asked this week to describe how the Seattle Seahawks offense has improved or evolved since a Week 5 victory over the Rams.
The quarterback led the Seahawks to a 16-10 win at the Coliseum.
“It’s been impressive just to see how far we have really come and grown since the last time we played them,” Wilson said.
This was the big game the Chargers needed, the night to control their destiny.
But instead of seizing the moment Saturday night in Kansas City, the Chargers got caught in a spiral of missed chances, failing bodies and plenty of disappointment.
Needing a win to grab control of the AFC West and to keep from becoming a mathematical miracle in the wild-card race, the Chargers played one of their worst games of the season, losing 30-13 to the Chiefs.
RAMS (9-4) AT SEATTLE SEAHAWKS (8-5)
When Rams have the ball
The Rams exceeded their season scoring average in last week’s loss to the Eagles, but it wasn’t enough. Now they face a depleted Seahawks defense that is without star cornerback Richard Sherman and safety Kam Chancellor. Linebacker Bobby Wagner is questionable, and linebacker K.J. Wright is doubtful. Rams quarterback Jared Goff has passed for 22 touchdowns, with six interceptions, but he had a costly turnover against the Eagles, losing a fumble on a sack in the fourth quarter. He also was unable to move the offense later in the game. Goff could be buoyed by the return of receiver Robert Woods, who was sidelined three games because of a shoulder injury. Rookie Cooper Kupp and veteran Sammy Watkins stepped up in Woods’ absence, and rookie Josh Reynolds also got opportunities. Running back Todd Gurley rushed for 96 yards in only 13 carries against the Eagles, and coach Sean McVay once again blamed himself for not getting him more involved. Tackles Andrew Whitworth and Rob Havenstein suffered knee injuries last week but both are expected to play. The Seahawks have remained competitive despite the loss of Sherman and Chancellor. End Michael Bennett has 7½ sacks, Frank Clark seven.
When Seahawks have the ball
Quarterback Russell Wilson leads an offense that ranks 10th in yards (369.1 yards per game) and 11th in scoring (24.2 points a game). The elusive Wilson has passed for 29 touchdowns, with 11 interceptions. He also has rushed for a team-best 482 yards and three touchdowns. Running back Mike Davis rushed for 66 yards in last week’s loss at Jacksonville. Receiver Doug Baldwin has 66 catches for 860 yards and five touchdowns. Tight end Jimmy Graham has 52 receptions, including a team-best nine for touchdowns. Receiver Paul Richardson has six touchdown catches. A week after the Rams fully grasped Wade Phillips’ 3-4 defense and shut down the Dallas Cowboys in the second half of a Week 4 victory, they held the Seahawks to 16 points in a loss at the Coliseum. Linemen Aaron Donald and Michael Brockers, rush linebacker Robert Quinn and inside linebacker Alec Ogletree have a history of containing Wilson. Cornerback Kayvon Webster suffered a season-ending Achilles injury last week against the Eagles. Troy Hill could start in his place, but the Rams also will rely on Nickell Robey-Coleman and Kevin Peterson to play opposite Trumaine Johnson. Safety Lamarcus Joyner and linebacker Mark Barron each have a team-best three interceptions.
When they kick
Rams kicker Greg Zuerlein got only one field-goal opportunity earlier this season against the Seahawks. The Rams aim to provide more this time. Zuerlein has made 36 of 38 field-goal attempts and is the NFL’s leading scorer. Johnny Hekker averages 48.1 yards per punt and has put 25 of 49 inside the 20. Pharoh Cooper has returned one kickoff for a touchdown. Blair Walsh has made 21 of 27 field-goal attempts for the Seahawks. Jon Ryan averages 44.8 yards per punt. Taylor Lockett averages 25 yards per kickoff return, 5.9 yard per punt return.
Gary Klein’s prediction
Despite numerous turnovers, the Rams were in position to defeat the Seahawks in Week 5. The Rams have nearly every starter available. Numerous key players for the Seahawks are out or questionable.
RAMS 30, SEAHAWKS 17