The Rams defense put on a show in Sunday's rout over the Seahawks, waltzing into CenturyLink field and dismantling the Seattle offense — holding the Seahawks to just 2.8 yards per play.
In all, L.A. held Seattle to a season-low 149 yards and 11 first downs, marking the first time the Seahawks have been held to under 200 total yards since 2013.
"The defense came out and flustered them early," outside linebacker Robert Quinn said.
"It's a big credit to the hard work we put in throughout the week," safety Lamarcus Joyner added. "You're seeing everyone get what they deserve."
Not only did the defense effectively shut down quarterback Russell Wilson, but it also held the Seahawks to a season-low seven points. In total, the Rams recorded seven sacks and nine quarterback hits, relentlessly applying the pressure through all four quarters.
Check out the best photos from the Rams 42-7 victory over the Seahawks.
"Our secondary just did a great job of having him reset and giving us opportunities to get to him," defensive tackle Aaron Donald said. "You have to take advantage when you get one-on-ones and win them."
And take advantage he did.
Donald registered a new single-game high of 3.0 sacks in Sunday's victory. He now has 11.0 sacks this season which ties his current career high. The Pittsburgh product —along with outside linebacker Connor Barwin — also led the team with five tackles, while recording four quarterback hits, two tackles for loss, and one forced fumble.
But it wasn't just Donald making plays. Sunday marked the unit's most complete performance of the season, with each member of the defense contributing in various ways.
"It's not this person did this or this person did that," Joyner said. "It's about the whole 11 and the continuity that we have together. And that's a credit to all of us."
Quinn recorded 2.0 sacks, giving him 6.0 over the last four games. Cornerback Troy Hill – filling in for the injured Kayvon Webster — surrendered just one catch of four yards. And Joyner forced his second opening-possession takeaway, marking the club's seventh opening drive turnover of the year.
"It's been incredible," head coach Sean McVay said Monday of the defense's ability to cause turnovers. "The way that our defense has started out games this year, definitely leaves you feeling confident."
The fast start was characterized by four forced three-and-outs in Seattle's first five possessions, as L.A. held the
Seahawks to just 59 yards on 27 first-half plays. The Seahawks' only points came late in the third quarter, with many of the Rams' starters taken out early in the fourth.
Overall Sunday marked a hallmark moment for the L.A. defense, providing a sense of validation for all of the hard work they have put in thus far.
"Anytime you win you're going to be happy," Donald said with a smile. "But anytime it's against a great divisional opponent where it's usually a dog fight — to come out on top at their house — it's a really good feeling."
"Did we expect a win like this? Probably not," Quinn added. "But we expected to play a great game. I think it is just a great team win, [and] hopefully we keep building and building."