Rams head coach Sean McVay, defensive coordinator Brandon Staley, tight end Tyler Higbee and quarterback Jared Goff each held video conferences with local media Wednesday to preview Sunday's road game against the Seahawks (1:25 p.m. PT, FOX), sharing their thoughts on Seattle's offense and defense and playing in playoff-clinching games, among other important topics.
Here are some of the highlights and key takeaways from those virtual conversations:
"Since we've played them, they've played really well. I know the numbers were what they were early on, but all that matters is how you're playing right now, and they're playing as well as any defense in the league. – McVay
- The Seahawks are finding their defensive identity at a crucial time, and that's what has allowed them to play so well recently, according to McVay.
- From a personnel standpoint, McVay attributed that success to the Seahawks maximizing the skillsets of safety Jamal Adams and defensive end Carlos Dunlap, linebackers Bobby Wagner and K.J. Wright continuing to play at a high level, and cornerback Shaquill Griffin being healthy.
"That dual threat of him being able to turn and hand the ball to (running backs Chris) Carson or (Carlos) Hyde, I think that just adds another dimension to Russell Wilson's game, it makes him that much more difficult to defend with the play action, the keeper game, some of the read game in the gun." – Staley
- Carson and Hyde were inactive for the first meeting between the Rams and Seahawks this season due to injury, but enter Sunday's rematch healthy.
- In Seattle's win over Washington last week, Hyde had two carries for 55 yards and a touchdown, while Carson posted 15 carries for 63 yards. Wilson, meanwhile, rushed six times for 52 yards.
"It'll be nice not having the 12s scream at us, but at the same time, sometimes you enjoy going into a place where it's just the team and everybody else is against you. It's kind of a cool deal." – Higbee
- Sunday's game in Seattle will present the Rams with a different environment than they're used to at Lumen Field: An empty stadium. The Seahawks announced last week that no fans would be allowed to attend this week's game, their final home contest of the regular season.
- Higbee said the quiet atmosphere will be "a little bit different" but also makes things easier for the offense since they won't need to resort to a silent count.
"I don't try to make it any more than it is, to answer your question. It's another game. I enjoy playing them. I enjoy playing in meaningful games in December." – Goff
- A win on Sunday would clinch a playoff spot for the Rams. When asked how he would evaluate the way he's played in such scenarios, Goff indicated he treats it no differently than any other game.
- Goff also said "it's never been" difficult to play with a quieted mind and not thinking about what's at stake in games like that.