INGLEWOOD, Calif. – Week 10 against quarterback Russell Wilson and the Seahawks offense brought the Rams defense perhaps their most challenging matchup since Week 3, when they faced Josh Allen and the Bills.
They stepped up in a big way.
In a battle between the NFL's No. 1 scoring offense (Seattle) and No. 2 scoring defense (Los Angeles), it was L.A. that prevailed. Defensive coordinator Brandon Staley's unit sacked Wilson six times in Sunday's 23-16 Rams victory at SoFi Stadium, also generating 12 quarterback hits and a pair of interceptions.
"Unbelievable job by our defense," Rams head coach Sean McVay said in his postgame video conference.
Seattle's 16 points were a season-low after averaging 34.3 through their first eight games.
Outside linebackers Leonard Floyd (three) and Terrell Lewis (two) accounted for five of Los Angeles' six sacks; the sixth went to defensive lineman Michael Brockers. Cornerback Darious Williams was responsible for the pair of interceptions, both of which came at critical times.
After a 37-yard field goal by Seahawks kicker Jason Myers cut the Rams' lead to seven late in the first half, the Seahawks forced and recovered a fumble by Rams quarterback Jared Goff on the ensuing drive, setting them up at the Rams 27-yard line with a chance to potentially tie the game. On the second play of that series, Williams jumped in front of a Wilson throw intended for tight end Will Dissly for his first interception of the game, preventing Seattle from getting any points off the takeaway.
Midway through the fourth quarter, the Seahawks had a chance to cut the Rams' lead to three. Then came Williams' second pick, intercepting a Wilson pass intended for tight end Greg Olsen at the Rams 36 and returning it 19 yards to the Seahawks 45. While the Rams were forced to punt on the ensuing possession, the 4 minutes and 19 seconds chewed off the clock by their offense was enough to preserve the lead and didn't give the Seahawks enough time to rally.
"I think it's time to start talking about Darious Williams in this league as a household name," Rams cornerback Jalen Ramsey said postgame. "As a guy who can potentially be an All-Pro, as a guy who should be a Pro-Bowler. He's that type of guy. I think he seized his opportunities and he balled today."
The Rams' secondary as a whole also kept Seahawks wide receiver D.K. Metcalf in check. Metcalf, who entered Sunday's game with the second-most receiving yards (788) in the league and tied for second in touchdowns with the Packers' Davante Adams (8), didn't catch his first pass until just under a minute to go in the third quarter. Overall, he caught two of his four targets from Wilson for 28 yards.
That matchup, and whether Ramsey would shadow Metcalf, was a big topic of conversation during Ramsey's Friday media session, though Ramsey downplayed it – an intentional choice, he said Sunday, because he knew the work and preparation the secondary put in, "and I knew they were gonna get the opportunity to shine as well."
Like Williams, Floyd also had a career day – his three sacks set a new career-high for a single game. However, just like Ramsey, he deferred individual credit in favor of the defense's overall performance.
"I just feel confident in this team, in this defense, and we've just been going out and executing at a high level," Floyd said.