INGLEWOOD, Calif. – Defense. Offense. Special teams. That’s how the Los Angeles Rams were able to beat the Seattle Seahawks in the second of two encounters that they have with their NFC West rivals. Before mixing it up with Seattle for the second time this season, the Rams were coming off their mini-vacation in Week 10. It was well-needed.
“It just gave us a chance to get healthier, anybody who’s dealing with little bumps and bruises along the way,” Rams outside linebacker Michael Hoecht said. “The NFL is a long season. A lot of those happen. So, you know, we got to get some guys back. It was awesome for [linebacker] Ernest [Jones] to get back..It just helps guys get healthier, refresh, reset, and go attack the second half.”
The Rams lost their last three games before their Week 10 bye. After nine games, the Rams sat at 3-6 before playing the Seahawks in Week 11. With a little more than a month remaining in their schedule, the numbers game for the Rams is pressing against them to make the postseason.
That means there’s little wiggle room for error in order for the team to make the playoffs. Rams head coach Sean McVay is more focused on getting the most out of his players, week by week.
“What I draw confidence from is real tangible evidence of good quality football,” McVay said days ahead of his team playing the Seahawks.“Then it’s how consistently can we put that together? Then what does that look like on a week-to-week basis for our players? Then how our best is reflected in terms of defending the opponent or attacking the opponent.”
The first loss of the season for the Seahawks was the one that the Rams pinned on them in Week 1. It was a dominating win for the road team as the Rams bottled up Geno Smith and Seattle’s passing game to come away with a double-digit win.
Since Week 1 things have not gone the way that head coach Sean McVay and the Rams have expected. The Rams have played tough and have been in just about every game this season (Dallas Cowboys being the lone exception), yet being on the winning side more often than not has been elusive for Los Angeles.
Before having his team line up and play the Seahawks one more time, McVay said the approach to the second half of the season is what it’s always been.
“I think it’s a lot of the same, attack the opportunity with enthusiasm and excitement about what’s ahead,” McVay said. “Not looking backwards, but how can we learn from the first nine weeks, both positive and things that we can improve upon and let’s focus on those things and let’s go attack it, and let’s love this challenge that the NFL brings every single week and love the opportunity to welcome some guys back and love coaching and love playing as well as we possibly can. And let’s see what the heck happens.”
What happened in their return to the football field was the Rams pulling off a 17-16 comeback win against the Seahawks. Riding the coattails of the strong play of their defense, the Rams’ offense woke up when it was needed.
Part of that equation was getting a solid contribution in the run game from Royce Freeman. Freeman rushed for 73 yards against a rugged Seattle defense.
“I felt I ran good,” Freeman said after the Rams’ win against the Seahawks. “I felt like I left a lot on the table. I’m going to go back and go over those things that need to be corrected, but grateful for the opportunity that I did have and the coaching staff for trusting me to give me the ball, and allowed me to make plays.”
The Rams outscored Seattle 10-0 in the fourth period and finished the game off with a 22-yard, game-winning field goal booted by Lucas Havrisik with 1:31 remaining in the contest. Havrisik says he tries to treat every kick in the same manner, even a potential game-winning field goal.
“Try to treat every kick the same,” Havrisik said. “Obviously, like your nerves and everything is going to be amplified. It’s a long game, but you just got to stay even-keeled the whole time. You can’t get too high and too low. So, just take it as any other kick, but yeah, the adrenaline was definitely up there today.”
Dennis has covered and written about politics, crime, social justice, sports, and entertainment. Dennis currently covers the NFL, MLB, NBA, NCAA, and Olympic sports. Dennis is the editor of News4usonline.com and serves as the publisher of the Compton Bulletin newspaper. He earned a journalism degree from Howard University.