The Los Angeles Rams escaped with a 17-16 victory over the Seattle Seahawks in Week 11, and most of the attention should be on the defensive unit. After facing a 13-7 deficit at halftime on Sunday, the young defense of the Rams shut down the Seahawks offense in the second half.
According to rbsdm.com, the Rams had the third-best EPA per play (-0.426) and the best success rate (20.7%) among defenses in the second half of contests this week. In the first half versus the Seahawks, the Rams were dead last in EPA per play (0.282) among the teams who have played this week, and they had the 13th-best success rate (47.1%).
With another come-from-behind win over the Seahawks, the Rams have now outscored their divisional foes 33-3 in the second half of their two meetings this season. This is a credit to Raheem Morris for making the necessary adjustments at halftime and to the players for stepping up their play in the final two quarters.
The defense has been far from perfect this season, allowing 22 points per game (13th-most in the NFL) and recording only 21 sacks (tied for the eighth-fewest in the NFL). But it is a positive sign to see a young defense like the Rams show signs of being a cohesive unit at times.
Aside from Aaron Donald and Ernest Jones making plays, we saw some of the younger players on the Rams step up in the second half. Kobie Turner and Byron Young were generating pressure on Geno Smith and Drew Lock, Derion Kendrick had a game-changing interception after a rough first half, and Quentin Lake continued to excel as the slot cornerback.
If the Rams want to have any chance of sneaking into the playoffs, Sunday’s game against the Seahawks was a must-win. And for a Rams team that has Matthew Stafford starting at quarterback, it was the defense that did the heavy lifting to help secure a victory in Week 11.