SEA-LA grades: Rams’ defensive front is too much for Seahawks

Robert Quinn and Aaron Donald both grade well in Rams' close win over Seattle and a banged-up Russell Wilson.

| 1 month ago
(Harry How, Getty Images)

(Harry How, Getty Images)

SEA-LA grades: Rams’ defensive front is too much for Seahawks

Los Angeles Rams 9, Seattle Seahawks 3

Here are the biggest takeaways and highest-graded players from the Los Angeles Rams’ 9-3 victory over the Seattle Seahawks in their home debut:

Los Angeles Rams

Quarterback grade: Case Keenum, 80.5

Keenum efficient despite unimpressive offense

Although quarterback Case Keenum did not receive a lot of help from his teammates, he played as well as a quarterback can when his team does not score a touchdown. While the Los Angeles signal-caller was hurt by three dropped passes, he was accurate on 75 percent of his aimed throws. Furthermore, he was effective throwing downfield, too, as he completed three of his five pass attempts of 20 yards or more.


Top offensive grades:

WR Kenny Britt, 77.2

OT Roger Saffold, 73.3

OT Rob Havenstein, 70.1

TE Lance Kendricks, 70.0

TE Tyler Higbee, 64.3

Rams offense lacks spark

Similar to last week’s shutout loss to San Francisco, this was an absolutely lackluster performance from the Los Angeles offense, with nobody standing out from the pack. The Rams’ rushing attack struggled against the strong Seattle defensive front, as running back Todd Gurley averaged just 0.6 rushing yards before and 1.9 yards after contact, while Los Angeles’ longest run of the day went for only 11 yards.

Top defensive grades:

DT Aaron Donald, 91.6

CB Lamarcus Joyner, 85.9

LB Alec Ogletree, 85.7

DT Dominique Easley, 84.7

DE Robert Quinn, 80.4

Rams’ defensive line is the difference in close win

Those who have been watching closely are not surprised anymore by the numbers Aaron Donald puts up week in and week out. The Los Angeles interior defender recorded three hits and three quarterback hurries, while he also added four defensive stops. However, it was not Donald alone who had a field day against the Seahawks’ offensive line. Former New England Patriot DT Dominique Easley’s quickness helped him have an impact on the game despite playing only 22 snaps, while Robert Quinn was an unstoppable force off the edge and recorded one sack, one quarterback hit and two hurries. If the Rams’ pass rush was not good enough on its own, they had a huge advantage in facing a Russell Wilson who had limited mobility in the pocket due to his injury.


Seattle Seahawks

Quarterback grade: Russell Wilson, 79.4

Wilson’s performance limited by injury

It says a lot about the Seahawks offense that Wilson was their highest-graded player by a far margin. While Seattle’s signal-caller did not have a poor game, he was clearly bothered by his ankle injury and was not as evasive when escaping the pass rush as he is usually. In addition, his long pass to Tyler Lockett on Seattle’s last drive was probably the most impressive throw this weekend that didn’t result in a touchdown.

Top offensive grades:

RB Christine Michael, 73.9

WR Paul Richardson, 72.8

C Justin Britt, 72.1

TE Jimmy Graham, 71.4

WR Tyler Lockett, 69.1

Offense overpowered by Los Angeles defensive front

The Seahawks’ offensive line was bullied all day long by the Rams defenders, and simply could not get the running game going nor protect their quarterback. Center Justin Britt was the only offensive lineman who did not give up multiple pressures, and left guard Mark Glowinski surrendered the most total pressures with two quarterback hits and three hurries. Running back Christine Michael provided the lone spark for the offense, as he was able to create big plays from nothing, but his performance will more likely be remembered for his game-sealing fumble than his electric runs in the previous three-and-a-half quarters.

Top defensive grades:

LB Bobby Wagner, 89.7

LB K.J. Wright, 87.5

DI Tony McDaniel, 81.3

ED Frank Clark, 80.2

S Earl Thomas, 80.1

Strong performance in losing effort by the Seahawks defense

Almost each and every Seattle defender had a solid outing against Los Angeles, as free safety Earl Thomas was dominant once again after earning the lowest grade among safeties in the NFL last week. The fact that the Seahawks’ defense missed only two tackles in the entire game shows how well the unit played despite the fact that the Seahawks could not come away with a win from the Coliseum.

PFF Game-Ball Winner: DT Aaron Donald, 91.6

Get access to grades for every player, complete with positional rankings, in our Player Grades tool.

  • Eric

    Now THAT was a dominant performance by Aaron Donald.

    Both teams have to be be very concerned about their running games. Gurley rushed for -1, 2, 0, 2, 4, and -4 yards (totalling 6 carries for 3 yards) as the Rams tried to run the clock on their final meaningful possession. Seahawks have to figure out if Rawls is healthy enough to be the same player that he was last year. It hasn’t been all his fault, but there is a stark difference when comparing Rawls’ production this year to Michael’s.

  • crosseyedlemon

    Some sites have the Seahawks projected as this years champions so they shouldn’t be struggling to win ugly against the likes of the Dolphins and Rams.

    • Captain On!

      Well, injuries to Wilson and Ifedi (starting RG), as well as current RG fill-in Webb, in-game injuries to Wilson week 1, Lockett and Baldwin week 2, and getting Rawls (who was also injured in-game, via kicked shin), Graham, and Richardson back into the fold, not to mention it was the Rams who they hardly ever beat despite winning as many games as they do (and made 2 Super Bowls and the divisional round over the past 3 years), it really shouldn’t be that surprising. There were some truly awful calls in this game. Remember the Patriots were awful a couple years ago to start before going on to win the whole thing. Early season struggles, especially with as many injuries as are piling on the offensive side, shouldn’t come as much of a surprise. Doesn’t mean everything is a-ok, but probably not what the rest of the season will look like.

      • Dale GoDawgs McLerran

        Not to mention that the Seahawks always start the year slowly – in large part because they play a huge number of rookies. As they get more experience, the Seahawks become typically become one of the best teams in the NFL.

        • Bill Doerr

          The Seahawks didn’t have the absolute worst O-Line in the NFL by FAR in years past though !!!! The Hawks cant pass protect and they are getting zero push in the running game, SEAs run game is hot garbage this year. The Hawks have on of the worst offenses in the NFL and that isn’t going to change this season.

          • Captain On!

            Except that Christine Michael is splitting carries with Rawls right now as Rawls gets back into the groove, and Michael is chugging 5.0 YPC. Your PFF worship is pretty bad. PFF is actually a poor site to rely on for grades. They grade what they see, not what they know. Seattle surrendered, with their “horrible” line, 2 sacks and 9 hits against such a vaunted defensive line, while Wilson has a sprained ankle and can’t run away, and the worst lineman playing right now, Webb, almost couldn’t play due to his ankle. You claim that they have one of the worst offenses despite finishing top 10 in scoring over the past, what, 4 years? PFF should be taken with a heap of salt.

  • Bill Doerr

    SEAs O-Line is easily the worst O-Line in the NFL.Their OTs are ranked the worst in the NFL at their positions and cannot hold pass protecting , and they cant run the ball to save their lives as they are getting ZERO push in the run game especially the interior O-Line. Even when Ifedi comes back assuming he is n e good in games that count (95% of rookie O-Lnemen BADLY Struggle) it is not going to help because the other 4 O-Linemen are just flatout horrible. SEAs starting LT was a 3rd string backup tackle on AZ for crying out loud. The Seahawks RB situation is extremely troubling as well as 2nd year RB Thomas Rawls is looking more n more like a 1 year wonder, as he has just 25yds on 19 carries AVG 1.3YPC!!!! SEA saw what AZs RB David Johnson can do and how he is quickly becoming the best young RB n the NFL n decided they to wanted a RB w/ that skill set and they drafted RB CJ Prosise who is struggling severely as a RB but is a solid receiver but is severely injured prone injured all camp long n now is injured again after 1 game, RB Alex Collins looks to be a flatout bust he just all around sucks , the only RB they have is C-Mike who is average at best and he cant carry the load alone!!!!! The Hawks running game is in shambles , it is truly pathetic. Offensely they are one of the worst in the NFL!!!!! This offense is not going to score much against good b elite defenses they just don’t have the talent.
    The Cardinals on the other hand are stacked from top to bottom offensively with an Elite top 10 defense !!! Via PFF AZ has the NFLs best WR Core that is loaded with elite talent and elite world class speed, AZ has a top 5 RB Core with Elite 6″2/225pd RB (4.41 speed/43IN Vertical Jump) whos the best receiving RB in the NFL in RB David Johnson who is a BEAST & The best back to come out of the 2015 draft even though he was a 3rd round pick which is highway robbery and an absolute draft steal draft steal getting a top 10 RB n RD3 ( Johnson would of been drafted before Gurley if teams would of known just how good the elite small school prospect talent was/is) & is AVG 138YPC w/1TD AVG 5.0YPC over the last 2 games. Behind David Arizona has an excellent #2 RB to keep DJ fresh all year long in excellent #2 RB Chris CJ2K Johnson who was 3rd in rushing yards when he got hurt week 12 and is still very capable of a 1,000+YD Season & AZ has an excellent top notch 3rd down change of pace RB in 5″11/205pd Andre Ellington who is a top notch extremely quick/fast 3rd diwn RB with 4.38 speed & is a dual threat RB who excels as a receiver……. AZ has 4 excellent top notch receiving TEs, AZ has arguably the deepest most lethal offense in the NFL!!!!
    AZ is stacked defensively as well from top to bottom as Arizona has an Elite top 4 Defense that is stacked starting with an Elite outside pass rush w/ one of the NFLs best pass rushing OLB/DE in big 6″5 very long (35in arms/4.68spd inhuman bending ability around the edge) Chandler Jones already has 2.5 sacks/3 QB Hits/12 pressures n 2 games & AZ has 2nd year 6″3/265pd top notch pass rushing OLB Markus Golden quickly developing into an Elite #2 pass rusher already has 2 Sacks/4QB Hits/11 pressures in 2 games with an Elite Defensive Line that is one of the NFLs best with an Elite beastly interior pass rusher & AZ has no shortage of Elite/Excellent interior pass rushers starting with 6″8 Calais Campbell, 6″5/305pd Rodney Gunter has elite speed/power n pass rush ability, NT/DT 6″3/305pd Corey Peters consistently collapses the pocket n get pressure or sacks he is an excellent interior rusher, 6″3/290pd Frostee Rucker is a borderline elite interior pass rusher for for 6-8 sacks a year , 6″4/297pd has Elite power/speed/explosivness n elite athleticism he is a monster and will be back for this Sundays week 3 game, Nkimdiche is capable of 10+ sacks a year, 6″6/302pd DE/DT Josh Mauro can play anywhere across the line is an extremely versatile weapon who is elite vs the run n excels as pressuring the QB, Mauro is a beast of a player n one of those foundation block players u love to have, 6″4/300pd Ed Stinson is an elite run stopper & is a very solid pass rusher getting better everyday & those are all just AZs pass rushing interior linemen I didn’t bring up the pure run stoppers. AZ has an Elite top 3 secondary that is arguably the NFLs best w/ the talent they have and they have fixed that #2CB Spot n buttoned up the backend of the defense. AZ has an Elite top 4 ranked ILB as well in 6″2/224pd Deone Bucannon whos an Elite ILB ranking 6th overall n 2015, 3rd n pass coverage n 5th rushing the QB, Bucannon is going to be even better in year 3 n earn a Pro Bowl birth & far above average excellent 6″1/230pd ILB Kevin Minter is a beast who has started this year playing at a Pro Bowl level!!!!! Once this defense settles in for the 2016 season which they are now starting to due after knocking the rust off , and in the next 1 maybe 2 more weeks Tyrann Mathieu will be going to back his normal position playing right off the line of scrimmage tearing shit up, AZ will have no problem posting an Elite top 3 defense.
    With all SEAs problems especially offensively AZ will have no trouble winning the NFC=Wrst I’m not even sure the Hawks make the playoffs that’s how bad piss poor their offense is!!!!!!

  • brannen wesley

    I said at the beginning of the season Seattle was the most overrated team in the league. They will struggle to go 9 and 7 and are no threat as far as a contender. That jimmy graham trade ruined their offensive dynamic and turned them away from what they did best run and play defense. Now they are a rely on Russell Wilson big plays and hope our defense can lock you down. Not a good formula at all Seattle is easily 2016’s most overrated team.