Rise Up Logo

Call Us Today!
(562) 659-9599

Rams’ Dante Fowler praises Seahawks’ Russell Wilson, then buries him

Rams’ Dante Fowler praises Seahawks’ Russell Wilson, then buries him

LOS ANGELES — Dante Fowler said Russell Wilson was “in his own league” among pro football’s growing class of elusive quarterbacks.

If that’s true, the Rams might be ready for almost anyone the NFL can throw — and run — at them.

A few days after he heaped praise the Seattle Seahawks quarterback, Fowler jumped all over Wilson and played a huge role in the Rams’ latest strong defensive effort in a 28-12 victory Sunday night at the Coliseum.

The outside linebacker was credited with 1 1/2 of the Rams’ five sacks of Wilson, and three of their 11 hits on the quarterback. He celebrated his sacks with his trademark dance, featuring a theatrical bow and kick.

Fowler’s, Samson Ebukam’s (two sacks) and Clay Matthews’ work on the edges were a key to keeping Wilson from making plays out of the pocket.

“Just doing our jobs rushing in our lanes, trying to keep him in the pocket and trusting that our guys up front were going to clog it up in the middle (while) we were taking care of the edges,” Fowler said.

“Our guys on the back end did a really good job of covering and let us get to him tonight.”

The Rams have bottled up Arizona’s Kyler Murray and Seattle’s Wilson since giving up five touchdown passes and 95 yards rushing to Baltimore’s Jackson.

Fowler’s performance gave him the team lead in sacks with nine, one more than Matthews. Fowler’s 13 quarterback hits are second on the team to defensive tackle Aaron Donald’s 22.

The nine sacks and 13 quarterback hits this season are new highs for Fowler, who is in his fourth NFL season and first full season with the Rams after a 2018 trade with the Jacksonville Jaguars.

He already had career highs this season in tackles (now 44) and tackles for loss (13).

Quotable

Rams quarterback Jared Goff on Todd Gurley’s stiff-arm on his touchdown run: “He’s a bad man, that’s what I told him. He’s a bad dude and it was vintage Todd.”

Rams coach Sean McVay, asked if there was a playoff atmosphere at the Coliseum: “I thought that there was a buzz even just walking out. The players had that good feel again, very similar to last week (before the win over the Arizona Cardinals) and they came out from the jump.”

Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said the Rams “played great”: “Without question, early in the game they were controlling the tempo and … we just didn’t handle it as well as we would like. And it took us a while to get settled down, and then once we got settled down, then in the second half was a different game.”

Notable numbers

Tyler Higbee’s 107 and 116 yards receiving against Arizona and Seattle made him the first Rams tight end with 100 yards in consecutive weeks since Carroll Dale in 1962.

Todd Gurley’s 79 yards rushing and 34 on four receptions gave him 7,319 from scrimmage in his career, climbing over Dick Bass into eighth on the Rams’ all-time rushing list.

The Seahawks were held without a touchdown on offense for the first time since Week 1 of 2017.

Scoreboard watching

Needing a lot of help, the Rams didn’t get it in the earlier games Sunday that affected their chances of qualifying for the playoffs.

The San Francisco 49ers won on the road against the New Orleans Saints on a last-second field goal by Robbie Gould to improve to 11-2, temporarily moving back into first place over the Seahawks in the NFC West, meaning the Rams had to beat Seattle to avoid official elimination from the race for the division title.

The Minnesota Vikings, who began the week holding the second of the NFC’s two wildcards, won at home against the Detroit Lions. At 9-4, the Vikings probably would have to lose two of their three remaining games for the Rams to have a realistic chance of getting a wildcard on a tiebreaker with a 10-6 finish. The Vikings play the Chargers in Carson and the Green Bay Packers and Chicago Bears at home.

The Packers won at home against the Washington Redskins and are 10-3, staying ahead of the Vikings in the NFC North.

Sidelined

Tackle Rob Havenstein, whose injured knee presented the only mystery about a Rams player’s availability for Sunday’s game against the Steelers, was declared inactive along with six others 90 minutes before kickoff.

It’s the fourth game Havenstein has missed since getting hurt against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Rookie Bobby Evans has filled in at right tackle.

It’s also the fourth straight game that the offensive line, shaken up by injuries, has started Whitworth, Austin Corbett, Austin Blythe, David Edwards and Evans from left to right.

‘My Cause’ cleats

When Todd Gurley laced up lavender cleats with the word “MADE” on the sides before the Sunday’s game, his feet were at the Coliseum but his heart was in his hometown of Tarboro, North Carolina.

The shoes were the running back’s contribution to the NFL’s one-week My Cause, My Cleats campaign, which allows players to promote a cause or charity with specially designed footwear.

Gurley’s promoted his MADE (Make a Difference Every Day) Sports Foundation, which he co-founded with hometown friend Jameon Willis.

The foundation sponsors football camps for kids, but Gurley hopes to expand it to other sports and projects with the goal of uniting people and inspiring young people through sports, he said this week.

“As I keep telling the kids each year, I’ve been in the league for five years, went to college (at Georgia) for three. Less than 10 years ago, I was in these kids’ shoes,” said Gurley, 25.

“I’m still learning myself, still figuring stuff out myself. Just trying to do the right thing, man. I was raised the right way and I’m trying to pass those things along to other people.”

Rams quarterback Jared Goff’s rainbow-colored cleats promoted California Strong, the charity he helped found after the 2018 Thousand Oaks shootings and state wildfires.

Among other causes promoted by Rams players with their choice of cleats involved various cancer charities (Josh Reynolds, Austin Blythe, Dante Fowler, Troy Hill, Troy Reeder), the Make a Wish Foundation (Robert Woods, Andrew Whitworth), the American Heart Association (Gerald Everett), the Multiple Sclerosis Association of America (Cory Littleton), suicide prevention (Morgan Fox), the Special Olympics (Tyler Higbee), Down Syndrome (Tanzel Smart), underprivileged youth (Aaron Donald), the poor and vulnerable in Africa (Samson Ebukam), and opposition to the money bail system (JoJo Natson).


Press Enterprise