With the NFL playoff race heating up, the Rams acknowledged the significance of their dominant victory over the Seahawks, but stressed their work isn’t done.

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The Seattle Seahawks have won the NFC West four times in the eight years of the Pete Carroll era and have been to the playoffs five years in a row, appearing in two Super Bowls, and winning one.

But Sunday at CenturyLink Field, after the Los Angeles Rams trounced Seattle 42-7 and the Seahawks trudged glumly back to the locker room in the bowels of a stadium that started emptying out in the third quarter, the setting felt like the end of an era.

“It’s huge. This was a big win,” said Rams quarterback Jared Goff. “I’m not gonna say it doesn’t feel good to win in Seattle. It always does. They’re such a good team, they’ve been such a good team for so long. Any time you come up here, it’s loud, and if you’re able to quiet their fans and win the game, it’s big.”

Seattle’s 35-point defeat was the worst loss suffered at home since a 41-3 drubbing by the Jets in the opening game of the 1997 season. The victory gave the Rams (10-4) control of the NFC West, and they could clinch the division title with a triumph over the Titans on Sunday.

Rams 42, Seahawks 7

 

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The Rams dominated Seattle in every phase of the game. Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson was sacked a season-high seven times, Rams tailback Todd Gurley had 152 rushing yards and was responsible for four touchdowns, and return specialist Pharoh Cooper averaged 18.3 yards per punt return to give the Rams an average starting field position at their own 47-yard line.

Los Angeles outgained Seattle 352-149 on offense. The Rams allowed the Seahawks to convert only four of 14 third downs, Seattle lost two fumbles — one by Tanner McEvoy and one by Wilson — and the Rams went into halftime up 34-0, quieting the 69,077 crowd.

“I think that our offense continues to gain confidence through scoring points,” said Rams guard Roger Saffold. “I think when we started scoring early and often, you can start feeling (the crowd) kind of dull down a little bit.”

The Rams also were fueled by their close 16-10 defeat against Seattle back in October, in a game in which the Seahawks escaped with a victory after rookie Cooper Kupp, a Yakima native and Eastern Washington University product, dropped a potential fourth-down, game-winning touchdown pass from Goff in the final seconds.

“We felt like we did not play to the capabilities that we were possible of when we played them last time,” said Rams left tackle Andrew Whitworth. “There was a lot of anger between us because we just felt very disappointed in ourselves in how we played the first one (against Seattle). We really had a bunch of opportunities to win that game. We felt that all week, and there was emotion behind that all week.”

With the NFL playoff race heating up, the Rams acknowledged the significance of their dominant victory over the Seahawks, but stressed their work isn’t done.

“It was just a great team effort,” Gurley said. “It felt good to be able to come to Seattle — it’s a very tough place to play — and get a win like we did. This was just one of those wins where everything was clicking for us, everybody was out there competing and we didn’t want to let up. These guys have been kicking our (behinds) for the last 10-15 years, so we’ve gotta enjoy it and take advantage of a situation like this.”

“They’ve been kinda running the (NFC) West, and we’ve got something great going on over here,” said Rams linebacker Robert Quinn. “We knew we had to go out there and win a game.”

Rams coach Sean McVay downplayed any suggestion that this victory symbolized a changing of the guard in the NFC West.

“We have a lot of respect for Seattle,” McVay said. “I think it was a great job by our players coming into a tough atmosphere and getting it done today. We know what Seattle has done. The reason you talk about Seattle the way you do is because they have consistently performed well, year in and year out over a handful of years. That consistency is the truest measure of performance.”

Yet, perhaps the most consistent thing about the 2017 Rams is how well they’ve rebounded from defeats. The Rams have bounced back from each of their four defeats this year by winning the following week, and this victory over Seattle after the close setback last week against Philadelphia was yet another sign of this young team’s resiliency.

“I just love the resolve of this football team,” McVay said. “I love the mental toughness and their ability to take things one day at a time.”