Darious Williams grabs the spotlight with two interceptions in Rams’ win
All week, Darious Williams’ name hid from the spotlight, as national media shifted attention elsewhere.
The headlines trumpeted the matchup between Rams cornerback Jalen Ramsey and Seattle Seahawks receiver DK Metcalf, the highest-paid player at his position versus the 6-foot-4 , 229-pound 22-year-old who entered the game ranked second in the league in receiving yards.
Williams let his performance speak instead of the talking heads, and captured interceptions instead of TV air time.
In the Rams’ 23-16 victory, the cornerback picked off two Russell Wilson passes and posted a late pass breakup on a potential touchdown. Ramsey said he wasn’t surprised.
“I think it’s time to start talking about ‘D-Will’ in this league as a household name, as a guy who could potentially be an All Pro, as a guy who should be a Pro Bowler,” Ramsey said.
With a little more than two minutes remaining before half, the Seahawks marched to the Rams’ 22-yard line. Wilson lofted a pass to tight end Will Dissly in the end zone, but Williams snagged it to prevent Seattle from tying the score at 17.
The Rams proved they’re contenders for the NFC West title by slowing down one of the NFL’s top offenses in a 23-16 victory over the Seattle Seahawks.
In the fourth quarter, with the Rams ahead 23-13, Wilson fired a pass near midfield to tight end Greg Olsen on an out-breaking route. But Williams anticipated and lunged in the air, grabbing his second takeaway. He also tipped a would-be touchdown pass to receiver Tyler Lockett in the fourth quarter. Also, a penalty nullified a Williams interception return for a touchdown in the first quarter.
Ramsey said teams throwing away from him will create more opportunities for Williams, who caught pivotal interceptions earlier this season against the Philadelphia Eagles and New York Giants.
“This guy shows up in a big way,” coach Sean McVay said.
The backbone of the Rams offensive line laid on his back, his teammates, many of whom took their helmets off, with their heads lowered.
As the cart drove on to SoFi Stadium’s turf to whisk away left tackle Andrew Whitworth, he clasped his white-taped hands together in a prayer-like motion close to his greying beard, clapped and then pointed to the sky.
As he chewed his gum, he stared into a stadium filled with empty seats and cardboard cutouts.
Whitworth, a 15-year veteran, suffered a left knee injury in the second quarter when he crashed into linebacker K.J Wright while pass protecting against defensive end Alton Robinson. Whitworth’s left knee contorted awkwardly when he collided with Wright.
With assistance from training staff, Whitworth limped to the cart, his teammates and McVay comforting him, and also exchanged a handshake with Wilson. Goff said Whitworth told them to “finish the game and go get a win.”
Offensive wiz Sean McVay was supposed to take the Rams offense to new places with Jared Goff, but expectations haven’t been in touch with reality.
“With everything he’s put on the line for us, you never want to see that happen, and you hope for the best,” Goff said. “He’s a hell of a guy.”
Whitworth did not return, and McVay said postgame that he had no update on the severity of the injury. Third-year tackle Joe Noteboom played in his place and gave up a sack against edge rusher Carlos Dunlap late in the third quarter. Other than that mishap, McVay said Noteboom played well.
Whitworth, a team captain, has missed only one start since joining the Rams in 2017. The Cincinnati Bengals selected Whitworth, who turns 39 next month, with a second-round draft pick in 2006. He signed a three-year, $30 million contract extension in March. He has been named to the Pro Bowl four times.
“Andrew has been so important to us,” McVay said. “This guy is a foundational piece of what we’ve done. He represents all the things that are right about the Rams.”
Floyd proving it
The Rams signed Leonard Floyd to a one-year, $10 million “prove-it” deal this offseason, hoping the former Chicago Bear could revitalize his career.
They are seeing a positive return on investment.
Breaking down the notable numbers behind the Rams’ 23-16 victory over the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday.
The ninth overall pick in the 2016 draft sacked Wilson three times and also recovered a fumble, bringing his season sack total to seven. He recorded seven-combined sacks in his final two seasons in Chicago. Floyd said the change of scenery is working.
“I just feel confident in this team and this defense, and we’re just going out and executing,” Floyd said.
Go beyond the scoreboard
Get the latest on L.A.'s teams in the daily Sports Report newsletter.
You may occasionally receive promotional content from the Los Angeles Times.