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Rapid Reaction: Seahawks Lock Up Rams And The NFC West Title

Notes, takeaways, and reactions from Seattle's 20-9 win over Los Angeles.

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Almost exactly a year ago, Jacob Hollister was stopped inches short of a touchdown that would have given the Seahawks an NFC West title. 

On Sunday, 364 days later, in the same north end zone at Lumen Field, Hollister scored a touchdown that helped the Seahawks secure the NFC West title. 

Hollister's fourth-quarter touchdown grab gave the Seahawks an 11-point lead, and Seattle's defense, which had been fantastic all day, got one more stop to secure a 20-9 win that improved the Seahawks' record to 11-4 and clinched their first NFC West title since 2016, and their fifth under Pete Carroll and John Schneider. 

Here are five rapid reactions from Sunday's win:

1. That was a spectacular performance by the Seahawks defense.

The Seahawks defense began showing signs of turning things around in the second half of their Week 10 loss to the Rams, holding L.A. to six points in that second half. Ever since then Seattle's defense has played at a high level, allowing a league-best 16.2 points per game since Week 10, and on Sunday that unit might have had its best game yet considering the opponent and what was at stake.

For the second time in three weeks, the Seahawks kept an opponent out of the end zone, limiting the Rams to just three field goals, 335 total yards and a 4.5 yards-per-play average. The Seahawks also stopped the Rams twice on fourth down, including a goal-line stand that featured four stops inside the 2-yard line, got a Quandre Diggs interception—his team-leading fifth of the season—and all but eliminated big plays from L.A.'s offense.

Heading into the playoffs, the Seahawks will be confident that this defense can carry them far regardless of what is happening on offense.

2. K.J. Wright had another big game in a career full of them.

Prior to kickoff, K.J. Wright was presented with the Steve Largent Award, one of the team's most prestigious honors, but that was just the start of a big afternoon for the veteran linebacker.

Wright finished the game with seven tackles and two passes defensed, but those numbers don't begin to show how well he played. A perfect example was Seattle's fourth-down goal-line stop in the third quarter. Wright didn't get credit for the tackle, but he blew up his blocker, forcing Rams running back Malcom Brown to cut the run back into traffic where his own blocker, along with Jordyn Brooks, stopped him short of the goal line. Wright also had a number of plays, again, that didn't show up in the stat sheet, that kept the Rams' misdirection plays from being effective.

3. Jamal Adams' game is more than just sacks.

Adams came into the game with a team-high 9.5 sacks, but on Sunday the safety showed that his game is more complex than just his impressive ability to blitz and take down quarterbacks.

Adams covered Tyler Higbee deep down the field to break up a pass that might have otherwise been a touchdown, recorded eight tackles, and most impressively, he had two run stops in the span of three plays that both saved touchdowns. The first of those tackles showed off Adams' speed, as he was blitzing off the left side of the Rams' offense, only to have Darrell Henderson take the handoff and run right, but despite Henderson's head start, Adams chased him down before the running back could get to the end zone. Two plays later, Adams undercut Malcolm Brown short of the goal line, the first of three straight stops at the 1 for Seattle's defense.

4. Russell Wilson and the offense bounced back in the second half.

As the Rams have been doing to opposing offenses all season long, they made things challenging on Seattle's offense in the first half, limiting Seattle to just a pair of field goals while sacking Russell Wilson three times and allowing only six first downs.

In the second half, the Rams defense still made Seattle's offense work hard for its yardage, but Wilson and company were much more effective, starting with the opening drive of the half that saw Wilson hit David Moore for a 45-yard gain, then later finish the drive with a 4-yard touchdown run.

Seattle's offense all but put the game on ice with an impressive nine-play, 80-yard fourth-quarter touchdown drive that saw Wilson complete five of five passes for 59 yards, including a 13-yard touchdown to Jacob Hollister.

And while Wilson threw a near-interception early in the game, it's noteworthy that in a close, low-scoring, the Seahawks did not turn the ball over, something that was a big factor in the Week 10 loss to the Rams.

5. DK Metcalf will have to wait for his record, but he was a factor.

DK Metcalf finished Sunday's game just short of breaking Steve Largent's single-season receiving record, but the second-year receiver was still a factor in Sunday's win. Metcalf didn't put up huge numbers, but did have six catches for 59 yards, an improvement after having only two catches in the previous meeting between these two teams.

Most notably, three of Metcalf's six catches gave the Seahawks third-down conversions, a 17-yard catch on third-and-6, an 11-yard gain on third-and-10, and a physical 8-yard gain on third-and-7 on Seattle's final touchdown drive.

Metcalf needs just six yards against the 49ers next weekend to break Largent's record of 1,287 yard set in 1985.

The best photos from Seattle Seahawks vs. Los Angeles Rams at Lumen Field. Fueled by Nesquik.

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