The St. Louis Rams defense has 46 sacks. Only three teams have more. Opposing running backs are finding the front four difficult to navigate as well. St. Louis held three of the last five opponents to fewer than 100 rushing yards.
Head coach Jeff Fisher still sees room for improvement.
"Well, it's been good," Fisher said of his defensive line. "I think every aspect of our team and phases could be better, but it's been good. We're spreading the sacks around. When we need to generate pressure, we can manufacture pressure. When you look around and the DBs and linebackers have some sacks here and there it means that you're multiple on defense. I think the key for the last three or four weeks for us has been our non-starting defensive linemen. Talk about (DE) William (Hayes), and (DT Jermelle) Cudjo, and (DE) Eugene (Sims), these guys are coming in and filling in for the four starters in the rotation. They've been very productive."
Robert Quinn and Chris Long each have 18 of the team's sacks, 8.5 for Long and 9.5 for Quinn. Kendall Langford has two and rookie Michael Brockers has four. The players beyond the starters, those three identified by Fisher above, have combined for another 10. William Hayes has six, the third most on the team. Jo-Lonn Dunbar and Quintin Mikell have 6.5 between them.
"Yes, from a protection standpoint and things like that," Fisher explained. "We need to get ourselves in position where we can do those things and make those play selections. But, by in large we're getting good pressure from our front four or our front seven defensive linemen."
The group will have its hands full this week against a Seattle team averaging 50 points over its last three games. How do they stop a team like that?
"Well, you've got to get them in third down," Fisher said. "You've got win on early downs and get them in third down and get off the field if possible."