The St. Louis Rams’ pass rush has faltered over the second half of the season. William Hayes nearly revived it singlehandedly to spark one of his team’s biggest wins.
Hayes turned in a career-best performance as the Rams extended their winning streak to three games with their first victory in Seattle since January 2005, registering three sacks and a team-high nine tackles.
STL DE William Hayes entered today's game with 39 tackles & 2.5 sacks on the year. Today vs SEA he has 9 tackles, including 4 TFL & 3 sacks.
"He is an outstanding pass rusher," St. Louis coach Jeff Fisher said of Hayes in his postgame comments. "In addition to that, he has got tremendous lower-body strength and can separate … and help us in the run game."
Injuries to defensive ends Robert Quinn and Chris Long sapped the effectiveness of the Rams’ edge rushers, leaving second-year tackle Aaron Donald (11 sacks) as the only consistent source of pressure on opposing quarterbacks.
Hayes said he was determined to make an impact against the Seahawks following a lengthy stretch that saw him produce only a half-sack over the previous seven games.
“AD (Donald) has been carrying the team all year," Hayes told reporters Sunday. "I just wanted to put a little bit on my shoulders and take a little pressure off him. He’s basically been carrying our D-line since Rob (Quinn) went out. Just wanted to help him and do my part today.”
St. Louis wound up with four sacks on Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson, who absorbed 13 hits in the 23-17 loss. Hayes also did his part in the run game with four tackles for losses.
"We did a lot more studying this week," Hayes said. "I think that helped out for the most part. Getting a sack on (Wilson) is hard anyway. Any time you get one you got to appreciate those because he’s so mobile.”