LOS ANGELES -- While the offense has received much of the praise during the Los Angeles Rams' 7-2 start, it was the defense that stood out in a 33-7 romp over the Houston Texas on Sunday at Memorial Coliseum.
The Rams sacked Texans quarterback Tom Savage three times and picked him off twice. Los Angeles also forced two fumbles for four turnovers overall.
And it kept the Houston offense, which managed 283 yards overall, scoreless after giving up a touchdown pass from Savage to Bruce Ellington with 6:31 left in the second quarter.
"We weren't doing anything offensively," Texans head coach Bill O'Brien said. "It's a team game. You know, if you're not doing anything offensively, it's hard to be on the field all the time."
The Rams entered the game with the highest scoring offense in the NFL at 32.9 points per game. However, the Texans held them without a touchdown in the first half and limited them to six yards after one quarter, frustrating Rams head coach Sean McVay.
He said, "It is frustrating because you're responsible; because there was a lot of things when you look back at it that I didn't do a very good job of putting our players in the good spots. You look at that as your responsibility as a coach and especially as a play-caller."
Rams standout defensive tackle Aaron Donald said it was a collective effort that allowed the defense to dictate.
"Everybody is making plays from the guys up front to the guys in the middle to the guys in the (secondary)," said Donald, whose sack of Savage forced a fumble and led to a Rams field goal in the first half.
Was Donald worried the offense wouldn't show up in the second half?
"We weren't worried," Donald said. "We didn't panic at all. We just kept playing. We knew they were going to get rolling soon."
Defensively, the Rams forced four turnovers, including interceptions by linebacker Mark Barron and defensive back Blake Countess and fumble recoveries by linebacker Matt Longacre and defensive tackle Tyrunn Walker.
"To get four turnovers against a tough, great opponent, great scheme like what Coach O'Brien has is a credit to them," McVay said.
The Rams' defense provided a solid effort despite the absence of outside linebacker Robert Quinn, who missed the game with an illness. Longacre started in his place.