In just a few days the Rams head cross country to Seattle's hostile Qwest Field which is noted as being one of the most hostile and noisiest venue's in the NFL.
Even with this in mind, I've heard some experts and pundits saying the Rams will have an easy go of putting away the Seahawks, especially with QB Matt Hasselbeck out, and Charlie Whitehurst starting in his place, and they are already talking about the Saints heading to St. Louis in the Wild Card round of the playoffs.
The Rams are indeed favored by 1.5 - 2.5 points, which isn't a landslide, but favored nonetheless.
Great! So the Rams should go in, Seattle should lay down, we'll get the victory, and then we'll place the NFC West Championship trophy on our shelf at Rams Park, right next to the other NFC West Championship trophies from the '"Greatest Show on Turf" days right? Not so fast.
The Rams did beat the Seahawks at home in St. Louis earlier in the season 20-3, but Qwest Field presents some serious challenges that many of the youngsters in St. Louis have never faced. One being crowd noise. No big deal you say? Think again.
It's hard to imagine an outdoor venue that can be that LOUD. With several domes in play like Minnesota, Detroit, New Orleans, and heck even St. Louis, an outdoor venue would be the last place you'd think would be considered the loudest in the NFL.
Add to that, a playoff atmosphere, a hostile ticked off crowd (let's face it, the Seahawks season hasn't been too glamorous.. and they've taken 'NFC West Sucks' heat just like the Rams have), and you have a recipe for something even LOUDER and NASTIER than usual.
Yes, expect Qwest Field to be seriously rocking come Sunday night in front of a national audience. Fantastic. This is exactly what I did not want, but hey, I'll be honest. I'll take it! It's better then what we have had in December the last three seasons... well, nothing.
Should Rams fans be a tad bit worried? Well, one thing is for sure, it will NOT be a cakewalk in my opinion, as some others may think. I think regardless of what happens, the Rams have had a season that we were only DREAMING about in August. But still, a division title sure would be great wouldn't it?
Here is a nice interview 101ESPN conducted with Chris Long who has seen Quest Field twice so far in his young career:
But defensive end is not the concern Sunday. The one player you need to watch will be none other than Sam Bradford. After all, he has never traveled to Quest Field before, and this just happens to be a championship game... on national television... in a nasty LOUD environment... another first for the young rookie quarterback.
Weather could also play a factor, with a possibility of rain in the forecast.
The good news is, Sam seemed to have revived the old Sam we knew and loved in the first half of the season last week against the 49ers. Can he keep his composure in this rough environment, and show us he is none other than KING Sam?
That will be answered soon enough. One thing is for sure though, If anyone can pull this off, it's Sam.