The Seattle Seahawks are an elite NFC power who travel to Los Angeles looking to keep the NFC West division competitive, lest the Rams start to run away with it. There are a lot games left on the schedule, but if the Seahawks lose this game, they fall 2 games behind the Rams for the division lead. A win for the Seahawks means they will be tied at the top with Rams and assuming the Cardinals win this weekend as well, there will be a three-way tie for first place and the race is on.
The Rams are coming off an emotional and hard fought victory against Cowboys. The Rams must use last week’s victory as a springboard, looking to gain separation between themselves and the rest of their division rivals.
Historically, the Rams have given the Seahawks fits, primarily due to one thing...holding Russell Wilson in check.
In the Gregg Williams 4-3, the Rams defense played a lot of zone coverage. This led to a lot of “coverage sacks.” In Wade Phillips 3-4 defense there isn’t a lot of zone, its more man-to -man coverage. It will be interesting to see if the 3-4 will be as successful in keeping Wilson in check this weekend, as the Rams defense has done in the past.
So here’s how the Rams come away with the win.
The Seattle Seahawks are known for having the “Legion of Boom.” A hard hitting and free wheeling defense under the guidance of Pete Carroll.
The Seahawks rely on their defense to keep them in the game by stopping the run, thereby forcing their opponents to pass and when you least expect it “Boom.”
It is therefore imperative for the Rams to move the chains on the ground with RB Todd Gurley. If the Rams can get into a rhythm on offense with a good mixture or run and pass this will bode well for them.
The offense needs to finish their drives with points, and they will need every point they can get against the Seahawks.
Pete Carroll will attempt to use QB Jared Goff’s inexperience to his advantage. Therefore, it’s up to the Rams offensive line and especially OTs Andrew Wentworth and Rob Havenstein to keep DE Michael Bennett in check, buying time for Jared. If the offensive line can keep the Seattle Seahawks defense off their QB it will force Carroll to come up with some exotic blitzes to confuse the Rams young QB.
This is when the Rams can be most deadly, by employing a screen pass to either RB Todd Gurley or WR Tavon Austin.
As a result, Jared needs to do his video tape homework this week. He needs to read the blitz at the line of scrimmage and burn them. Success in this area will be growth for Goff, gaining confidence in his cerebral abilities to be the QB envisioned by the Rams when they drafted him. If does that, then after the game “In Goff We Trust” T-shirts sales will go sky high, as well as his jerseys.
Additionally, Goff needs to play mistake free football. He mustn’t force the ball into coverage; rather he needs to take what the Seattle defense gives him or throw the ball away. The big play moment will come when the Seahawks defense begins to creep up looking to hold the Rams to short gains. At that time McVay needs dial up a play allowing Jared to take his shot down the field.
The Seahawks are a desperate team now needing this win badly for them to keep their run on as defending the NFC West Champions. The Rams need to take advantage of the desperation, they have nothing to lose since no one respects the “sorry ass Rams” anyways.
The Seahawks are an experienced team, they won’t get rattled easy. They’re not scared of Rams offense. Carroll has always coached them to have a chip on the shoulder attitude. The lack of offense over under the former unmentionable regime, plays into the Rams hands.
Even with the Rams win against the Cowboys, although the league took notice and complimented the Rams on the victory, conventional wisdom was more like “What’s wrong with Cowboys” rather than giving credit to the Rams as having a legitimate shot at the Super Bowl.
The Rams can therefore take this opportunity to demonstrate just how good this offense really is.
The Rams offense will score points against Seattle. Nevertheless, the battle will still come down to a typical Rams and Seahawks game being in order for the Rams to win, their defense has to keep Seattle’s QB, Russell Wilson in check
For those that remember back far enough, Russell Wilson is a Fran Tarkenton clone—they come from the same DNA. Deacon Jones used to say the one quarterback who could drive him nuts was “Tarkenton” by making him chase him all over the field, many times in futility since he was pass first, run second scrambler. So too is Russell Wilson.
The Rams when they employed the 4-3 defense were one of the few teams who could keep Wilson in check. This kept the Rams in the game for the most part and allowed them to come away with an upset win, now and again.
The Rams have the same players they had in the 4-3, they are only scheming it differently with a 3-4. Thus, the key will be to keep Wilson from escaping the pocket, force him to step up and give him a crushing “Legion of Boom” sack from either DT Michael Brockers (who needs as good a game as he had against Dallas) and Aaron Donald.
The Seahawks are completely dependent on Wilson. Their offensive line is shoddy at best. They haven’t had a run game since RB Marshawn Lynch “Beast Mode” left. So even with a bad Rams run defense evident in the first half of games they’ve played in thus far, it will still come down to keeping Wilson in check throughout the entire game.
IT CAN AND WILL BE DONE!
Coach Fassel always has the Rams special teams dialed up for the Seahawks.
The Rams special teams have consistently made big plays on punt and kickoff returns against the Seahawks including coming up with crazy gadget plays now and then. There is nothing funnier then a sideline shot of Pete Carroll looking dumbfounded with that “what just happened, expression”
Gadget plays on special teams are designed to change the momentum. If they work the whole feel of the game shifts. Failure, which is often the case in most gadget plays, doesn’t change anything.
The Rams may have something in their bag of tricks for their favorite sucker the Seattle Seahawks; however, expect the Rams to shy away from the gadget play, unless the perfect time and place exists to pull it off.
Instead, the Rams will come up with big special teams play without the gadgety.
What this game boils down to is the Rams.
Do the Rams want to waste their 3-1 record at this point in the season to be tied for first place or do they want to create separation between themselves and their other rivals in the west.
The Seahawks need this win. They’re desperate to get back into the hunt. They will come in ready to play and ready to bust a young team’s bubble.
Stay away from the mistakes, penalties and turnovers and the Rams should squeak out an important division win at home in their best looking iconic “throwback” yellow and blue uniforms.