The Professor walked into the class today, looked around the room, took attendance and missing were the Seattle Seahawks Legion of Boom, their running game, and both an offense and defensive line.
The Seahawks are are 2-2. Their two wins came at the expense against a weak Dallas Cowboys team and an unimpressive win against 0-4 Arizona Cardinals, who started rookie QB Josh Rosen.
After four games, Seattle’s defense still ranks a respectable 10th against points allowed, 7th in yards allowed per game, 5th in passing yards allowed per game, but a deplorable 27th in rushing yards allowed per game. They play our Los Angeles Rams offense who after four games ranks 2nd in points, 1st in total yards per game, 2nd in passing yards per game and 7th in rushing yards per game.
On defense, the Rams rank 5th in points per game, 9th in yards allowed per game, 15th in passing yards allowed per game and 5th in rushing yards allowed per game compared to the Seahawks’ lifeless offense which ranks 24th in points scored, 28th in yards allowed per game, 29th in passing yards allowed per game and 17th in rushing yards allowed per game.
Oh, how the mighty have fallen.
If the Seahawks have any chance of winning this game, they have to slow down the Rams’ offense, which no one has been able to do thus far. They also must put up points against a pretty good Rams defense.
Absent game changing turnovers, the likelihood of this happening is slim as the Rams remain a 7-point favorite to best the Seahawks and send the 12th Man home thinking about how their team is going to catch Los Angeles being three games out.
The Seahawks are well aware of their position in the standings. They’re a team right now, needing a win in divisional rivalry game, desperately.
The Rams on the other hand should approach this game as just another chance to solidify their grip on the NFC Western Division and at the the same time sticking it to a team, who finally gets to feel what its like to have the shoe on the other foot for a change.
What the Rams need to do on offense
The Rams’ offense needs to play as if the game against the Minnesota Vikings on Thursday Night Football never ended. They need to find the advantageous matchups against the Seahawks’ secondary who are now without Pro Bowl S Earl Thomas and exploit them.
Statistically, the Seahawks biggest weakness is in the run game. So Rams RB Todd Gurley needs to get over 100 yards on the ground while Head Coach Sean McVay continues to be aggressive in his playcalling. When the Rams offense is clicking, they can easily score 30 points. That should be more than enough to come out with a win.
The Rams’ offensive line has to open the holes for Gurley and keep defenders off QB Jared Goff. If QB Goff has time and his wide receivers Cooper Kupp, Robert Woods and Brandin Cooks have the kind of game like they did against the Vikings, forget it. This game will be a blow out.
What the Rams need to do on defense
Rams fans are completely focused on the Fearsome Threesome comprised of Michael Brockers, Ndamukong Suh and especially Aaron Donald turning Seattle QB Russell Wilson into a rag doll.
The Rams’ defense needs to shut down any hopes of Seattle winning this game by totally shutting down what little run game the Seahawks have. Without a run game, it will force Wilson to throw the ball and that’s when the sacks and turnovers will come.
Wilson is an elusive quarterback. He often runs to throw. But in order for Wilson to make plays, the Rams’ pass coverage must be tighter than a drum.
When Wilson tries to escape looking to make a big play down the field, the Rams have to leave him with little or no options. This is when the Rams’ law firm of Johnathan Franklin-Myers and his associate Matt Longacre coming from off the edge must force Wilson back into the pocket lying in wait for Donald, Suh or Brockers to chew him up.
It’s easy for Rams fans to fall into the trap that what happened to Wilson last year In Seattle is sure to happen again. I too would love to see that, but there were a lot of X-factors going into that game such as the schedule timing and fact that the division championship was on the line. This is not a factor in this game. And don’t forget what happened in Week 5 last year...
I’m not as interested in seeing Wilson suffer as I am with the Rams winning the game, But, if both happen, then it’s double my pleasure.
What the Rams need to do on special teams.
Who knows what new K Cairo Santos is capable of. I’m not giving him a pass by any means. If you’re on my Rams team, I expect him to make the field goals when called upon and most importantly, do not miss any extra points.
KR/PR JoJo Natson might be able to play. If so, my only concern here is catching the punts coming off a broken hand injury. Returners’ hands are first and foremost their most important tool. If JoJo muffs the first punt, I’m going to go crazy not just for the short term. It’s the long-term mental effects that will concern me.
P Johnny Hekker needs to kick out of his funk—no shanks. Pretty sure I don’t have to be too concerned about that; however, you never know until the game is played.
The one consistent factor the Rams have had against the Seahawks is the ability to come up with some crazy special teams play under Special Teams Coordinator John “Bones” Fassel, leaving Seattle Head Coach Pete Carroll running up and down the sidelines with that dumbfounded look on his face.
Does coach Fassel have trick up his sleeve? We’ll have to wait and see.
Seattle has been a nightmare for the Rams over the years. Many students of mine come to class as the 12th man. They sit there at their desks talking about their dominance over Rams over the this last decade and their one and only Super Bowl victory. They’re very loud and relentless taking great pleasure making derogatory about the Rams.
While I do my best to ignore the clamor and move forward, we reach a point in our studies called “Coaching to win the big game” mentioning the great Vince Lombardi, Chuck Noll, Don Shula and Bill Walsh. As I conclude my remarks, I say the words Pete Carroll and immediately, the Seattle contingent starts hooping and hollering. USC National Championship. Super Bowl Champions. Blah, blah.
I inform these raucous bunch of students who are uninterested in actually learning the game, that Pete Carroll is on this list because this topic is about coaching to win the big game and I decided to mention Pete Carroll as being the dumbest coach in the history of football.
I remind the 12th man that Instead of running the ball with Marshawn Lynch to win a second Super Bowl, Carroll and his team of geniuses decided to throw a crossing pattern into the end zone which was picked off by CB Malcolm Butler leading to the improbable result of the Patriots winning the game.
When the 12th Man students leap immediately to defend their head coach. I must respectfully ask them to leave since any statements made in support of that decision receives an automatic F. They should just pick up their books and exit the classroom. No one wants to hear from them.
That’s what this Sunday is all about.
No one wants to hear from Seahawks fans about how great their team was or how they still own the Rams or anything close to that.
It’s time to shut these guys up.