The Los Angeles Rams finally leave the state of California and head to face a division rival in the Seattle Seahawks in week five.
In what seems like a heavily favored game for the Rams, they’ll look to remain unbeaten (5-0) and grab a massive lead in the division.
Let’s take a look at some of the matchups to watch:
CB Nickell Robey-Coleman vs WR Doug Baldwin
Even though Baldwin has missed some time this season, he remains the Seahawks’ most dangerous weapon in the passing game (even with the re-emergence of Tyler Lockett). Baldwin is a route-running extraordinaire. Lining up in the slot opposite will be Nickell Robey-Coleman who is coincidentally one of the leagues best nickel cornerbacks. This matchup will be fun to watch though it will ultimately come down to how long Russell Wilson has to throw.
LT Andrew Whitworth vs DE Frank Clark
Frank Clark is a stud at the defensive end spot for the Seahawks as he likely poses the biggest threat to the Rams’ passing game. Ironically, Andrew Whitworth might be the best left tackle in football and he’ll have the honors of blocking Clark. Whitworth has played beyond an elite level at this point, so he is expected to absolutely dominate this matchup. Even if that happens, don’t be surprised if Clark is able to notch as a sack because he’s just so quick.
QB Jared Goff vs CB Shaquill Griffin
Entering his third season in the NFL, Goff was expected to take another step forward in his development. Not only did he do that, but he’s in the running (and might be the favorite) for the MVP award as of today. Goff has never really killed the Seahawks as last year he had 400 yards with two touchdowns and three interceptions playing them twice. The Rams are a different team with an even more dangerous offense, so I expect the numbers to improve - vastly. Griffin is the best secondary player on the Seahawks, but look for that secondary to struggle because they simply aren’t in the same class as the Rams’ weapons.
RB Todd Gurley vs MLB Bobby Wagner
Gurley’s two games vs the Seahawks were total opposites, though it seems that could be said for every aspect from the first showdown of the Rams versus the Seahawks and the second. Gurley only had 43 rushing yards in the first game averaging 3.1 yards a pop. He was also generally invisible in the passing game and had a fumble (that was nearly a touchdown). The second game he was unleashed accumulating 180 total yards and four tochdowns in three quarters. Wagner is likely the leagues best linebacker at this point so Gurley will have his hands full. Look for the Rams to establish the run early and often.
DT Aaron Donald vs QB Russell Wilson
As we continue on this theme, Donald notched zero sacks in the first showdown with the Seahawks. The second game? Well, he had three sacks with the potential for notching a few more. Donald has sacked Wilson more than any other quarterback in his career so this is always a game to keep your eyes on #99. On the other side, Wilson is a highly talented and smart QB with incredible mobility. Not only that, but he’s very smart with defenders bearing down on him and can generally avoid taking unnecessary sacks. The Seahawks’ offensive line is a major weak spot, so expect Donald to have a field day even if it doesn’t necessarily translate to the stat sheet.
K Cairo Santos vs himself
Recently, the Rams chose to cut Sam Ficken and replace him with a more appropriate option in Cairo Santos. In his career, Santos has connected on 84% of his field goals and 96% of his extra points. Let’s see if he can calm his nerves and put on a good show for whichever teams may need a kicker in the future weeks.