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Los Angeles Rams at Seattle Seahawks: Matchups to watch revisited

Which matchups did the Rams win? Which did the Seahawks win? And how did the battles fare between the white lines?

Los Angeles Rams v Seattle Seahawks Photo by Stephen Brashear/Getty Images

After playing their first game outside of the state of California, the Los Angeles Rams remain undefeated with a perfect 5-0 record.

Traveling to Seattle to play the Seahawks in their home is no easy task, and that proved true yesterday.

Let’s take a look at the matchups to watch from last week and revisit how the battles ended:

CB Nickell Robey-Coleman vs WR Doug Baldwin

Last week’s matchup to watch:

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.

Doug Baldwin had one reception for one single yard. He was literally the definition of invisible. It actually turned out to be WR Tyler Lockett who had his way with the Rams’ defensive backs with three long catches that totaled 98 yards and a touchdown. Rookie WR David Moore chipped in with three receptions - two of which went for touchdowns (one was questionable). Nickell Robey-Coleman on the other hand turned out to be the Rams’ best defensive back on the day arguably. The unit struggled in general, though NRC’s physicality and tackling ability are always on display.

LT Andrew Whitworth vs DE Frank Clark

Last week’s matchup to watch:

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.

Frank Clark was a problem yesterday for the Rams. Clark beat Whitworth on a few occasions as a pass rusher, but not only that, he actually registered an interception too. Clark returned that INT for 26 yards. He also registered a TFL on a jet sweep by Robert Woods where he got blown up. Now, it wasn’t all good. Whitworth also played a very good game himself, but that’s how the game goes sometimes. Good players win, and yesterday two good players got theirs.

QB Jared Goff vs CB Shaquill Griffin

Last week’s matchup to watch:

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.

If you looked at Jared Goff’s stat line you’d probably think he had a bad day, but that’s why we watch the games instead. Goff accounted for two interceptions on the day though one was simply a great pass breakup by a Seahawks defender that got batted up and dropped into Frank Clark’s hands, and the other was a hail mary attempt before the end of the half which was intercepted. Goff was picking apart (used to this yet?) the Seahawks’ defenders one-by-one. Robert Woods and Cooper Kupp were dominant and even depth players like Josh Reynolds and KhaDarel Hodge got their feet wet after concussions knocked out both Kupp and Brandin Cooks from the game.

RB Todd Gurley vs MLB Bobby Wagner

Last week’s matchup to watch:

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.

Todd Gurley wasn’t asked to do too much yesterday, though his physicality showed as he was finishing his runs with power all night. Gurley only had 77 rushing yards on 22 carries though he did have three rushing touchdowns. He also chipped in with four receptions for 36 yards. Gurley wasn’t allowed to kill the Seahawks (by gameplan), though he was still highly effective and poses a dangerous threat every time he touches the ball.

DT Aaron Donald vs QB Russell Wilson

Last week’s matchup to watch:

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.

Even though you didn’t hear his name called often, Donald was once again a handful for the Seahawks’ offensive line. Donald registered another sack keeping his streak going, and also chipped in with a tackle-for-loss. Much more is expected from the defensive line as a whole, but Ndamukong Suh did also chip in with another sack (and a second that was negated by defensive holding).

K Cairo Santos vs himself

Last week’s matchup to watch:

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.

Outside of a missed extra point (which was awful) Santos had himself a solid game. Santos went 2-for-2 on field goals and 3-for-4 on extra points. Ultimately, his last field goal turned out to be the game winner; and it was a good time for him to rebound off a missed extra point.