Week 5 of the 2019 NFL Season was a soul-crusher for many Los Angeles Rams fans and a sigh of relief for Seattle Seahawks fans. The offense did their job by allowing K Greg Zuerlein to line up for a game-winning field goal, which was the epitome of a rollercoaster of emotions as GZ has been one of the most clutch and automatic kickers in recent years. Unfortunately for the Rams, GZ missed (not by a wide margin) the 48-yard field goal, sending the Rams home with a 30-29 loss.
Fast forward to now, the Rams are sitting at 7-5 and the Seattle Seahawks currently hold the NFC West title and the second seed in the NFC at 10-2. This matchup is crucial for both sides, but especially the Rams as they’re one game behind the Minnesota Vikings in the race for a Wild Card spot.
Let’s get into the matchups to watch:
QB Russell Wilson vs. Secondary
Everything the Seahawks do starts and ends with their signal caller. Wilson has an uncanny ability to extend plays and create massive plays when doing so. Wilson is one of the few potential MVP candidates through 13 weeks, posting 26 touchdowns and only four interceptions on the season. The Rams’ secondary need to have the best performance of their season. WR’s D.K. Metcalf and Tyler Lockett are incredibly dangerous, as you probably remember both scored touchdowns in the last game. The Rams usually play Wilson well, but you need to maintain discipline and play a full game against him. The Rams are starting two new CB’s in Troy Hill and Jalen Ramsey since the last time these teams faced each other in Week 5.
RB’s Chris Carson/Rashaad Penny vs. Front-7
As if defending one tough running back isn’t hard enough, the Seahawks deploy a duo a in Carson and Penny that are collectively productive. In the past two games, these two have combined for 176 and 155 rushing yards, proving just how great the Seahawks are at running the ball. Luckily for the Rams, their run defense is one of the best in the league as they rank 3rd in the league allowing only 3.7 yards-per-carry. The Rams’ front-seven needs to swarm ball carriers and wrap up effectively.
WR Cooper Kupp vs. CB Tre Flowers/S Bradley McDougald
Kupp is undoubtedly the Rams’ best receiver in 2019 and he needs only 65 yards receiving to eclipse 1,000 yards receiving for the first time in his career. In Week 5, Kupp put together a strong performance as he pulled down nine receptions for 117 yards and a touchdown. Kupp hasn’t been coverable this season, but the Seahawks should throw everything at the kitchen sink when it comes to defending him.
RT Bobby Evans vs. EDGE Jadeveon Clowney
It sounds like Evans will remain the right tackle for the Rams, which is no surprise considering how he’s played since taking over for the injured Rob Havenstein. This week, both Evans and LT Andrew Whitworth will have their hands full blocking one of the best defensive lineman in the league in Clowney. Clowney’s sack numbers are never as high as the league’s elite pass rushers are, but he continues to make impact plays at a rapid rate.
RB Todd Gurley vs. MLB Bobby Wagner
Gurley didn’t have a great game statistically in Week 5, but he did punch in two touchdowns and chipped in 57 total yards in the contest. The Rams are their best when running the ball effectively and stemming the rest of the offense on the back of that run game, which is why it’s incredibly important to get Gurley going this week. Keeping Wilson off the field, remaining on schedule in down-and-distances, and physically out-playing the Seahawks are three of the major advantages to running the ball effectively. Gurley’s usage has ramped up recently, and there’s no reason it should slow down against the Seahawks and the league’s best linebacker in Wagner.