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Los Angeles Rams vs. Seattle Seahawks: Matchups to watch revisited

Talk about domination. The Rams put together their most complete performance of the year in pivotal game.

NFL: Seattle Seahawks at Los Angeles Rams Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Week 14 presented the Los Angeles Rams with a pivotal matchup against the divisional rival Seattle Seahawks and the Rams capitalized in a major way, winning 28-12, though the contest was never remotely as close as the scoreboard suggested. The Rams dominated the game throughout and completely stifled MVP-hopeful QB Russell Wilson.

Let’s revisit the matchups to watch:

QB Russell Wilson vs. Secondary

Last week’s matchup to watch:

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.

As I mentioned above, Wilson has been an MVP hopeful this season, but yesterday’s performance may have cemented Baltimore Ravens QB Lamar Jackson as the frontrunner. Wilson had his worst game of the season as he totaled 245 yards (a bunch in garbage time) with zero touchdowns and an interception. The secondary was led by Hill who made two big plays in the game (pass deflection + interception). The remainder of the secondary played well too as they managed to keep everything in front of their coverage and never allowed any significant gains.

RB’s Chris Carson/Rashaad Penny vs. Front-7

Last week’s matchup to watch:

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.

Facing one of the best rushing attacks in the league, the defensive line performed admirably. Carson totaled 76 yards (5.1 YPC) and Penny didn’t register any rushing attempts as he was unfortunately knocked out with a knee injury early in the contest. Not only that, but the defensive line was brilliant in the passing game, routinely pressuring Wilson, collapsing the pocket, and ultimately notching five sacks as a pass rushing unit.

WR Cooper Kupp vs. CB Tre Flowers/S Bradley McDougald

Last week’s matchup to watch:

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.

Kupp hardly played yesterday, but as always, he dominated his matchups. In his short time on the field, Kupp pulled down four receptions on four targets for 45 yards and one touchdown. Not only that, but on a WR screen, Kupp nearly hit TE Tyler Higbee for a 20-yard touchdown on a double pass but just barely missed him. Kupp is now 10 yards away from his first ever 1,000-yard season.

RT Bobby Evans vs. EDGE Jadeveon Clowney

Last week’s matchup to watch:

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.

Clowney made a few plays, though basically all of them were unblocked plays as the weakside edge defender in run-and-chase situations. Evans has been a revelation for the Rams, and even though they’re offering a ton of help to their offensive line, the group has played well and executed their assignments. Evans in particular has been a surprising find as he’s replaced Havenstein without any hiccups.

RB Todd Gurley vs. MLB Bobby Wagner

Last week’s matchup to watch:

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.

Sunday Night Football felt like vintage Gurley returned. Gurley was given a heavy dose of usage totaling 23 carries for 79 rushing yards and one touchdown, as well as four receptions on four targets for 34 receiving yards. Gurley’s touchdown featured one of the most gorgeous stiff-arms you’ll ever see: