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NFC West Updates: Rams should be thankful for Seahawks loss on Thursday

Seattle has a rough stretch ahead which could greatly benefit LA

San Francisco 49ers v Seattle Seahawks Photo by Jane Gershovich/Getty Images

The Los Angeles Rams should feel especially thankful for Seattle’s Thanksgiving loss to the San Francisco 49ers. LA can move into the NFC playoff picture with a tough upcoming stretch for the Seahawks.

The Seahawks entered their home game against the 49ers with a chance at redemption. They were coming off an embarrassing one-point loss to LA (HAHA freaking losers) but still had a comfortable lead on second place in the NFC West at 6-4. Seattle had no chance in defending their home turf as San Francisco jumped out to a 24-3 lead right before halftime.

The closest the Seachickens even got was 24-13, their only touchdown on the night scored by linebacker Jordyn Brooks on a 12-yard interception return. Brock Purdy threw a 28-yard score to Brandon Aiyuk with 7:51 left to play to essentially put the game away.

Truthfully, my mashed potatoes and pumpkin pie would’ve gone down much easier if both teams lost. Wishful thinking I know. As much as it pains me to thank the Whiners for helping LA out, Seattle is doing it to themselves.

Geno Smith was a great story in 2022, winning Comeback Player of the Year along with being named a Pro Bowler. Yet it’s becoming very clear he isn’t the same player who unexpectedly threw 30 touchdowns last season. Take a look at Geno’s first 11 games in 2022 and compare it to his 11-game start to this season:

2022: 19-5 touchdown-to-interception ratio, 72.8 completion percentage, 2,802 passing yards, 7.9 yards per attempt, 107.9 passer rating, 27 sacks taken

2023: 12-8 touchdown-to-interception ratio, 65.3 completion percentage, 2,584 passing yards, 7.2 yards per attempt, 88.2 passer rating, 27 sacks taken

Smith has noticeably regressed in all significant categories and the worst part is that he’s playing hurt. Aaron Donald absolutely lit him in Week 11 and temporarily took him out of the game for a couple series. He was limited in practice leading up to the Niners’ game. Injured or not, Smith is hurting his team with his play and his regression is holding back what should be a top-10 offense on paper.

Worse news for Seattle is that Drew Lock is their backup for some reason. Apparently failed Broncos quarterbacks are all the rage in the Emerald City for Pete Carroll. Benching Smith for Lock is not ideal so the Seahawks are basically stuck with playing the veteran. If he thought the six-sack beating he took against the 49ers was bad, wait until the Cowboys have their turn.

Within their last three matchups, Dallas is sacking opposing QBs an average of 5.3 times per game, tops in the NFL. Of course the Cowboys faced NFC weaklings in the Giants, Panthers and Commanders in those games. Either way, Seattle has been hurting on the O-line all season, so how do they envision this game going? The Seahawks should realistically be 6-8 after their Week 15 game versus the Eagles.

With a Seattle regression looming, LA has to capitalize. Snagging a win over the Cardinals this weekend is a must given Thanksgiving also had produced another result the Rams can’t be very thankful for.

A short-handed Packers team went into a crucial battle with the NFC North-leading Lions and came away victorious, winning 29-22. The game was never that close as Green Bay scored 20 points in the first quarter which helped carry them to the win. Jordan Love and the Packers are seemingly hitting their stride at the right time which isn’t promising. Green Bay holds the tiebreaker over the Rams, (no) thanks to LA’s inability to win at Lambeau Field when it matters.

Thankfully, Love and company will be hosting the Chiefs in Week 13. Assuming Kansas City’s pass catchers will somewhat correct their case of the butterfingers by then, GB would drop to 5-7 with a loss. LA should be 6-6 heading into their date with the Ravens on December 10.

Hopefully their matchup with the Packers earlier this season won’t doom Los Angeles and keep them out of the postseason. The Rams have a prime opportunity to control their own destiny in a weak NFC. Will they be able to take advantage?