The Los Angeles Rams come off a much needed bye week, having lost two out of the last three before the break. As mentioned last week, the Los Angeles Rams will be heading to the most difficult stretch of their schedule. The first team they face is the division-leading and hated rival, the Seattle Seahawks.
The Seahawks themselves are coming off a tough loss to the Buffalo Bills and need a “get right” game. In fact the Rams are two point underdogs against the Seahawks, and that is pretty accurate. These next two matchups for the Rams need to be secured in order for them to have a chance to grab a play off spot. But despite the questionable defensive efforts of their opponents, it’s not going to be easy.
Goff vs. the secondary
Jared Goff is coming off one of his worst games of the season against the Miami Dolphins. Though he did throw for 355 yards, he also tossed two interceptions. The offense as a whole could not get it going and untimely turnovers haunted the Rams all day and the Dolphins capitalized. Like Russ and the Hawks, the Rams offense really need a “get right” game, and the Seahawks secondary could provide the perfect fodder.
The Seahawks secondary is not only bad but historically bad. They are allowing a historically high 362 passing yards per game. The Atlanta Falcons are the next closest team allowing 310 passing yards per game and they have been roundly criticized in the press for their inability to stop the pass. Even so, that’s an astonishing 52-yard difference.
Goff has gone over 300 yards twice this season, and it’s easy to see the opportunity to capitalize on this terrible secondary. Look for Robert Woods and Cooper Kupp to stretch the field with crossing routes and well worked route combinations. When that happens, coach Sean McVay will be able to control the tempo of the game and toy with the defence a little. That’s an important aspect of the game, because the next task for the Rams might be a little tougher…
The D-Line vs. Mr. Unlimited
Russell Wilson has been one of the top quarterback’s in the NFL at the half-way point. The majority of experts are even saying he’s the MVP and could end up with his first award this year. He already has 2,541 yards and 28 touchdowns with only eight interceptions and along with his dynamic WR combo, Wilson is the main reason why the Seahawks have a 6-2 record.
He has the offense humming to the tune of 274 points (first in the NFL), 2,541 passing yards (fifth in the NFL), and 28 passing touchdowns (first in the NFL). These numbers could easily lead you to believe it’s impossible to stop Russ at this point, but the Rams may have an answer for Wilson that not many teams have.
Control and contain
Wilson is doing a lot for the team…because he has to. The injuries to the run game and the underperforming defense is forcing Wilson to cook. Injuries to starting running back Chris Carson and back-up Carlos Hyde have hurt the offense. Focusing more of the defensive effort on Wilson will be the key to limiting the offense. Keeping Wilson in the backfield and his talented wide receivers in check is a plan that the Rams can execute.
Jalen Ramsey and that backfield have been effective this year only allowing 1,577 total passing yards, that’s 2nd lowest in the league. The Rams are also surprisingly good at limiting good quarterback play. Aaron Donald and the defensive line have limited quarterbacks to a rating of 84.2, which is 5th lowest in the league. The tools are there for the defense to make positive strides for a Sunday afternoon win.
If the Los Angeles Rams are serious about making the playoffs, this is a game that needs to be won and won handily. Coming off the bye with no major injuries is going to help the Rams maintain their momentum into the second half of the season.
The Seahawks will be coming in trying to make up for the crushing loss they had last week against the Bills. However, going against Donald and the rest of the defense will be a challenge for a Seahawks offense on the rebound. Wilson is one of the leagues premier pocket movers and is going to have to be on top form to get the O moving.
Once more, Goff is going to have to show why he got paid all that money against a historically bad secondary. The Rams can win this game and potentially be in a three-way tie for first in the NFC West. At the very least this should be an interesting one that goes down to the wire.