By Austin Payne
In another divisional rivalry game for the Seahawks this week, they will aim to finish off a sweep of the LA Rams on the road this Sunday. Though we thought the 49ER’s appeared to be the cream of the NFC West’s crop this season, the Hawks’ have unseated the former division leaders by improving to 10-2 and having beaten them earlier this year.
The Rams, on the other hand, are having a somewhat dismal year as compared to their coming out party last season and all of the young talent they appeared to have. There’s question marks surrounding Todd Gurley and the health of his knee, Jared Goff has not looked as good, Brandin Cooks has been hurt, the Marcus Peters trade backfired, and we’re starting to ask whether we may have crowned Sean McVay too soon.
With the presence of the Seahawks and the 49ERs within the division, the Rams have little to no shot at winning it this year. What they do have a shot at however, is obtaining the 2nd wildcard spot. (Assuming Seattle or San Fran locks down the first one) (Link) With this on the line and the Seahawks having a chance at strengthening their hold on the NFC West crown, this game will have significance for both teams and be one of the more meaningful matchups of the week.
The Rams currently sit at a decent 10th in passing yards allowed per game this season, at about 222 yards per. (teamrankings.com) Pair this with a rushing defense that has the 13th spot in the league, and you’re pretty well equipped to deal with Seattle. With their reliance on the run and the vulnerabilities on the back end of the Seahawks defense, (28th against the pass) the Rams should be in a good position to exploit some of their inadequacies this week. That is, if Jared Goff plays well and Sean McVay maintains Todd Gurley’s increased work load. See quote
The Hawks will also have to deal with a road crowd rooting for a team that’s in a somewhat desperate position, and likely feels a bit slighted due to the underachieving nature of their season thus far. Despite some of the things that are going in the Rams favor, none of this changes the fact that they still have one of the best in the league, Russell Wilson.
With Wilson, a healthy receiving corps, and a symbiotic relationship in the backfield in tow, the Seahawks are in no way i’ll equipped to win this game. Because of their defensive deficiencies on the backend though and the Rams moderately adequate defense combined with their tendency to air it out, i would expect a relatively high scoring contest.
It’s a game that could easily go either way, and i think at the moment i would pick the Rams to win it just because it feels as if Seattle may be overachieving a bit.