This Sunday the Rams play the Seahawks at CenturyLink Field. The Rams beat Seattle back in week 4 by a score of 19-13. I think the Rams can win the upcoming game, but not like the last contest. In the first matchup the Rams didn’t score a single offensive point. All 19 points were scored by what was then thought to be a dynamic special teams unit. Greg the ‘Sometimes Leg’ Zuerlein kicked 4 field goals including a 60 yarder for a total of 12 points. The remaining 7 points came from a fake field goal where kicker Hekker tossed a TD pass to WR Danny Amendola. The Seahawks are a much different team now they will slaughter the Rams if special teams points is all they can muster.
The Seahawks have won their last 4 games and in the last 3 games they have averaged 50 points per game. 50 points per game over 3 games is not something you see very often. The Rams on the other hand have averaged just under 22 points per game over the same period of time. Once again, I think it’s time to take a look at the top level stats and see what they tell us.
|Give Aways||Take Aways|
Ok, at face value the Rams are in big trouble, but there are people underlying those numbers. People are moveable, distractible, and fallible. The Seahawks are number 4 in the NFL in rushing. Of course those numbers come from their very insane running back Marshawn Lynch. The Rams have had a little success shutting down Frank Gore of the 49ers who is a pretty comparable running back. It’s possible for one game to knock Lynch off his. After that the Seahawks are ranked 27th in passing. A contained Lynch makes for a vulnerable Seattle team.
For the Rams to win 3 things must happen:
1 Just like I stated above the Rams have got to shutdown Lynch. Lynch has been on a tear over the last three games, but back against the Dolphins he was held to 46 yards rushing, 2.4 yards per carry and no TDs.
2 Turnovers – The stats are in the Seahawks’ favor, but this stat can hide a large standard deviation (a team might have 0 turnovers one week and 6 the next). On average the Seahawks excel in take-aways. They are net positive for the season, while the Rams are net zero. Neither of these numbers are definitive though. What matters is what happens on game day. The Rams have had quite a few impressive defensive outings over the season and Sunday has got to be another.
3 The Rams’ offense has got to get out and score early. Steven Jackson hasn’t had a really big rushing game since the Rams played Arizona (139 yards). He needs 10 more yards Sunday to hit 1,000 for the year (this would be his 8th year in a row to surpass the 1,000 yard mark). We need him hungry. He’ll need to run hard plus do some amazing blocking against Seattle’s very tough pass rush. The Rams offense has to be ‘on’ all game long. Typically, they show up for a score or two and then disappear. To beat Seattle the Rams’ offense has to stay on the field and limit the Seahawks offense’s ability to do damage. If the Rams’ defense is not exhausted from excessive playing time, I think they can surprise the Seahawks and QB Russell Wilson.
The Seahawks are playing great and going into the playoffs they’ll be looking for blood. I’m hoping the good Rams show up and the only blood the Seahawks taste is their own as they lay on their backs and wonder what hit them. Go Rams!!!