Dream The Impossible Dream: A Seahawks Vs Rams Preview

Gut check time

No team has given the Pete Carroll/Russell Wilson era Seattle Seahawks more problems than the Los Angeles Rams. They gave this team fits when they were a pathetic basement dwelling NFC West franchise in St Louis, and they have given this team considerably more fits since they moved back to Los Angeles to become a title contender.

The best way to defend Russell Wilson is to keep him inside the pocket, and then get inside pressure on him. No team in football does this better than the Rams. They play 3-4 defense with speed and athleticism on the edges, and they have the best pass rushing interior defensive linemen in the game in Aaron Donald. They also have a very pesky secondary that can cover to keep Russell hanging onto the ball a lot longer than he should against Donald and the rest of the Rams front.

The Rams also have an offensive minded head coach that appears to have Pete Carroll’s defense well figured out, and more often than not, Sean McVay has dismantled the effectiveness of that defense with the greatest of ease. He knows how to attack the zones with the pass, and he knows how to attack the perimeters with the run.

For Seattle to win against this team, the have to be patient with the offense, shrewdly mixing the run with pass. The best way to slow down Aaron Donald is to run at him and Seattle has an offensive guards that can push him around a bit.

Also for Seattle to win against this team, they need to get to Ram quarterback Jared Goff and force him into mistakes. This is likely why they traded for Jamal Adams and Carlos Dunlap. Getting to Goff enough can cripple McVay’s offense.

Heading into this game, Seattle might well play their third straight game without there two best running backs, which would not be good, and it is a mystery who will be the starting corner opposite of Tre Flowers because both Shaquill Griffin and Quinton Dundar will not suit up. To make matters even more in favor of the Rams (who have no fear playing Seattle) is the fact that they will be well rested off of their bye week, and Seattle will be coming off of a tough road loss against the Buffalo Bills where Russell Wilson was hit early and often.

To put is simply, for Seattle to win this game, they will have to do a lot of things right coming off of a game in which they did a lot of things wrong in all phases of the game.. and they will have to do this without key starters at corner, at center, and very possibly at running back.

This is a game that should scare even the most optimistic Seahawk fan.

Seahawks beat the Rams by..

Successfully mixing the run game with the pass game, and not putting everything on Russell Wilson’s shoulder like they did against the Bills. This is easier said than done, especially if Chris Carson and Carlos Hyde will not be playing, and the load falls back on the shoulders for rookie runner DeeJay Dallas. One positive is that Dallas did run better against the Bills than he did against the 49ers, but one negative is that the Rams’ run defense is much better than the Bills’. Seattle doesn’t need to necessarily run all over the Rams, but they do need to be effective enough so that the Rams don’t key all game long on Russell Wilson.

Russell Wilson playing much smarter and sharper will help Seattle sneak out a W. One thing in Seattle’s favor is that Russell usually follows a poor outing with a much better one. Perhaps no quarterback is better in the league than Russell at this. Getting Russell moving out and hitting receivers could neutralize the Rams pass rush has effectively as a run game. The real key is to not have the Rams going after Russell as a sitting duck in the pocket. Russell moving around forces defenders and defensive coaches to think more. Russell needs to get these defenders thinking.

Seattle’s defense responds to the lousy effort against the Bills with a much better one against the Rams. After watching the Seattle defenders last week, this would almost seem like an impossible task. However, it is possible that Jamal Adams shakes off more rust, and Carlos Dunlap gets more settled into his primary pass rush role. Seattle also holds a bit of a mystery as to who starts at left corner, or if the lack of depth there has them changing up their scheme a bit. There is a small chance that this could catch the Rams off guard.

Seattle loses to the Rams by..

Staying too one dimensional on the offense, and Russell Wilson get rattled to making the same kind of mistakes as he did against the Bills. The Rams defense already has his number more than most other defenses do. If they can take away the threat of the run, and force Russ to beat them from the pocket, this would almost certainly guarantee a Ram victory. This is not the defense that would want to be one dimensional against, and this is not a defense that a short quarterback wants to stay inside the pocket passing against all game.

The Rams take advantage of the lack of depth at corner for Seattle, and they take the same approach the Bills did in that they just stay with the pass game because Seattle chooses to play soft as a result. Seattle almost certainly have to get pressure on Goff, and if they play soft, it probably means that they won’t be getting pressure. The Rams are a better running team than a passing one this season, but this is a game that they might abandon the run if they have early success with the pass that the Seahawks don’t have answers for. Seattle needs keep that from happening.

My Prediction

Practically all logic says that the Los Angeles Rams hand Seattle its third loss of the season this Sunday. Seattle’s struggling defense, on paper, looks even more vulnerable with lord-only-knows-who is going to play at left corner. If both Chris Carson and Carlos Hyde don’t play in this game, that is going to force Seattle to lean into DeeJay Dallas who I am positive that no Ram defender fears.

If Seattle can’t run, and if they can’t stop the pass, there is very little chance that they pull out a win. It feels like a given Seattle is going to drop this game.

However, I am going to go against logic in this one. I predict that Seattle pulls out a gutsy road win against an over confident Rams team that has shown chinks in it’s armor this season, especially on offense with inconsistent play at quarterback. The Seattle Seahawks win, 27-23.

Russell Wilson has a gritty gut check game, and does just enough to put Seattle in the lead and stay there. I like his chances to play a sharp and efficient game against this defense similar to what he did against the 49er defense recently.

I also think Seattle is going to go after Goff and force him to beat them with an aggressive game plan, just like they did against Jimmy Garappolo a couple weeks ago. How they go about it might surprise. Look for Seattle to be less predictable with their blitzing, especially with Jamal Adams. Look for Seattle to send players that haven’t been sent that often. Goff is a quarterback that you can confuse, and Seattle does just enough of that.

This is the biggest homer pick that I will likely make all season. Most metrics say LA should win this game, but I have also noticed that when most metrics say that, often times the underdog surprises. There is some legitimate to having your backs against the wall and having that motivate, especially when it is a team fighting for their division.

Seattle will definitely have their backs up against it in this one, and that is why I am predicting a Seattle Seahawk victory. Call me a homer all you like.

Go Hawks.


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