The Seahawks will make their first-ever trip to SoFi Stadium for a Week 10 road game against the Rams. It’s a pivotal matchup for Seattle as a loss this Sunday could result in a drop to third place in the NFC West standings.
Here are the top storylines to watch this weekend.
1. How will Damon Harrison fare in his Seahawks debut?
It’s finally snack time in Seattle. Bryan Mone (ankle) will not play against the Rams which opens the door for Harrison to make his Seahawks debut. He admitted on Thursday that he’s not sure what to expect of his first game action since 2019, but he has certainly been looking forward to this moment.
“I’m really excited to see him play,” Pete Carroll said on Friday. “He’s been a unique player for a long time. He worked really hard to get ready to go. I’m hoping he’ll have some success and have some fun playing football again.”
Seattle’s struggling defense will take all the help it can get against a high-powered Rams offense. How much Harrison will play and how effective he will be are major unknowns going into this game.
2. Who will start in place of Shaquill Griffin and Quinton Dunbar?
Griffin (hamstring) and Dunbar (knee) won’t play against the Rams. Tre Flowers will start at right cornerback, but it’s unclear who will start on the left side. Linden Stephens, Ryan Neal and D.J. Reed are the top options. Neiko Thorpe (hamstring) is expected to be activated off of IR for this game, and he could also be a candidate to start.
3. Can the pass rush force Jared Goff into a turnover or two?
Was Seattle’s seven-sack outburst in Buffalo a one-time outlier or a sign of things to come? Goff is a markedly worse quarterback when he’s under pressure compared to when he’s allowed to operate in a clean pocket. This will be a huge game for Carlos Dunlap, Jarran Reed and Jamal Adams, especially considering the injuries in the secondary.
Continuing to blitz at a high rate is worth the risk because it forces the issue: either the Seahawks will make a play or they’ll get burned. That’s a better option than playing straight up and delaying the inevitability of the Rams scoring drives.
4. How will Damien Lewis (and others) fare against Aaron Donald?
Seattle’s third-round pick is about to get the ultimate test: reps against the best defensive player in football. On top of that, backup center Kyle Fuller will make his first start since 2017 as Ethan Pocic (concussion) is out. Keeping Donald from wrecking the game all by himself will be the lone priority for those two on Sunday.
For Lewis specifically, he’s been at his best as a run blocker but has been susceptible in pass protection. That’s an ominous trend if it continues against the Rams.
5. What kind of fireworks will we see from DK Metcalf and Jalen Ramsey?
Ramsey is expected to shadow Metcalf on Sunday in what will be the most intriguing matchup of the game. Beyond being superstar players, they’re both guys who don’t mind mixing it up a bit and talking trash. That should make for an entertaining battle.