Can the 7 point underdog Seahawks upset the Rams?
The Los Angeles Rams (4-0) took control of the NFC West last season while Seattle (2-2) missed the playoffs for the first time in six years. Although the two teams split their season series, the Rams won the final game in December by a count of 42-7 in Seattle.
That didn't appear to be a mere hiccup at the time and that has proven to be correct this season given how both teams have started out.
The Rams look downright fierce while Seattle has been the definition of middling. Of course, that all could change with a Seattle upset on Sunday.
However, such an occurrence appears to be quite unlikely.
How and where to watch
Time: 1:25 p.m., Sunday.
Where: CenturyLink Field, Seattle.
TV: FOX 12, Portland.
Radio: Portland, KFXX, 1080 AM and Portland, KGON, 92.3 FM
Back in action will be running back Chris Carson (hip) who missed the team’s win at Arizona.
Rookie defensive end Rasheem Green (ankle) and outside linebacker K.J. Wright (knee) are listed as being out. Wright has not played this season. Green missed last week’s win at Arizona.
Listed as questionable are left guard Ethan Pocic (ankle) and defensive end Frank Clark (illness).
When the Seahawks have the ball
Seattle’s best chance to win could be to run the ball, eat clock and hope for some turnovers on defense.
Seattle has had back-to-back strong rushing games highlighted by 171 yards at five per carry against the Cardinals.
The Rams rank fifth in the NFL against the run at 86 yards allowed per game. However, that is mostly because teams have either had to throw a lot because they were behind or simply had success through the air.
The Los Angeles Chargers rushed for 141 yards at 7.1 per carry on the Rams. Minnesota threw for 392.
It’s more likely Seattle takes the Chargers’ route and that could prove successful.
The Rams have allowed 4.6 yards per carry, which ranks 24th in the NFL.
When the Rams have the ball
Seattle’s pass rush has been spotty and the absence of safety Earl Thomas will certainly make the defense more susceptible to the pass.
QB Jared Goff and his trio of receivers; Brandin Cooks, Robert Woods and Cooper Kupp have been lethal and far better than anything Seattle has faced this season.
Factor in running back Todd Gurley, arguably the league’s best, going up against a defense that is also allowing 4.6 yards per carry, and you have the makings of a potential 38-point day.
“As a defense, your goal is to make them one-dimensional,” middle linebacker Bobby Wagner said. “You don’t want to give them both runs and (the pass) because once they run the ball, it opens up the passing game. Now you got to look in and worry about every single thing, but if you can stop the run, you kind of know what certain passes that they get into.”
By the numbers
Minus 7: The Rams are favored by a mere seven points.
48.4: Both Seattle punter Michael Dickson and Rams’ punter Johnny Hekker are averaging 48.4 yards per punt, tied for sixth in the NFL. However, Hekker doesn’t qualify for the league leaders list because he has punted just seven times compared to 25 for Dickson.
566: The Rams have gained 566 more yards from scrimmage than Seattle, 1,874-1208.
23-16: Seattle leads the all-time series but has lost four of the last six meetings.
There is no reason whatsoever to believe that the Seahawks will win this game other than this is the NFL where weak teams often rise up and defeat superior teams.
That said, the Rams are on a mission and firing on all cylinders. They are talented, well coached, versatile and hungry.
Seattle is in a mini-rebuild mode and not close to gifted enough to stand up to the Rams unless the favored team coughs up numerous turnovers.
In the end, Seattle’s defense won’t hold up to the onslaught of Los Angeles’ talent forcing the Seahawks into a shootout that they are ill equipped to win.
At best, Seattle comes out of this gave having played well enough to believe that it could matchup with most remaining teams on the schedule.
Final score: Rams 36, Seahawks 23.