Seahawks at Rams: Everything you need to know
Both teams are coming off of losses with the Los Angeles Rams (8-1) looking to keep pace with the team that defeated them, the New Orleans Saints (7-1), while the Seahawks (4-4) attempt to avoid falling below .500 in a crowded race for two wild card spots.
Fortunately for Seattle, it could afford to lose to the Rams and still make a run at the postseason. However, upsetting the Rams would not only give Seattle a win few would have expect them to earn it would provide a boost to the team's confidence heading into games against Green Bay and at Carolina.
Los Angeles won the first meeting 33-31 in Seattle.
How and where to watch
Time: 1:25 p.m., Sunday.
Where: Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum
TV: FOX (KPTV 12).
Radio: Portland, KFXX, 1080 AM and Portland, KGON, 92.3 FM
RB Chris Carson (hip) and right guard D.J. Fluker (calf) missed an entire week of practice and will be game time decisions on Sunday, according to coach Pete Carroll.
Linebacker K.J. Wright (knee) and safety Bradley McDougald (knee) were limited in practice on Friday and will be game time decisions, as well.
The Rams reported no significant injuries.
Should Carson not be a go, the Seahawks would turn to Mike Davis and Rashaad Penny. Both have played well in place of Carson in the past.
If Fluker is out, Ethan Pocic could move back into the lineup at left guard and J.R. Sweezy could then move from left guard to right guard.
Carroll offered no hints as to Fluker's status.
"We have to wait and see," he said.
When the Seahawks have the ball
Seattle must duplicate exactly what it did in the first meeting against the Rams minus the final drive meltdown of penalties and failed execution that cost the Seahawks a chance to win the game with a field goal.
Seattle rushed for a season-high 190 yards and QB Russell Wilson threw for three touchdowns with no interceptions. The result was a season-high 31 points.
Accomplishing any of that could be difficult if Carson and/or Fluker do not play. Especially Fluker, who is the more irreplaceable of the two. Seattle doesn't want to get into a shootout but it does have the tools to rack up big yards in the passing game should Carroll turn Wilson and his receivers loose.
But in a perfect world, Seattle will run the ball well and put Wilson on enviable situations to produce points.
The Seahawks did it once, they should be able to do it again.
When the Rams have the ball
The Rams put up 465 yards at CenturyLink Field despite losing wide receivers Cooper Kupp and Brandin Cooks to concussions during the game. Goff passed for 321 yards and RB Todd Gurley rushed for three touchdowns.
The only thing Seattle's defense did particularly well was intercept Goff twice, which of course of not a small accomplishment. Goff has thrown just six interceptions this season.
The realities are that Seattle doesn't have the secondary to lock down the Rams' receivers (nobody does) and while the pass rush has been strong much of the season, the Rams protect their QB quite well (one sack in the last meeting). If there is one area that Seattle has a chance to improve in its all around tackling. The Seahawks allowed the Rams to rack up plenty of yards after the catch and following first contact.
By the numbers
Minus 11 1/2: The Rams are favored by a whopping 11 1/2 points.
102: Gurley's 102 points (16 touchdowns and three two-point conversions) leads the Rams and the NFL. Seattle is led in scoring by WR Tyler Lockett, who has 36 points on six touchdowns.
107.8: The difference in total yards per game averaged by these two teams. The Rams lead the NFL at 447.1 while the Seahawks ranks 26th at 339.3.
23-17: Seattle leads the all-time series 23-17 but has lost the last two meetings and five of the last seven.
It is extremely difficult to envision a scenario where Seattle wins this game. The Rams will be highly motivated coming off of a loss, as well be the Seahawks. But Los Angeles is simply a vastly superior team regardless of what happened in the first meeting.
Seattle's best chance to win is to control the game on the ground, but even that strategy would require the defense to limit the Rams, and that doesn't seem probable. Another possibility is to engage in a shootout and hope for the best, but who believes that would really work out?
Seattle is a solid team going up against a Super Bowl contender. This is the NFL, so Seattle has a chance. But probability dictates that this game gets away from Seattle at some point and they go down in a big way.
Final score: Rams 37, Seattle 20.