The Los Angeles Rams suffered their first loss of the 2018 season last week at New Orleans. Now the Rams get NFC West rival Seattle for the second time.
After an 8-0 start to the 2018 season, the Los Angeles Rams finally lost last week to the New Orleans Saints in a shootout that could be a preview of the NFC Championship game. Don’t blame the offense, though, as quarterback Jared Goff and running back Todd Gurley led the Rams to 35 points. Instead, it was a struggling defense that allowed 45 points to the Saints.
Now, the Rams face the Seattle Seahawks for the second time this season. The two NFC West rivals proved to be one the league’s more exciting matchups the first time around as the Rams prevailed, 33-31, in Seattle. Seattle rushed for 190 yards and quarterback Russell Wilson passed for three touchdowns. While the Seattle defense held Gurley to just 77 yards in their first meeting, the All-Pro running back did score three touchdowns.
At 4-4 on the season, the Seahawks are a bit of a mystery. Wilson has played well, completing 66 percent of his passes and 18 touchdowns. However, he hasn’t made the same impact as a runner as he has in previous years. That’s good news for the Seahawks in the sense that it keeps their franchise quarterback healthy, but much of Wilson’s success is often due to his legs. Fortunately for Seattle, it has gotten a lot from its running game outside of Wilson. The Seahawks currently rank No. 6 in rushing offense.
Running backs Chris Carson and Mike Davis have combined to rush for almost 800 yards and both average over four yards per attempt. The two have also combined for five touchdowns and have managed to keep first-round pick Rashaad Penny on the bench. When Penny has played, he hasn’t been particularly successful.
The Rams enter this weekend’s game ranked No. 1 in rushing offense, No. 3 in passing offense and No. 1 in total offense. Head coach Sean McVay is a brilliant play-caller and has Goff playing at an All-Pro level. It helps to have a back like Gurley, a legitimate MVP candidate in the backfield.
The issue for the Rams has been their defense. Possessing elite talent all over the defensive side of the ball and a future Hall-of-Famer in Wade Phillips coaching that side of the ball, it’s been a struggle for the Rams.
In particular, cornerback Marcus Peters has struggled. Peters has been one of the worst corners in the league despite his press clippings as one of the best defensive backs in the league.
The Rams rank No. 22 in total defense and opponents are averaging 4.7 yards per rushing attempt. Seattle showed it could run the ball against Aaron Donald and Ndamakung Suh in Week 5. However, the Seahawks are a bit banged-up on the offensive side of the ball and Carson is battling a lingering his issue.
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In their earlier matchup, Goff was good, passing for 321 yards and completing almost 72 percent of his throws. However, he did have two interceptions and that’s his only game this year where he has multiple interceptions. Can the Seahawks force him into those types of mistakes again?
The Seahawks are a tough out for anyone. Anytime you have Wilson under center, you have a chance. Unfortunately the Seahawks, Wilson doesn’t have enough around him at this time. Seattle will compete with the Rams, however, Goff, Gurley and Brandin Cooks will blow the game open in the second half and Rams get back to their winning ways.
Final score: Los Angeles 34, Seattle 17