The Los Angeles Rams (3-1) look to bounce back against their NFC West rivals, the Seattle Seahawks (3-1). The Seahawks are coming off a 27-10 victory over the Arizona Cardinals (0-3-1). The Rams are coming off their biggest loss since 1956, losing to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers a whopping 55-40.
Many things went wrong for the Rams who hosted the Bucs at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum this past Sunday. The defense missed assignments and played soft coverage. They also left gaping holes in the middle of the field allowing easy pass completions. The offense didn’t help matters with an inconsistent performance from Jared Goff, throwing 45 passes on 68 attempts for 517 yards and two touchdowns. The entire Rams offense only had 11 carries for 28 yards, although Todd Gurley did score on two of those runs. Goff also had three interceptions early in the game. Tampa Bay converted them to touchdowns on the following offensive drives. Goff was sacked twice. He also had a costly fumble with 1:06 left in the game, picked up by Bucs defensive lineman (and former Ram) Ndamukong Suh for a touchdown, sealing the game.
Rams head coach Sean McVay explained why the Rams offensive approach is so pass heavy. He said they were trying to score points quickly, especially given a 21-0 deficit in the second quarter. He will need to spark the running game immediately against the Seahawks. Look for the offense to feed the ball more to running backs Gurley and Malcolm Brown. We can likely expect Gurley to be involved in the passing game too. He had the fourth most receiving yards this past Sunday, just behind receiver Brandin Cooks.
The Seahawks defense caused problems for the Cardinals. Defensive lineman Jadeveon Clowney returned a 27-yard interception in the first quarter. Arizona was held to a field goal for most of the game until quarterback Kyler Murray ran in a 9-yard score in the fourth quarter.
Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson threw 22 passes on 28 attempts for 240 yards and one touchdown. He was sacked four times though.
Wilson and Goff seem to bring the best out of each other in their matchups. During the last two meetings, Goff threw for more completions and more yardage, but Wilson had more touchdown passes. Wilson has suffered more sacks against the Rams than Goff has against the Seahawks. Goff’s 45 completion performance last week is tied for most ever in a game. Wilson has had a great start to the 2019 season scoring eight touchdowns and passing for 1,141 total yards.
The Rams have won three out of the last four meetings against the Seahawks. The NFC West games are always tough games and the Rams must recuperate quickly if they want a victory against the Seahawks on the road. It doesn’t get any easier since the Rams will face the 49ers the following week.
The Rams must contain running back Chris Carson who had 22 carries for 104 yards against the Cardinals. Tight end Will Dissly had their sole touchdown reception and C.J. Prosise had their only rushing touchdown. The Rams defensive line and linebackers should do well against the Seahawks offensive line. They seem to collapse on the edges a bit allowing possible sack opportunities on Wilson. The coverage will need to be tight against Dissly or receivers Tyler Lockett, D.K. Metcalf and Jaron Brown.
As of now, the Rams are likely to be without the services of Bryce Hager and Taylor Rapp. This hurts considering the already limited depth at linebacker.
The offensive line needs to step up and watch the inexcusable penalties. Goff will need extra protection against the Seattle defensive front. Also, penalties kill drives so keeping the penalties at a minimum is ideal.
Kickoff begins at CenturyLink Field will be Thursday at 5:20pm on FOX.