The Los Angeles Rams are hoping to even the score against the Seattle Seahawks in this pivotal NFC West showdown in Week 14 on Sunday Night Football.
The Rams did not do themselves any favors by coming up just short against the Seahawks in Week 5. They now find themselves in a must-win situation heading into the final stretch of the 2019 NFL season if they hope to keep their playoff hopes alive.
They will certainly have their work cut out trying to kickstart a resurgence against this formidable Seattle team that has managed to pull out some impressive wins in crunch time this year. They have even managed to take the top spot in the division after handing the San Francisco 49ers their first loss of the season.
Rams Offense vs. Seahawks Defense
Los Angeles was finally able to get their offense back on track after clicking on all cylinders in the dominant 34-7 win over the Arizona Cardinals in Week 13. Although it remains to be seen whether or not right tackle Rob Havenstein will be able to make his return from a knee injury, the offensive line did a solid job of giving quarterback Jared Goff a clean pocket to work with.
To no surprise, tight end Gerald Everett has been ruled out after not practicing all week with a knee injury of his own. As a result, tight end Tyler Higbee will need to step up once again as a viable option in the passing game.
Seattle is a bit banged up on both sides of the ball leading up to this primetime showdown. Linebacker Mychal Kendricks is currently listed as doubtful, however, all signs are point to the defense having their two edge rushers in Jadeveaon Clowney and Ziggy Ansah after being questionable all week.
Rams Defense vs. Seahawks Offense
Los Angeles is fortunate to be sporting a rather clean bill of health on the defensive side of the ball. Although there were some players dealing with illness throughout the week, their current personnel will be intact with even cornerback Darious Williams being back in the mix after missing the last two games with an ankle injury.
Meanwhile, tight end Luke Willson and fullback Nick Bellore are listed as doubtful for Seattle. They are also optimistic about tackle Duane Brown’s status after being a limited participant in practice while nursing bicep and knee injuries.
Three Keys To The Game
1. Keep Gurley Going
It is no secret that the Rams have largely struggled to get a consistent run game going throughout the 2019 campaign. Fortunately, they finally managed to get running back Todd Gurley going with two strong performances over the last three games.
The Seahawks have been rather stout against the run giving up the eighth-fewest rushing yards per game this year (99.6). Regardless, allowing Gurley to find a rhythm early on will undoubtedly pay huge dividends for the offense as a whole.
2. Force Seattle To Go Away From Run
Seattle has always had an affinity for establishing the ground game and have enjoyed plenty of success as the third-best rushing team in the NFL (143.7). This clearly does not bode well for Los Angeles after they were gashed on the ground by the Baltimore Ravens in Week 12.
While the onus will ultimately fall on the offense to beat them to the punch and take an early lead, the defense will need to show that they are back to containing the run at an elite level. This will force quarterback Russell Wilson to rely more on his receivers to march down the field than his talented duo of running backs.
3. Limit Miscues Down The Stretch
The Rams know full well that this game is likely going down to the wire once again given their recent track history. As a result, the outcome of this game could be determined by which team is able to make fewer mistakes down the stretch.
Miscues certainly cost them during their last matchup in the 30-29 loss to the Seahawks. Repeating the same errors will not only cost them this game, but any chance they have at making the playoffs.