Coming off the bye week, the Los Angeles Rams are looking to finish the 2023 season strong. The Rams are losers of three straight, though they finally return home to SoFi Stadium where they’ll host the Seattle Seahawks for the final time in the regular season.
Los Angeles and Seattle kicked off the year playing against each other in Week 1 where the former was able to steal a win on the road. However, things are different this time as the both teams will be close to fully healthy.
Although it will be tough for the Rams to climb back into the playoff race, a win against the Seahawks would at least give them an outside shot of making it.
Rams Offense vs. Seahawks Defense
The biggest boost to the offense will be the return of Matthew Stafford, who was cleared to play. Stafford has been dealing with a sprained UCL in his thumb, but it looks like sitting out Week 9 and the bye week did him wonders as far as rest and recovery.
Aside from Stafford, Los Angeles will also have Cooper Kupp available this time around. Kupp missed the first matchup due to his hamstring injury, so he and Puka Nacua could have large days ahead of themselves.
Seattle is middle of the pack when it comes to defending the pass, so Stafford and company should be looking to air things out.
Rams Defense vs. Seahawks Offense
Defensively, the Rams should have Ernest Jones back on the field after he sat out the last game with a knee injury. Cobie Durant is considered questionable, though, so that could hurt L.A. as they try to corral Seattle’s trio of receivers in D.K. Metcalf, Tyler Lockett and Jaxon Smith-Njigba.
The Seahawks backfield is starting to look like a true 50-50 timeshare between Kenneth Walker III and Zach Charbonnet, so the Rams will need to gameplan accordingly. Walker can hit the home run play, while Charbonnet is able to grind out yards and act as a pass catcher.
Keys to Victory
1. Lean on Cooper Kupp and Puka Nacua
Nacua had burst onto the scene against the Seahawks in Week 1, and although Kupp’s back the two should be able to work off of each other and generate open windows for Stafford.
2. Get Geno Smith on the move
Geno Smith is at his best when he can sit in the pocket, so winning the battle up front and forcing him to scramble would go a long way in slowing down the Seahawks offense.