NFL Game of the Week: Seahawks vs. Rams

Story posted November 13, 2020 in Sports, CommRadio by Jeremy Ganes

It’s an NFC West rivalry battle as the Seattle Seahawks visit the Los Angeles Rams. Seattle enters this contest 6-2 and boasts one of the best offenses in the league, while being hindered by one of the poorest pass defenses in the NFL.

LA carries a 5-3 mark into Sunday’s matchup, and has a far more modest offensive unit. This team is buoyed by an excellent combo of defensive tackle Aaron Donald, who anchors the pass rush, and shutdown corner Jalen Ramsey.

In fewer words, these two rivals couldn't be more different in the way they have gone about winning their games this season. NFL fans are familiar with the famed Legion of Boom secondary that the Seahawks once had, but much of the defense has experienced significant roster turnover, and that has left Seattle behind with a weakened unit on that side of the ball. In the absence of the hard-hitting secondary, superstar quarterback Russell Wilson took full control of the team, to the tune of 28 touchdowns through nine games.

Wilson’s performance to this point rivals Tom Brady’s 2007 season. The difficult part has been that the responsibility of winning is all on Wilson, and receivers DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett. Though those players have benefitted from the electric play of their QB, they’ve been on an island.

Chris Carson is a very talented tailback, but he has been in and out of the lineup. The secondary has allowed a whopping 372.5 yards per game through the air, which is significantly more than even Wilson is producing on a per-game basis. At times, it puts even a star of his mettle into a tough position.

The Rams play a far more conservative style of football. Quarterback Jared Goff has been mediocre in the years following his loss to the Patriots in the Super Bowl, and in kind, the team has reduced the overall role he has in dictating the offense.

Rather than dazzle and make all the big plays for the team, he is tasked with minimizing mistakes and making efficient decisions with the football. The team rotates several running backs, but primarily split carries between Darrell Henderson and Malcolm Brown.

As mentioned earlier, the heart of this team, despite the perceived offensive prowess that head coach Sean McVay has, is its defense. The Rams are limiting opponents to 217 passing yards per contest, and this matches up well against a Seahawks team that needs to have success through the air to win ball games.

The best chance that the Seahawks have to win is to get pressure on Jared Goff and try to force him into turning the ball over. The longer the Seahawks offense is on the field in this game the better, and Russ will have more time to “cook”. Jalen Ramsey shutting down one of Wilson’s receivers can make things harder on the Seahawks, so that is the key matchup to look for.

The Seahawks get the edge because of Russell Wilson, but the Rams are built in a way that they can counter their rivals well. This one should be decided by a late rally by Seattle.

Prediction: Seahawks 32, Rams 28

Jeremy Ganes is a senior majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email jlg6097@psu.edu.