A quarter of the way through the regular season and you might be asking “are the Rams for real?” Last year they started 3-1 before firing their coach and finishing with only one win the rest of the season.
Victories this season against the 49ers and Colts (and a three-point loss to an under-performing Raiders team) did little to convince anyone early. A strong win in Dallas, however, has put them on the map. Also helping their case are their NFL-leading 142 points scored, the resurgence of running back Todd Gurley and Jared Goff playing like an NFL quarterback.
Seattle arrives with a pair of one-score road losses and a rash of injuries. Their starting left tackle didn’t make it out of training camp, rookie running back Chris Carson has been placed on the injured reserve and sack-machine Cliff Avril has already been ruled out for Sunday with a neck injury.
Despite the Seahawks being one of the most dominant teams in the NFL in recent years, the Rams have presented a challenge for Seattle every single season.
Hope is far from lost for Seattle, though. Ever since coming into the league, quarterback Russell Wilson has done the impossible and lead the team back from seemingly insurmountable obstacles. The defense, despite being without Avril, is still dominant and has a way of taking the wind out of even the best offense’s sails. Stopping Todd Gurley early will be key- watch for the defensive line and Bobby Wagner to key in on him, and force them to rely on Goff beating the secondary.
Much has been made of how great the Rams offense is this year with 1,535 total yards, and averages of 113.5 yards rushing and 270.2 passing per game. If the defense can do what it does best, Wilson and company should be able to score enough to move Seattle to 3-2 on the road this Sunday.OPENING LINE - Rams by 1
RECORD VS. SPREAD - Seattle 1-3-0, Los Angeles 2-2-0
SERIES RECORD - Seahawks lead 22-16
LAST MEETING - Seahawks beat Rams 24-3, Dec. 15, 2016
LAST WEEK - Seahawks beat Colts 46-18; Rams beat Cowboys 36-30
AP PRO32 RANKING - Seahawks No. 14, Rams No. 10
SEAHAWKS OFFENSE - OVERALL (10), RUSH (11), PASS (13)
SEAHAWKS DEFENSE - OVERALL (14), RUSH (27), PASS (4)
RAMS OFFENSE - OVERALL (5), RUSH (15), PASS (5)
RAMS DEFENSE - OVERALL (27), RUSH (30), PASS (13)
STREAKS, STATS AND NOTES - Blossoming West Coast rivalry continues as Seahawks go for first victory over Rams in Los Angeles. Seattle has lost three of last four to Rams, but won most recent meeting last December. ... Rams beat Seahawks 9-3 last September in regular-season home opener at Coliseum. ... Seahawks had NFL's top offense for past two games, racking up 910 yards vs. Tennessee and Indy. ... Seattle DE Cliff Avril will miss game after injuring spine, neck while making diving tackle. He's missed only one other game in five seasons with Seahawks. ... Top Seattle rusher Chris Carson went on IR with ankle sprain, broken leg. ... Seahawks QB Russell Wilson expected to make 85th consecutive start. He has 11 career 300-yard passing games, but only one vs. Rams, back in 2014. ... Seahawks are NFL-best 22-6 in games played prior to their bye week. ... Rams also started 3-1 last year, but finished 1-11. ... Rams off to eye-catching start with revitalized offense under new coach Sean McVay, leading league with 142 points. ... LA RB Todd Gurley is back in dynamic 2015 Offensive Rookie of the Year form, gaining 215 yards from scrimmage vs. Dallas. ... Gurley's 596 yards rushing/receiving are second-highest total in NFL, and most by Ram in first four games since Marshall Faulk had 615 in 2001. ... Rams K Greg Zuerlein made franchise-record seven field goals vs. Dallas. He hasn't missed all season. ... Rams LB Robert Quinn has 11 sacks in 10 career games vs Seattle. ... Rams wearing blue-and-yellow throwback uniforms vs. Seattle at Coliseum for second straight season. ... Fantasy Tip: Seattle RB Thomas Rawls could be ready for breakout game with Carson out. Pete Carroll indicated Rawls is expected to play extensively vs. Rams' unimpressive run defense.