3 Takes: What is the blueprint for the Seahawks to beat the Rams?
Week 16 games don’t get much bigger than the Seahawks’ matchup with the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday.
The 10-4 Seahawks can clinch the NFC West with a win over the 9-5 Rams, but there’s an added importance for Seattle to take care of business when they host LA at Lumen Field.
The Rams won the first meeting between the two teams in Week 10, and if they beat the Hawks again, they’ll have a 2-0 record against Seattle and would get a tiebreaker advantage should the two teams end the year with identical records. So yes, while the Seahawks will be favored in Week 17 against the San Francisco 49ers (5-9) and LA will have a tougher opponent in the Arizona Cardinals (8-6), they would end up having to settle for a wild-card spot in the postseason if the Rams finish the season with wins in each of the next two weeks.
So, what do the Seahawks need to do to beat LA? On a special Wednesday edition of The Huddle on 710 ESPN Seattle, the three hosts – Seahawks insider Stacy Rost and former Seahawks players Dave Wyman and Jake Heaps – shared what they think is the blueprint for a Seattle win on Sunday.
Here’s what they each had to say.
“I have decided the key is No. 1, for the offensive line to try to limit sacks of Russell Wilson. Last time against the Rams they got in a ton of trouble. Russell Wilson was sacked three times by Leonard Floyd alone.
“On defense, I think the biggest thing you need to do is exactly what you’ve been able to hang your hat on as a defense, and that’s limit the run. You’ve faltered at times but if you limit that run – really, really keep it at bay – it limits what Rams quarterback Jared Goff and head coach Sean McVay can do.”
“I’m going with takeaways. I said they needed three takeaways last week against Washington, and I’m going to go ahead and put it on that again. They were plus-one last week in turnovers but they’re minus-five over the last seven games. I think Jared Goff would be a prime suspect for turnovers. His eyes do come down when he gets pressured and he can be had. He gets flustered. If you put the ball in the hands of Jared Goff, maybe he’ll turn it over.”
“I’m going to keep this really simple. This is going to be getting to 150 yards on the ground and Russell Wilson has to throw three-plus touchdowns. That has to be the case, and if that happens it means you are marrying your run and your pass games extremely effectively. That’s why Pete Carroll was so excited by what transpired last week in Washington, because it wasn’t just taking out the effectiveness of Washington’s front four. It was the fact that as an offense he feels now they have everything at their disposal. They can go to the ground game and be effective when they want to be. They can open it up and go to the pass game with Russell Wilson and crew and feel confident in doing that.
“They feel completely balanced at this point. Now it’s time to go prove it. I think there’s a lot of questions surrounding whether they can actually get that done. This is the perfect time to put this on full display that they will be a well-balanced offense not only in this game but throughout the playoffs.”
You can hear the full discussion in the final segment of the podcast at this link or in the player below.