DANNY ONEIL

Rams not necessarily the perfect prescription for Seahawks’ recovery

Dec 15, 2016, 9:38 AM | Updated: 10:13 am
The Seahawks have lost three straight to the Rams, including 9-3 in Week 2, and five of nine since ...
The Seahawks have lost three straight to the Rams, including 9-3 in Week 2, and five of nine since 2012. (AP)
(AP)

The Seahawks are at their most vulnerable point in years, their quarterback coming off what was his worst game as a pro and facing a division rival notorious for giving them trouble with only three days of preparation.

They also have a larger lead in their division than any other team in the conference and they’re playing a Rams team that fired its coach just three days ago after losing four in a row by an average margin of 19 points.

So if you’re trying to figure out just what tonight’s game means, and who has the advantage, you’ve got plenty of company. This is as puzzling a game as the Seahawks have played in Pete Carroll’s seven seasons as their head coach.

On the one hand, it’s a home game against a losing team that won’t prove much of anything for a Seahawks team whose trouble has come on the road. On the other, Seattle knows better than to take the Rams for granted given the way they’ve been a particularly difficult pill for these Seahawks.

The Rams and Seahawks have played nine times since Russell Wilson entered the league. The Rams have won four of those games, the most by any single opponent. Not bad for a team that hasn’t made the playoffs in more than a decade. Not only that, but the Rams have won the past three meetings against the Seahawks, including a game in Seattle last December.

They’ve done it with defense as the Rams and their front has been a particularly difficult proposition for Seattle. In the last nine games between these teams, the Seahawks have scored more than 20 points only three times. They managed just a single field goal the last time around, which was the team’s lowest output in five years.

Don’t get fooled by the success against Seattle, though. This Rams team has been thoroughly mediocre over the past four seasons, winning either six or seven regular-season games each year. This year, however, they’ve been outright bad.

They’ve lost eight of nine games, they’re starting rookie quarterback Jared Goff, who thus far has looked utterly unqualified to have been chosen No. 1 overall in the draft, and they’ll be missing Pro Bowl defensive end Robert Quinn for the third straight week because of a concussion. And that Rams defense that gives the Seahawks so much trouble? It has given up more than 25 points in each of the past three games.

All that explains why Jeff Fisher won’t be on the sidelines on Thursday night, dismissed on Monday with special teams coach John Fassel stepping in to an interim role.

This is a game the Seahawks should win, short week or not. They should clinch the division and get a long weekend as they play back-to-back home games for the only time this season.

On the other hand, anyone who has watched the Seahawks knows better than to take the Rams for granted.

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