DANNY ONEIL

O’Neil: Seahawks have surpassed expectations, but Rams will be too tall an order Sunday

Nov 9, 2018, 1:59 PM

Seattle Seahawks...

The Seahawks-Rams game will air on 710 ESPN Seattle and KIRO Radio 97.3 FM. (AP)

(AP)

The Seahawks are going to have to surprise somewhere along the way.

Danny O’Neil takes Seahawks report card concept too literally

At least they will if they’re going to avoid missing the playoffs for a second consecutive season.

At the halfway point of this season we know the Seahawks aren’t half bad. We don’t know, however, if they’re more than half good, either, and they’re going to need to win six of their final eight games to feel confident of making the playoffs.

That’s going to certainly be a challenge when you look at the remaining schedule. There are two teams in the league that are currently 8-1, and Seattle will face both of them, heading to Los Angeles to play the Rams on Sunday and then hosting Kansas City on Dec. 23. Throw in a road game at Carolina and a home game against Minnesota, and Seattle is going to have to do more than just win the games it will be favored in over the next two months if it’s going to make the playoffs.

This isn’t a must-win game for the Seahawks this week so much as one they’re likely to lose. As competitive as Seattle was at home against the Rams last week, a big part of their success in that two-point loss was based off their ability to run the ball up front.

Repeating that performance is going to be hard when you consider that starting running back Chris Carson and right guard D.J. Fluker both left last week’s game with injuries and have been held out of practice this week.

Throw in the uncertainty over safety Bradley McDougald, who has been bothered by a sore knee, and there’s more than enough cause for concern that Seattle won’t be as competitive against the Rams this time around.

Winning in L.A. is going to require Russell Wilson not only playing his best game of the season, but doing so while making a higher volume of throws to compensate for the potential absence of Carson. The Seahawks will also need K.J. Wright – who was out the first meeting — to provide a check on Rams’ running back Todd Gurley, who rushed for three touchdowns in the last meeting.

Can the Seahawks surprise us? Maybe they will down the road, but not this week. The Rams are too tall an order: L.A. Rams 34, Seattle Seahawks 27.

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