The Seattle Seahawks travel to Los Angeles to take on the Los Angeles Rams in a showdown with several things on the line. The Seahawks are in for a road test, which was an unforeseen thought prior to the start of the NFL season.
Respect, confidence, and continuity are on the line for both the Seattle Seahawks and Los Angeles Rams. There is another factor looming large as the two NFC West rivals matchup — the division could be at stake on Sunday afternoon.
The NFC West could be decided in Week 5 of the NFL season. It does not matter that there is still 75 percent of the football season remaining. The winner of the Seattle Seahawks versus Los Angeles Rams game this Sunday will have a huge advantage in taking the division crown. The game is especially huge for the Seahawks.
The Seattle Seahawks are 2-2 and currently trail the 3-1 Los Angeles Rams. If the Seahawks were to lose on the road, they would not be two games behind the Rams, the Seahawks would also not have the head-to-head advantage.
Sunday’s game is essentially a must-win affair for the Seahawks, who have had some struggles thus far, hence their even record of 2-2. The Seahawks now face a young, upstart Rams’ team looking to prove that they are a legitimate threat to the NFC West.
The Rams suddenly have a balanced offense with the combination of second-year quarterback Jared Goff and running back Todd Gurley. Stopping Gurley may prove to be a difficult task for the Seahawks. The Seahawks have played awful against the run, ranking No. 26 in overall run defense.
Stopping the Rams’ Gurley was already going to be a difficult task for Seattle. It has worsened now with a member of the Seahawks’ defensive line out injured. According to the Seattle Times, defensive lineman Quinton Jefferson will miss some games after suffering from a broken hand.
Jefferson’s injury comes at a bad time for the Seattle Seahawks. The Seahawks will also face the Rams without defensive star Cliff Avril. Avril will miss the showdown with the Rams due to a neck injury (courtesy of The Oregonian). Seahawks’ head coach Pete Carroll appeared to be without answers while discussing the timetable for Avril’s return.
“We are going very slowly, making sure that he takes the opportunity to talk to as many people as he needs to talk to so he knows what he’s got and what we need to do with it and we are just going to take care of him and make sure he is well. If he wants to come back and we want to bring him back, then we will let you know when we know. But right now, we don’t.”
The injuries to Quinton Jefferson and Cliff Avril hurt the Seahawks’ chances at silencing the Rams’ running game.
Last season, the Seattle Seahawks took advantage of a young Los Angeles Rams’ team. Last December, the Seahawks faced an inexperienced Jared Goff and harassed him every chance they got for a 24-6 victory.
The Seahawks succeeded in avenging their 9-3 defeat to the Rams earlier in the 2016 season. The Rams have typically played the Seahawks tough. It is expected that things will be much of the same when they face each other Sunday afternoon.
A strong rushing attack and protection of quarterback Russell Wilson is what the Seahawks need in order to be victorious against the Rams. The Seahawks have the No. 12 ranked running game. The Seahawks have to win the battle inside the trenches to stand a chance on Sunday.
A loss to the Los Angeles Rams does not make winning the NFC West an impossible proposition for the Seattle Seahawks. It simply makes the road more difficult. The Seahawks are not used to playing their way up the division standings these days. However, the Seahawks are in danger of finding out just how tough it be to claw all the way back.
For the Los Angeles Rams, the game against the Seattle Seahawks is for their confidence legitimacy, and respect. Sunday’s game could also be for the NFC West.
[Featured Image by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images]