Before I get into the key match-ups for this weeks game with the Seattle Seahawks, I watched last night’s well played Cleveland at Baltimore game. There must of been a great sigh of relief made by all N.F.L. fans as a return to normalcy regarding the referees was in view for all to see. There were no game changing blunders and they had complete control of the game. I saw no rust by this crew as they too, were happy to be back.
St. Louis’ Offensive Line vs. Seattle’s Defensive Front Seven
This is the most obvious due to the current I.C.U. status of the offensive line. The Seahawks had eight first half sacks Monday night against a much healthier Green-Bay Packer o-line. St. Louis’ game-plan this week may hinge on Wayne Hunter playing. If he doesn’t, the Rams will need to give Sam Bradford time to at least get to his second read in passing situations. Forcing Seattle’s hobbled line-backing corps to make plays by using double tight-ends should be in St. Louis’ best interest. With a more fleet footed Daryl Richardson running the ball, draw plays and play-action may keep the defense a little more off balance.
St. Louis’ Passing Game vs. Seattle’s Defense
I expect that the no huddle will be used quite a bit in the first half in a effort to slow down the Seahawks. Roll-outs, slants and screens, say it with me, roll-outs, slants and screens. Seattle expects it, the Rams just need to execute. Sam Bradford will need to do his part by being on top of seeing and changing plays when he sees blitzes coming. The receivers must conceal their passing windows til the last second and not make it easy for Seattle to key on and double Danny Amendola. A little trickery might help also.
St. Louis Running Game vs. Seattle’s Defense
Last night, the game announcers were comparing Ray Rice to Hall of Fame Ram great Marshall Faulk. I find this very interesting considering Daryl Richardson reminds me a little of Ray Rice. Mixing in a few runs inside the tackles and getting him into open space will be the key in a successful running game this week. Not having Steven Jackson this week hurts, but the dropoff is not as much as years past. Richardson will need at least 20 touches this week for any chance to get yardage.
St. Louis’ Defense vs. Seattle Offense
This one is so simple that my 3 year old grandson can analyze with his eyes closed. Contain Russell Wilson. His vision, craftiness and pocket awareness remains me of Minnesota Viking great Fran Tarkenton. Having Michael Brockers back even in a limited role will help this week forcing Seattle to attack the strength of the Rams on the outside and the back four. Staying aggressive and closing down the inside gaps will be key to slowing down the Seahawks.
Regardless of their defensive schemes, pressure by Seattle’s pass rush against Green-Bay was successful mostly because of the great coverage of their secondary.
On November 4th, 1979 the Los Angeles Rams played the Seattle Seahawks in the old Seattle Kingdome. The Rams set an N. F. L. record limiting the Seahawks to -7 yards total offense in a 24-0 victory. A record that may not be broken in this era of high octane offenses. The combination of 6 sacks, allowing only 23 yards rushing in 12 attempts, and holding Seattle quarterback Jim Zorn to only 2 completions in 17 attempts were the keys. The offense held on the ball 3/4 of the game and had 303 yards rushing in an amazing 66 attempts. Lawrence McCutcheon and Wendell Tyler each ran for over 80 Yards and the Rams had almost 500 total yards offense.