4 Reasons The St. Louis Rams Could Win On Monday Night Football Against The Seattle Seahawks

Oct 20, 2013; Charlotte, NC, USA; St. Louis Rams defensive end Chris Long (91) is escorted out after being ejected for fighting during the game at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Sam Sharpe-USA TODAY Sports

 

Since Sunday, there has been a lot of gloom and doom in St. Louis, following the loss of the Rams offensive leader and signal caller, Sam Bradford. The announcement of Kellen Clemens are the starter for Monday Night Football didn’t help bring excitement, nor did the signing of Austin Davis and Brady Quinn. However, in the darkness, there shines a slight glimmer of hope at the end of the tunnel, the Seattle Seahawks. To premise this next piece, the Seattle Seahawks could certainly make a case for being the top team in the NFC, and the NFC West crown should be theirs to lose, even this early in the season. However, we at Ramblin’ Fan are about to break down why this Prime Time matchup might not be as one-sided as you may be led to believe…

 

Why the St. Louis Rams won’t win: With Sam Bradford down, the St. Louis Rams will be leaning on a “player-coach” backup to try and ignite the offense against one of the more potent defenses in the NFL. Bradford was well on his way to the best statistical season of his career, and with his ACL tear, opposing defenses can now stack the box and simply feed off of Kellen Clemens’ mistakes.

 

Why the St. Louis Rams will win: The St. Louis Rams beat the Seattle Seahawks at home around this time last season with, essentially, Sam Bradford and the Rams’ offense being non-existent. In fact, Bradford completed only 53% of this passing attempts, converted only five total first downs, and tossed one interception without throwing any touchdowns. The Rams only ventured 20+ yards on 3 out of 10 offensive series, and their lone touchdown was scored on a fake field goal, from Johnny Hekker to Danny Amendola hiding at the pylon.

 

Why the St. Louis Rams won’t win: The Rams defense cannot stop the run, and, thus, Marshawn Lynch will have a field day plowing through the St. Louis secondary for big chucks of yards and touchdowns.

 

Why the St. Louis Rams will win: …and that is different from last year, how? In Week 4 of 2012, Marshawn Lynch took 20 carries for 118 yards, averaging a dominating 5.9 yards per carry, and did manage an 18-yard busting touchdown. Heck, even Robert Turbin tacked on 45 yards, on an impressive 7.5 yards per attempt. Still, who won the game in St. Louis?

 

Why the St. Louis Rams won’t win: The Seattle Seahawks’ roster has gotten significantly better since last season, whereas the St. Louis Rams’ roster appears to have taken a step back.

 

Why the St. Louis Rams will win: Well, that one just isn’t true. In fact, at least offensively, the Seattle Seahawks roster is nearly identical, with the exception of a few notable starters missing due to injury. That includes both starting left tackle, Russell Okung, and starting right tackle, Breno Giacomini, who aren’t expected to return any time in the next two to three weeks. Every other position, from quarterback to wide receivers, are the exact same personnel.

Defensively, the roster is substantially different, but not necessarily an “upgrade” over last season. On the back end, you have the same cornerbacks and safeties, and essentially the same linebackers corps, with the exception of losing Leroy Hill, who has one of the top rated run stuffing outside linebackers in the NFL last season. The defensive end rotation of Michael Bennett, Cliff Avril, Chris Clemens, and Red Bryant has been phenomenal this season. However, by the numbers, they are no more effective than they were at this point in the year last season: 20 sacks through Week 7 in 2012 by the defensive line vs.  21 sacks through Week 7 in 2013 by the defensive line. Moreover, only three ‘Hawks defensive linemen have graded out positively against the run this season.

Alternatively, the St. Louis Rams’ roster has been upgraded, nearly, across the board. At the skill positions (Jared Cook, Tavon Austin), on the offensive line (Jake Long over Rodger Saffold, Scott Wells over Rob Turner, Joe Barksdale over Barry Richardson), on the defensive line (Michael Brockers, who was injured at this point last season), and at linebacker (Alec Ogletree). One could even make the argument that the safeties, even with the injury to T.J. McDonald, are better than the grouping from last season, considering one those players was the infamous Craig Dahl.

 

Why the St. Louis Rams won’t win: Russell Wilson is playing much better than he was at this point last season, and will not have another three interception game against the St. Louis Rams.

 

Why the St. Louis Rams will win: One could certainly make that argument, out of context, but diving into the individual performances, that is not necessarily the case. Wilson has managed three games with a 100+ passer rating this season, nearly on-par with his performance at this point last year. However, aside from last week against the Arizona Cardinals, the Seahawks offense has continued to struggle on the road. Russell Wilson did manage 300+ passing yards against the Carolina Panthers to open the season, but the teams still only managed 12 total points in the game, narrowly trumping Cam Newton in a low-scoring bout. Against Houston, Wilson completed only 52.2% of this attempts, and registered a mere 123 passing yards without a touchdown. In their lone loss of the season, to the Indianapolis Colts, Wilson completed under 50% of his attempts and barely eclipsed 200 passing yards despite throwing 31 passes. Not surprisingly, Wilson tends to perform worse when he is on the road, especially against defenses that generate a strong pass rush. So, again, it is not that surprising that his worst three games of this season came against the 5th- (San Francisco 49ers), 7th- (Indianapolis Colts), and 8th-best (Houston Texans) pass rushing defenses this year.

Seattle will be on the road, and will be playing against the 12th-ranked St. Louis Rams pass rush. Worse, they will have their backup blindside tackle facing off against Robert Quinn, currently graded as the highest pass rushing defensive player in the NFL (according to Pro Football Focus), who is averaging 1 sack, 1.5 hits on the quarterback, 2.8 hurries, and 2.8 defensive stops per game this season.

 

Do we really think it is likely that the Seattle Seahawks will lose on Monday Night Football to the ailing St. Louis Rams? No. Do we think that is it possible that the Rams could stun the NFL-world with a massive upset victory? Absolutely. We’ll have to wait until Prime Time to find out…

Topics: Seattle Seahawks, St. Louis Rams

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  • Seahawk92

    It’s also possible to win the Lottery by picking numbers 1,2,3,4,5, and 6

    • Nathan Kearns

      Want to split a couple of tickets…?

      • Seahawk92

        You’re an optimist, aren’t you! Tell you what, since my chances of getting struck by lightning 7 times are a little better than my chances of winning the lottery, I’ll split a couple tickets with you the day I first get struck by lighting. Which is about the same odds the Rams have of winning this game. I’d bet a paycheck on the game though! How confident are you? ;-P

        • Nathan Kearns

          Me? I wouldn’t bet a single cent on this game. However, the point of the articles wasn’t necessarily to suggest that St. Louis will, in fact, win the game on Monday… more that it is not out of the realm of possibility considering the circumstances surrounding the game.

          Like I said in the closing, “Do we really think it is likely that the Seattle Seahawks will lose on Monday Night Football to the ailing St. Louis Rams? No.” But, I’m not going to sit here and act like the Rams don’t have a shot. Any given Sunday, right?

          • Seahawk92

            LOL yeah, just givin you a little friendly ribbing :-). I have to agree with your conclusions though… I just don’t see the Rams winning this game unless ET, RW, and RS all get injured, and even then…

            I do wish Bradford was healthy for this game though. :-( Injuries suck any time, but they’re worse when they make the game less interesting to watch. Good luck on Monday! I was going to buy tix to the game, but plane tix from Phoenix are $550 each!!! Yikes!!! Too bad the game’s at the same time as the World Series

          • Nathan Kearns

            Could always make the drive? ROADTRIP! Hope it is, at least, a respectable game on MNF

  • http://www.cnsqonline.com cesarnoel

    Rams will win! Why? Because these #Rams players love SAM and they will dedicate the remaining games to at least play hard and win. #WINforSAM

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  • Calibandawg

    ‘I see the liiiight, at the end of the tunnel baby, Someone please tell me, it’s not a traaaaaain.’ David Lowery, Cracker.

    Uh, It’s a train.

    • Nathan Kearns

      Not the worst analogy in the world for their current situation…

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  • skeletony

    Hawk fan here (just getting that out of the way) but a few of your points are absurd. For starters, the game last year was not one that the Rams WON. it was one that the Hawks LOST & IIRC this was fairly early in the season wasn’t it? When RW still had training wheels on in terms of having the full playbook and we barely lost that game even with a healthy Sam Bradford.
    It is true that our O-line is hurting right now (but not nearly as bad as some are saying, in terms of how the backups have filled in) but not so much that RW is going to be any less effective than he was against Carolina or the Titans (if anything he should be much better going forward). Baldwin had an off year last year and when we did add Kearse late in the season he was not much of a factor in games, unlike this year.
    You are right that on any given Sunday (or Monday night in this case) even the worst teams can pull off upsets and we have certainly seen worse upsets before. But your article seems desperate…almost comical in it’s grasping for reasons the Rams could win. You even point out that we prevailed against 5th and 7th ranked pass rush teams even while playing like crap (settling for FGs instead of TDs which is why we lost to the Colts team we were clearly better than) but you think we will be in trouble against the Rams’ 12th ranked pass rush?!

    • Hawkman54

      Agree except with the O-line issues – We really miss both tackles ALLOT!

      • skeletony

        Yes but my point is that the backups, while no one would accuse them of being star caliber, have been better than people routinely make them out to be. Giacomini seems to be barely, if at all better than his replacement. Okung is no Walter Jones and spends almost as much time on IR as he does on the field.

    • boogieman7167

      “For starters, the game last year was not one that the Rams WON. it was one that the Hawks LOST’
      new flash”- ITS THE SAME THING – but then again hawks fans are little slow.

      • skeletony

        False. Giving away a game is not the same as getting beaten by a netter team. This is football 101 fellow.

        • boogieman7167

          its clear that is possibly that you don’t live in reality is maybe in some alternate universe you might be right but in that game the rams won that game I know your hawks & possibly have trouble accepting the outcome of that game but reality 101 a win is a win .

    • Nathan Kearns

      “But your article seems desperate…almost comical in it’s grasping for reasons the Rams could win.” Yes, that was essentially the underlying reason for the article, but that does not mean that the points were not valid. Those were actual statistics, occurrences, and trends that could ultimately lead to the ‘Hawks losing…

      To your original point, your “training wheel theory” would hold if had dominated that Rams in your second try. However, even with the Seahawks at home (where they are significantly better), coming off a thre game stretch where they were averaging 50.0 points per game… they barely etched by St. Louis in Week 17, a 20-17 win that came down to the final 1:39 seconds of the game.

      To your second point, your receiving corps might be playing better, but they will still be the easiest group of receivers that the Rams secondary will have played to this point. And, by most metrics, that have not performed any better than they had at this point last season.

      Your last point is certainly a valid one: If you beat the 5th and 7th, why can’t you beat the 12th? The difference will be that the Rams do not have just one single player (i.e. J.J. Watt) that applies that majority of the pressure, AND they have the personnel in the secondary to take advantage errant throws.. which is why Wilson was sacked 8 times and threw 4 interceptions.

      Guess we will have to see what happens…

      • skeletony

        Yes we will have to wait and see. But the fact that we did not obliterate the Rams the second game the way we did three prior opponents is of no real consequence and does not refute the point I made. Wilson DID have the ‘training wheels’ on until about half way through the season, but it is hard to maintain blow out wins even against a string of crappy team (which the Rams were NOT last year). The Hawks are admittedly not at the point yet where they can just drop 40 or 50 every game against every opponent (just as Denver cannot play good defense or run the ball every game.). I don’t think the Hawks receivers can possibly be the easiest corps the Rams will face. They are just far too good for that to be true. I think only Denver and maybe one other team I am forgetting ATM can match up to the Hawks (or possibly surpass them in quality). Plus, unlike most teams we don’t just have one or two great receivers. We have like 4 or 5 (especially after Harvin gets back) which is why no single one of them is putting up monstrous stats every week and Wilson is distributing the ball to all of them.

  • Hawkman54

    What does last year have to do with this year? everyone must have a dream !

    • Nathan Kearns

      Because, it provides a case study of what happened the last time these two nearly identical teams played each other in St. Louis…

      • skeletony

        They are not that nearly identical as you and the writer of the above article seem to think. Hawks have a different Def. coordinator and have added a ton of quality depth (probably the sole reason that the injuries that hit the Hawks this year did not ruin their season the way it ruined some other teams this year. If we lost Richard Sherman AND Russel Wilson next game we would still make the playoffs fairly easily and probably still be as likely to win the division because we have that kind of quality in our second and third stringers.
        The Rams no longer have Amendola or Jackson and have lost Bradford on top of that, just for starters.

        • Nathan Kearns

          Having “quality depth” doesn’t necessarily matter when you are referring to that starting lineup, and I did mention better depth on the defensive side of the football (at least on the defensive line)

          Bottom line: The Seattle Seahawks offense is essentially identical, from the quarterback, to the offensive lineman (save for the two OTs), down to the #3 and #4 WR. Even looking past your starters on both sides of the football, depth hasn’t really change from last season, again, aside from the defensive line and an extra running back.

          … oh, and the Rams purposefully did not resign Danny Amendola and Steven Jackson, and with good reason, seeing how they are playing. Last year at this time, Jackson was hurt, ailing from a slightly pulled groin sustained in the opening quarter of the Washington Redskins matchup in Week 2. He played about half the snaps in the backfield, with about half the effectiveness. Danny Amendola was healthy, but since his departure, they have added Jared Cook, Tavon Austin, and allowed Brian Quick in the game.

          • skeletony

            Having quality depth is extremely important as we have seen this season. The Hawks added Cliff Avril and Michael Bennet for example and this was probably the difference in them losing only one game and them losing 2 or 3 games. We had no idea how long it would take Clemmons to get back and Irvin missed the first four games of course. Also take a look at what has happened in Atlanta: As you rightly point out they grabbed an elderly and injury-prone Jackson and wanted to rely on he and Julio Jones to take them to the Super Bowl. No depth behind these guys and they are suffering. Some might point to the NE Patriots as proof of what you are saying here but I disagree with that. I think they would be 7-0 right now if not for losing half their starters and no one expects them to make it past the first round of the playoffs because of the injuries.
            But back to the Seahawks, the other factor behind the ‘depth argument’ I am making is competition. We added a great cornerback in Antione Winfield and this pushed DBs like Walter Thurmond and Jeremy Lane to play lights out. Same with adding Stephen Williams (the unstoppable WR in preseason) and his preseason play pushed Kearse, Baldwin, etc. to play the way they are capable of.

            I know I have inadvertently kind of set up an unfalsifiable claim (which is a no-no in any debate) here because if Kellon Clemmons lights us up tonight on MNF I can say “See! Quality depth helped!” but if he fails (as most predict) then I can say “See! No depth hurt you!”, so that is working against me. But the fact remains that if Russel Wilson goes down, Tavaris Jackson is not a huge drop off for us and if Marshawn Lynch goes down, Turbin and Michaels can probably keep us in the top 10 (if not top 5) rushing attacks (we are #3 with Marshawn right now).

  • Jared Go Hawks

    Just to let you know the Seahawks are the best team in all of football. You have 0 chance kids. Funny to read though.

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