For the third time in four years the St. Louis Rams will finish out the season in Seattle. The Rams have finished the season on the west coast so often in the past 5 years, it almost feels like its beginning to turn into a tradition.
This week the Seahawks will be looking to wrap up the number one seed as well as home field advantage, while the Rams will be playing to finish the season .500, something they haven’t done since 2006.
Here’s what the Rams will need to do in order to do the impossible and beat the Seahawks at home.
Set The Tone In The Run Game
Running the football and stopping the run have played a key part in the Rams wins this season. In the games that the Rams have been unable to run the ball, the offense has struggled to get anything going. In the games the defense have been unable to stop the run, games have gotten ugly.
Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch plays a key part in that offense. In week 8 on Monday Night Football, the Rams held Lynch to eight carries for 23 yards and the Seahawks only scored 14 points. If the Rams can do some of the same things this week they will have a chance.
Like Lynch, Rams running back Zac Stacy has also played a key part in the Rams’ offensive success. The Rams need to find the run game, and they need to find the run game early and often. Stacy had 26 carries for 134 yards in the first meeting. If Stacy can find the end zone this time and the Rams can keep Lynch in check, the Rams should be able to keep things close.
Contain Russell Wilson
Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson is one of the young, mobile quarterbacks in the league that loves to make plays with his legs. Wilson can turn a play that with a normal quarterback would be a sack, into a 15 yard gain and a first down.
The Rams will need to make Wilson feel uncomfortable and keep him contained in the pocket. Wilson has the ability to beat you with his arm, but he is deadly when you add his legs. If the Rams can take away that part of his game, that would be a huge step in getting a win.
Play Smart Football
As much as some Rams fans may not like to hear it, the Seahawks are now one of the more elite team in the NFL. With that said this team does not make a lot of errors and more times than not, take advantage of yours.
In the first meeting Kellen Clemens threw two big interceptions and Greg Zuerlein missed a field goal. One of those interceptions turned into seven points for the Seahawks and had Zuerlein made the field goal, the Rams would have only needed a field goal instead of a touchdown at the end of the game.
The Rams will need to avoid shooting themselves in the foot as much as possible in this game and try to create opportunities on defense to give their offense a little help. In the first meeting the Seahawks fumbled the ball one time and the Rams failed to recover it. That will need to change if the Rams want to win this game on the road.
Beat The 12th Man
Century Link field in Seattle is one of, if not the most hostile environments in the league. The Seahawks have proved they are not unbeatable at home, as they lost to the Cardinals last week.
Beating the Seahawks at home is going to be quite a challenge, in fact the Rams have not won in Seattle since their last playoff win January 8, 2005. The Rams have not fared well in the NFC West this season, and you can bet they will want to make a statement going into 2014.
Looking to go to the game to cheer on the Rams in enemy territory? You can find Rams vs. Seahawks tickets here.