The LA Rams will face a Seahawks offense without their two top running backs
While there is some question as to how much this will impact the Seattle Seahawks offense, the LA Rams will not face their two top running backs this weekend. Both running back Carlos Hyde (hamstring) and Chris Carson (foot) are designated as out against the Rams for the first encounter between the two rivals in the 2020 NFL season.
While there was little expectation for a dedicated rushing attack from the Seahawks, which is already a two-thirds passing attack, this development could compel the Seahawks to throw as many as 50 times in this game. Historically in 2020, whenever Russell Wilson throws over 40 times in a game, the Seahawks have lost.
Seahawks making moves
The Seahawks announced the downgrade of both running backs Saturday, as well as downgrading DE Benson Mayowa for the game. The Seahawks also have placed DT Bryan Mone on the injured reserve roster.
Originally, it was thought that the Seahawks would activate Damon ‘Snacks’ Harrison for this one. But the accompanying moves of placing DT Mone on IR and DE Mayowa as out for this one dilutes some of the effects of lining up a new player like Snacks.
No Seahawks running game
The Seattle Seahawks faced the absence of both Carson and Hyde against the Buffalo Bills and proceeded to pass 41 times and run 17 times (including two rushes by QB Russell Wilson). Seattle did manage to get some production, as they scored twice on the ground. Once was a run by DeeJay Dallas, and the other was a quarterback sneak from Wilson.
With little threat of a big running game, the Rams can truly pin their ears back and let it fly. As a result, the Rams will likely play an overwhelming amount of both nickel and dime defense. That means that the Rams will likely sit ILB Kenny Young. That will allow the Rams to play Jalen Ramsey as the star/slot cornerback while playing both Troy Hill and Darious Williams on the outside.
Seahawks lose both starting cornerbacks
The Rams will have an opportunity to put pressure right up the middle as well. Seahawks center Ethan Pocic is out for this one, which places a lot of pressure on backup center Kyle Fuller. And the Seahawks ruled cornerback Quinton Dunbar out after listing him as questionable. He joins other starting cornerback Shaquill Griffin as out for this one. Of course, these injuries make it more difficult for the Seahawks in this one, but this is still a rival game.
I believe that the Rams will play the more physical game, and in doing so will emerge the victor. The factors leading up to game time certainly seem to be favoring the Rams. But the Rams need to show up and put on a full game from all three phases of the game. I think it happens. Go Rams!