4 keys to LA Rams win over Seattle Seahawks in Week 5

Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports /
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Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports /

There are always game plans and keys to victories. The LA Rams blew right through our 4 keys to win in Week 4 and lost the game pretty badly. In retrospect, those keys appeared to have some value as the Cardinals were not prepared for the Rams offense to jump tracks to a new approach.

As for the Rams defense? Well, it appeared to me as though Matthew Stafford, Cooper Kupp, David Long Jr., Kenny Young, and Taylor Rapp coordinated to have very underwhelming performances. As a result, the Rams fell behind almost instantly and were never in any position to threaten the Cardinals from that point going forward.

I believe that performance was a one-off for LA Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford and wide receiver Cooper Kupp. I expect that they will eventually rekindle their hot connection, albeit hopefully allowing other players to get involved in the passing game.

But for the Rams defense? I’m not confident that either David Long Jr. or Taylor Rapp are the answers to the roles they are filling.  I believe that the team has more capable players on the roster. Robert Rochell should be the guy in the secondary. He’s longer, faster, more athletic, and he needs experience. Terrell Burgess was on track to be a key contributor in 2020 before his season ended due to an ankle injury. He offers much stronger pass coverage than Rapp does.

But those are personnel decisions that the coaching staff has not yet reached. That means they won’t happen in Week 5. What other options are there? Well, last week’s ideas didn’t work. Well, they may have, only the Rams did not adopt a single solitary suggestion. So let’s try that again.

Key I: The Rams need to run over 130 yards

The Rams will never have a better shot at controlling the clock, getting a lot of yards on the ground, and putting up points via the running game, than Week 5. Coincidentally, the offense may never be in a more critical position to win the Time of Position battle and control the game clock than Week 5 either.

The reason should be obvious. The defense was on the field for 35 minutes in Week 4 thanks to two poorly timed turnovers. Combine that with a short week and travel, and the defense needs all the help that they can get for this one.

Time of possession is so often overlooked when it comes to the performance of the defense. If the offense scores instantly, that means that the defense is back on the field instantly. Nobody judges defenses in terms of wins and losses, but rather by points and yards allowed. The more opposing offenses have the football, the more yards, and the more points will be given up by even the strongest defenses.

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Running the ball keeps the clock running, forces the opposing team to tackle, and obligates that defense to fight through and off blocks. The Seattle Seahawks defense allows an average of over 150 yards per game on the ground. It would seem that the Rams owe it to the defense to help them out in a short week by trying to possess the ball a bit longer than 25 minutes.

And who knows? The Rams may discover a solid running game in the process to boot.