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Watchdog's OFFICIAL gameday preview
Rams Vs Seahawks Gameday Preview: Feathers To Fly at the Ed.
Posted Oct 14th 2006 7:46PM by The Watchdog
Filed under: Rams, NFC West
Less than twelve hours remain until the clash heard round the league. This kind of high quality matchup between the Rams and Seahawks is a breath of fresh air to what has been a hum-drum existence for the NFC West. Sure, Seattle went to the Superbowl last year for their very first time, very exciting for them, true. But the get-your-blood-pumping, exciting chase for the division was for all intents and purposes over by week seven, with the Rams finishing second to the Seahawks, but much closer to the other jalopies of the division who clattered to the finish line like deformed rolling hulks reminescent of an old Mad Max movie.
But that was yesterday, and today there are once again shots being fired across the bow and between the lines. The Rams are back on top of the NFC West, but their only honest claim to credibility lies at the end of the path that leads right through the Seahawks, who are chomping at the bit to get the snap off before one more analyst throws the challenge flag to review their Chicago-land melt down.
The Seahawks are favored last I heard, by three points. But this one is really too close to call. There are so many key "mini-battles" going on, there is no way to accurately predict what could happen. But I do have some ideas:
Matt Hasselbeck has been as inconsistent this year as Mt. St. Helens. While it's true that he has a plethora of talented receivers to choose from, they have really only made a difference in one game. The Rams secondary is banged up. Fakir Brown may not start again, and Fisher is hobbled by a strained groin, though he is expected to start. Jerametrius Butler has been the Rams best corner over the last few years, but had not even gotten into a game this season until late last week. So he being rusty is not far fetched.
This will be the make-or-break opportunity for the birds. If Hasselbeck gets into a rhythm, expect him to spread the ball around the field and use the pass to set up gaps for Maruice Morris. Despite all the talented playmakers and high flying potential, the difference in being embarrassed at home will be decided in the trenches. Seattle's offensive line is strongly suspect, and success will depend on the Rams being able to get into the backfield consistently and be the bullies that were against Denver. If they aren't able to do that, they will end up not knowing which way to run next.
The Rams on the other hand, have seemed their best this season when they have had their backs to the wall. No one thought for a minute they would compete against the Broncos, and the national media had decided their fate even before seeing the new squad play together one time. When they sent a stunned Jake Plummer home a loser, it raised eyebrows for a minute but was mostly dismissed as a fluke.
Steven Jackson enters the game tied for the league-lead in rushing, and will be used along with Stephen Davis in some two-back sets. Expect to see Jackson continue to be utilized as a receiver out of the backfield. Also expect his rush total to mount slowly, but come on stronger as the game goes on. This will be due to the Seahawks primary game plan focusing on shutting down the run. But Bulger will gradually thin out the box when he, much like Hasselbeck will carve Jackson's running lanes from the hyde of the shaky Seahawk secondary.
These scenarios are, of course contingent on each team being able to come out and play the game they want to play. I would say the Hawks hold the advantage, and that is mostly based on the fact that they have played together a long time, and have played well.
But the emotional advantage will be with the Rams, who are once again being called out as underdogs at home. For them, they know that to win this game would be a huge statement to all their critics, as well as their credibility, not to mention the early drivers' seat in the division.
Re: Watchdog's OFFICIAL gameday preview
Nice read Watchdog. With the recent news that in addition to Alexander, TE Stevens is out also, I think the game may have just swung in our favor. We shall see...it is now game time baby!
Welcome to the ClanRam!