Seattle Seahawks: Three Keys to Beating the Los Angeles Rams
Wild Card Weekend 2021 is almost upon us, with it being only a day or two away. In the Mid-Day game, we will see a matchup between two divisional rivals in the Seattle Seahawks and Los Angeles Rams. Kicking off at 4:40 PM EST, this will be one of the more entertaining games this weekend. Seattle has won the most recent matchup between these teams, 20-9. They have also been progressively looking better on the defensive end. In this article, I will be going over the three keys for Seattle this weekend that would lead them to victory if performed.
Get the Run Game Going
Chris Carson has probably been the most underutilized player in this Seahawks offense in the second half of the season. Since his return in Week 12 against the Philadelphia Eagles, he has not gotten 20 carries. This is something Seattle should look to fix against the Los Angeles Rams this weekend for a variety of reasons. If they can really get moving on the ground against the Rams’ stout front 7, that would be a huge momentum shift in favor of the Seahawks. The Rams rely on that front 7 to keep teams from running the ball. This forces other teams to throw a large majority of the time. If they can get Chris moving, that would make the defense be more honest in a sense. This would force them to put in more line crashers.
Chris Carson has also been pretty impressive on the ground when they fully utilize him. His best game this year coming in week 4 against the Miami Dolphins. His stat line looked like this:
- 16 Rushing Attempts for 80 yards
- 2 Rushing Touchdowns
- 3 Receptions for 20 Receiving yards
- Only 56% of offensive snaps taken
If the Seahawks can really get him on the field more like 60-70 percent of the time for offensive snaps, we could see a huge jump in his production. In 2019 we saw in about half his games he received 20 or more rushing snaps, and we saw 6 games in which he rushed for 100+ yards. His addition to this offense contribution wise would be massive if he can get the momentum rolling in his favor.
Keep up the Seahawks defense we saw late in the season
This is a major point to keep an eye on moving into the playoffs for this team. In the first 9 games of the season for Seattle, they gave up 23 or more points to opponents in every single one. This included 4 games of giving up 30+ points, one of which being 44 points to the Buffalo Bills. After week 9, they only gave up 2 games over 20 points, both of which being under 24 points. They also had 2 games where they held their opponent to single-digit scoring. Whatever adjustment they made in the middle of the season, they need to hold on to as tight as possible. It has changed this defense from the 32nd ranked to 22nd ranked on the season, which is a huge difference.
Granted, this is better than only 1 other playoff team’s defense ranking (Tennessee at 28th) but it is an improvement nonetheless. If Seattle can continue trending upwards in terms of defensive proficiency, they should have a good chance to make a deep playoff run.
Russell Wilson, D.K. Metcalf, and Tyler Lockett need to step up for the Seahawks
Russell Wilson has had a pretty tame season ever since week 8 or so, really letting the defense do some of the work. Whether this is a matter of more faith in that unit, or he’s just performing poorly, is yet to be seen. This weekend, he WILL need to have an above-average game for this team to win (unless the Seattle Defense can create a ton of turnovers). Russell will need to be able to be the captain of this team and drive the passing game with his quality playstyle.
Two 1000+ yard receivers for the Seahawks in D.K. Metcalf (1303 yards) and Tyler Lockett (1054 yards) should make his job easier. We should also see a reinstatement and return of Josh Gordon during the playoffs, to add to that receiving core. On top of that, they should also be expecting Greg Olsen back to give him that form of red zone target, which will help get them into the end-zone more from a short distance.
In short, this offense needs to be explosive. As a team, I would not let the playoff run hang in the balance solely on a defensive performance, as much as the offense has been or is sputtering. They need to find a way to get their receivers open and get them the ball. Having Lockett and Metcalf dragging defenders their way could be big for Josh Gordon, as he will be able to get away into the open field.
Overall, Seattle needs to see production on both sides of the ball to be successful this year. This is not the Legion of Boom Seahawks that had one of the best defenses we had seen in the 2000s. This is the 2020-2021 Seahawks, who need both sides of the ball to perform to win games, which is good for a playoff team. Having both sides perform is a necessity for a Super Bowl appearance/victory anyways, might as well get it going now.
What do you think Seattle needs to do to come out on top? Leave a comment down below and let me know!
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