Tale of the Tape: Only Seahawks Best Game Will Beat Covid-Stricken Rams

The Rams have 16 players on the Covid-19 reserve list at the time of this article. That includes their starting right tackle, their star cornerback, a starting safety, and a starting wide receiver. Indications are that all of these players have been vaccinated, which means they have a chance to play against Seattle if they test negative twice at least 24 hours apart.

Seattle is at a pretty significant talent disadvantage against Los Angeles even if those players do not play. This game might be as simple as Aaron Donald, Von Miller, and Leonard Floyd. This will be the first time the Seahawks have faced that pass-rushing trio, and Seattle has never had success blocking the Rams when they just had a pass-rushing duo, so it could be quite ugly.

If those three aren’t enough, Matt Stafford and Cooper Kupp present significant challenges on offense. The Odell Beckham Jr. situation bears watching as that could leave the Rams more one dimensional in the pass offense than they have been in some time. Robert Woods, who torched and tortured the Seahawks to the tune of 12 catches and 150 yards earlier this season, is already out for the year.

Seattle had a confusing first game against the Rams. The defense shockingly held their offense to 3 points in the first half. Shane Waldron actually called a very good game, with multiple players running wide open against the Rams secondary, but Russell Wilson repeatedly chose not to throw it to them. You can see one of the most egregious examples here. Even then, the Seahawks held a 7-3 lead at halftime.

The game changed when Stafford horribly underthrew a deep pass to Desean Jackson (no longer on the team), who expertly adjusted to the ball while Jamal Adams flailed and missed on what was a 3rd and 10 back at their own 20-yard line. The Rams offense would score touchdowns on three of their first four second half possessions to go up 23-14. Wilson was knocked out of the game on a play where he overthrew Lockett and hit Donald’s helmet.

An underrated part of that win for the Rams was Darrell Henderson Jr., who had 82 yards rushing, 4.8 yards per carry, and a 17 yard reception. The 4.8 yards per rush was the second-highest against this stout Seahawks run defense all season. Only Derrick Henry was higher.

Seattle must play well on offense to win this game. They will need at least 25 points and probably closer to 30 against a defense that has given them fits. They were awful on the ground in the first game. Maybe Rashaad Penny can continue his rise. One of his 100 yard games did come against the Rams a few years back, so who knows.

The Rams are heavy favorites, and probably have a 70% chance to come away winners.

The way this works: Each offense will be pitted against the opposing defense and compared on an array of key statistical attributes based on their respective rank in the NFL. The tables that follow show the rank of each unit for each of these categories. 

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Seahawks Offense vs Rams Defense

Rams key advantages on defense

We went over much of this already. The pass rush is ferocious, and we did not even mention the other quality players on the defensive line like Greg Gaines and Ogbonnia Okoronkwo. A’Shawn Robinson is a solid run stuffer as well. One of the biggest differences between this Rams defense and others has been their ability to stop the run. Seattle would be in trouble again if they have to rely on the pass game against this defensive line.

Seahawks key advantages on offense

The status of safety Jordan Fuller and corner Jalen Ramsey are obviously big in this one. Fuller is far less known than Ramsey, but is the team’s leading tackler and a solid coverage safety. Seattle proved their plays and their receivers could get open against the Rams the first time. Wilson just really needs to throw on time and to the open player.

That sounds simple enough, but it rarely works out that way.

Gerald Everett was out for the first game with Covid, and could be part of the plan this week as the tight end group has become a larger part of the game plan recently.

The Penny we have seen the last two weeks is better than any back Seattle had available the first time these teams played, and offers the home run threat that Seattle has lacked. His performance could change the complexion of this game if he has at least one or two explosive rushes.

Rams Offense vs Seahawks Defense

Rams key advantages on offense

Kupp is a magician on the field, always finding open spots. He is smart and sudden and has great hands. He caught 13 passes in 15 targets on Monday night. It was Woods who destroyed the Seattle secondary last time, but Kupp could be that guy this time.

Seahawks key advantages on defense

Seattle has managed to hold teams down by stopping the run effectively. They held the Rams below their scoring average in the first game, even though they gave up 23 points in the second half. The Rams recent three-game losing streak was largely driven by their offense turning the ball over at least twice in each game. Stafford was a big part of the problem. They have not turned it over the last two weeks and have won both times. Seattle could really use some turnover help in this one.

Special Teams

The Rams have one of the best kickers in the NFL this season, while the Seahawks have one of the worst.

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