3 Things for the Seahawks to win
1. Stay ahead in the down & distance. The Rams’ can dominant games with a four-man pass rush. Limit the amount of obvious passing downs and feed Marshawn Lynch.
2. Win the special teams battle. Last season, field position, a fake punt, return yardage all loomed big in the Rams upset of the Seahawks last season. Armed with a Tyler Lockett and a full understanding of Jeff Fischer’s penchant for gambling there should be no surprises.
3. Russell Wilson must be Russell Wilson. Meaning, great decision maker, extend plays, bail your offensive line out a few times and protect the football. It will be interesting to see how the Seahawks’ new look offensive line performs in a difficult matchup and of course their collective performance will impact Wilson. However, Wilson must demonstrate mastery of the offense and mitigate protection issues by getting the offense into the right play.
3 Things for the Rams to win
1. Execute flawlessly. So you must avoid penalties, dropped passes, blown assignments and turnovers at all costs. It will be too much to overcome against the defending NFC Champs.
2. Nick Foles will have to get rid of the ball quickly. Considering the Rams’ offensive line woes there will be no time for five and seven step drops. Foles isn’t going to be able to pat the ball and slowly work his way through his progressions. The ball has to come out accurately and in a hurry. Foles will have to be nearly flawless considering that Benny Cunningham will likely be the Rams’ starting running back in this contest.
3. Make it a fist fight. The Rams know that they can complete with Seattle. I fully expect this to be a slugfest of physicality and the Rams’ defensive front seven has an advantage over Seattle’s new look offensive line. Exploit that mismatch and take the fight to the Seahawks.
What to watch for…
St. Louis Rams’ defensive tackle Aaron Donald. Last season’s Defensive Rookie of the Year is as polished a young interior pass rusher there is. He plays with leverage, great hands, agility, strength and a relentless motor and what’s more is that he is surrounded by talent along that defensive line so it’s difficult to game plan for him. Enjoy as Donald ascends to stardom in his second professional season.
The Front Office Says…
The Seattle Seahawks win.