Hey, it’s the Los Angeles Rams again!
Thursday’s game against the Rams at Lumen Field is the fourth game between the two since last Nov. 15 – a span of 14 games overall. That includes two regular-season games last year as well as the wild card playoff, a 30-20 Los Angeles victory that helped lead to Russell Wilson’s offseason of discontent and some major offensive coaching staff changes.
The Rams have changed somewhat, too, with defensive coordinator Brandon Staley now the head coach of the Chargers, replaced by Raheem Morris.
But in general, as Seahawks defensive coordinator Ken Norton Jr. said this week, “there isn’t a whole lot we haven’t seen” from each other.
And what is that they say about familiarity breeding contempt?
On with our keys to the team.
Matchup to watch
DK Metcalf vs. Jalen Ramsey.
This will be the fifth matchup, including playoffs, of one of the best cornerbacks in the game and one of the best young receivers. The numbers, though, show that so far, Ramsey has usually gotten the upper hand when defending Metcalf. Metcalf was called for a penalty for shoving Ramsey in a 2019 game Seattle lost 28-12. Last year, Metcalf had four receptions on eight targets for just 44 yards when matched up directly against Ramsey, according to Pro Football Focus, held to eight for 87 by the Rams overall in the two regular season games (he had a 51-yard TD in the playoff game on a scramble play for the only Seattle highlight).
Coaching decision to watch
Blitzing Jamal Adams
This was our coaching decision to watch last week and it is again, not only because everything involving Adams is worth paying close attention but also because Seattle may have to get more creative this week to get a pass rush on Matthew Stafford, who has been sacked just three times all season, an NFL low. Adams does not have a sack this year, in part because Seattle is using him far less as a rusher – he has blitzed just 13 times this year (and just two last week) in four games compared to 98 in 12 games last year. Adams had one of his best pass coverage games allowing one reception on six targets for eight yards playing more in coverage as the Seahawks used a dime, or six-defensive backs, package often in the game – 26 of 76 snaps. Seattle may use the dime package and Ryan Neal again. But this feels like a game the Seahawks may also want to unleash Adams a little more.
The Final Word
Seahawks 24, Rams 20
Seattle has been held to 20 or fewer points by the Rams in the last four games, only one of which the Seahawks have won. But LA is suddenly anything but Ram tough on defense and Seattle again feels good about itself after the win over the 49ers Sunday. And then there’s that gaudy prime time record to protect – 33-8-1 under Pete Carroll. Seattle will shine bright under the lights again.
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