NFL 2019 (Week 14): Seattle Seahawks at Los Angeles Rams

Russell S. Baxter

NFL 2019 (Week 14): Seattle Seahawks at Los Angeles Rams

By Jesse Pierson

Special to Pro Football Guru

Last Monday, the Los Angeles Rams had to swallow their pride and root for the Seattle Seahawks to win against the Minnesota Vikings. It worked, and the Seahawks’ victory allowed the Rams to gain a game in the playoff standings against the Vikings. The win also vaulted Seattle ahead of San Francisco atop the NFC West and into the second seed behind New Orleans. Incidentally, the 49ers and Saints play each other earlier in the day, but these two teams have enough on their plate in dealing with each other. A Seattle win would keep them in the lead for the West division crown, regardless of San Francisco’s result. A Los Angeles win would keep their playoff hopes alive for another week, nipping at Minnesota’s heels and even keeping them in the hunt for the division.

Seahawks: Seattle’s last loss was October 20 against Baltimore, who is the only team hotter than the Seahawks at the moment. In fact, their only two losses this year were to Baltimore and New Orleans, who are the top seeds in current playoff standings. To put it differently: Seattle can stake its claim as one of the three best teams in the league if it continues its winning ways. The aforementioned 49ers-Saints game has major implications for Seattle to boot. A New Orleans win keeps them in the driver’s seat with three games to play, but a San Francisco victory makes the Seahawks the top dog. All of that is moot if Pete Carroll’s team doesn’t win this game, of course. To do so, they will need to stifle Todd Gurley and force Jared Goff into uncomfortable situations. Keeping Aaron Donald off of Russell Wilson is a good idea, too. Wilson and the offense may need to carry the load, since Jadeveon Clowney and Ziggy Ansah are questionable, Mychal Kendricks is unlikely to play and Neiko Thorpe is out. Despite the struggles of Goff, the Rams’ offense can still put up big numbers if given the opportunity. Ball control and time of possession will be huge in L.A. on Sunday night.

Rams: Los Angeles finally had the offensive explosion they’ve been waiting on last week in Arizona. The Rams racked up over 500 yards of total offense, did not commit any turnovers, and held the ball for almost 10 minutes longer than the Cardinals. Goff and Gurley looked more like their 2017 and 2018 selves than what we’ve seen most of this year, and the defense had six players register at least a half-sack against Kyler Murray. With that being said, Arizona is 3-8-1 for a reason, and they are hardly comparable to Seattle. To keep their momentum going, this offensive resurgence must continue. Helping their chances is the surprisingly poor Seahawks defense. Seattle ranks in the bottom ten in total yards, pass yards, and scoring. They are stout against the run, but if Goff can avoid throwing interceptions, his plethora of talented receivers could come through in a big way. Look for Sean McVay to scheme up ways to prey upon Clowney and Ansah, or at the very least make them play through pain and discomfort.

Prediction: The Rams start out on fire, but Wilson comes alive in the second half to squeak out a last-second road win.

Seattle Seahawks 31, Los Angeles Rams 30

Jesse Pierson (@jessetpierson) is a former teacher and high school football coach who has written about the Colts for over a decade. He loves football, dogs, food, and comedy, and you can follow his work on his Facebook page, Jesse Pierson, Mediocre Writer.

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