Week 4: Seattle Seahawks At St. Louis Rams
- QuarterbackThe Seahawks were the beneficiaries of the replacement referees’ incompetence in coming away with a Week Three victory over the Green Bay Packers. However, rookie quarterback Russell Wilson did just what he was supposed to do on the big stage in giving his team a chance to win. Wilson has winning characteristics – arm strength, guts, athleticism -- and he is not intimidated by the big stage.The Rams are content to let Sam Bradford take care of business for them. While he does not have the biggest arm, he is an accurate passer who reads defenses well. Getting back home after a tough road game in Chicago should suit him.
- OffenseThe Seahawks have a solid running back in Marshawn Lynch and he’s got the power to run inside and the quickness to get to the outside. While Golden Tate got away with a shove off on the final play against Green Bay and was credited with the game-winning TD catch, Sidney Rice is the Seahawks’ most dangerous receiver.The Rams need to have a healthy Steven Jackson in the lineup if they are going to compete this year. Jackson (groin) had just 11 carries vs. Chicago and his status vs. the Seahawks has not been determined. Danny Amendola may be undersized at 5-11 and 188, but he is their go-to guy.
- DefenseThe Seahawks often have a hard time playing with emotion when they go on the road. They registered eight sacks of Aaron Rodgers at home, but will they be able to muster that same emotion on the road? Defensive end Chris Clemons had 4.0 of those sacks and is capable of dominating in every game.Head coach Jeff Fisher may not make the Rams a competitive team in the NFC West this year, but he knows how to get a defense to play well. The Rams held Jay Cutler and the Bears’ passing game in check. Linebacker James Laurinaitis (11 tackles vs. Chicago) and defensive end Chris Long are both impact players.
- Special TeamsThe Seahawks are not going to make a big play on special teams every game, but they certainly have that capability. Leon Washington is a solid pro returning kickoffs and punts. He has the speed, instincts and experience to take advantage of any lapse by opposing coverage teams.The Rams are pleased with rookie placekicker Greg Zuerlein so far in his rookie season. Not only did he make a 56-yard field goal against the Chicago Bears, he is 8-of-8 on FG attempts this year. Punter Johnny Hekker is averaging 48.8 yards per punt.
The Rams were fairly solid defensively in the loss to the Bears. While the offense was quite dull in that game, Jeff Fisher’s team should get a lift from playing at home. Sam Bradford makes the most out of his tools, but he’ll be more effective if running back Steven Jackson is healthy.