By Dave Thomas
If you’re the Seattle Seahawks, the main goals over the next two weeks of regular season action are to keep the momentum going and avoid any key injuries.
Winners of five straight games, Seattle (9-5) hosts St. Louis in its home finale this Sunday, then heads to NFC West champion Arizona on Jan. 3 to conclude the regular season. With several key players having suffered injuries in recent weeks, the Seahawks want to do their best to avoid any other major losses as they look to defend their back-to-back NFC titles.READ MORE: Stimulus Check Latest: Who Is Getting A Plus-Up Payment?
After struggling to a 4-5 record after nine weeks, the Seahawks look to keep the great play going, while the Rams are playing out the string of games, possibly relocating to Los Angeles for the 2016 campaign and beyond.
Seahawks Have Eyes On Big Prize
For Seattle, even though head coach Pete Carroll undoubtedly has the team focused on finishing strong these last two Sundays and staying healthy at the same time, the big prize is what awaits after a few playoff victories in January. With Super Bowl 50 set for Sunday, Feb. 7 in Santa Clara, Calif., Carroll and Co. know that it will take a balanced effort on offense and a continued tenacious defense to get the Seahawks back to their third straight Super Bowl appearance.
While the Seahawks have been on a tear the last five games, it only takes one bad performance in the post-season to send a team home for the remainder of the season, so expect Seattle to ratchet up its intensity once the second weekend of January (Jan. 9-10) rolls around and the playoffs kick off.
Before Seattle can get to that point in the postseason, both the Rams and Cardinals await these next two Sundays.
Coming to the Pacific Northwest this weekend, the Rams should certainly provide more of a challenge than both Baltimore (Seattle won 35-6) and Cleveland (Seattle won 30-13) these last two weeks.
St. Louis, which topped the Seahawks in overtime to open the season (34-31), has been up and down for much of the season.READ MORE: Stimulus Check Update: Will You Get A Fourth Relief Payment?
After starting the season with the win over the Seahawks, the Rams proceeded to go 3-3 over their next six games. Following that stretch of games, St. Louis would go 0-5 before posting back-to-back wins over Detroit and Tampa Bay.
For head coach Jeff Fisher, the seat has gotten hotter and hotter this year with the Rams set to miss the playoffs once again. If the Rams move to Los Angeles to start the 2016 season, there is a good chance Fisher won’t be walking the sidelines as the head coach.
For now, however, it is another NFC West matchup in Seattle this weekend for both teams.
When it comes to the Seahawks, they enter the contest with some injury questions.
According to Carroll, top wide receiver Doug Baldwin (hamstring) is a question mark to play against St. Louis, while starting safety Kam Chancellor could also be a game-time decision with a pelvis injury.
Cliff Avril, DE (non-injury related)
Jermaine Kearse, WR calf)
Jeremy Lane, C (knee)
DeShawn Shead, SS (ankle)
Doug Baldwin, WR (hamstring)
Michael Bennett, DE (toe)
Kam Chancellor, SS (pelvis)
Jordan Hill, DT (toe)
Anthony McCoy, TE (kinee/ankle)
Russell Okung, T (calf)
Marshawn Lynch, RB (recovering from abdominal surgery)
Dave Thomas has been covering the sports world since his first job as a sports editor for a weekly newspaper in Pennsylvania back in 1989. He has covered a Super Bowl, college bowl games, MLB, NBA and more. His work can be found on Examiner.com.