Seattle @ St. Louis
To think, just last year these two were playing for the NFC West Championship in Week 17 to see which one would be the worst playoff team in league history. Now, they quite well could be playing for the distinction of which team is the worst team in the NFC West; what a long fall for these two teams. Actually, I take that back… going from 7-9 to where ever the elevator ride to hell is going isn’t a very long fall at all. Needless to say, both these teams need a lot of help to be back in contention next year.
For what it’s worth, the Seahawks actually have shown signs of life the last couple of weeks, putting together a very good running attack, something they’ve lacked since right before they gave Shaun Alexander his big payday back in 2006 (the Titans should have been paying attention to that result when dealing with Chris Johnson). Marshawn Lynch has gained over 130 total yards in three of the last four games and has scored in five straight games; and it wasn’t like he was playing terrible teams either while on that scoring streak, getting a TD and/or good yardage against the Ravens, Cowboys, Bengals, Giants, and Falcons. Now he draws one of the worst defenses in the league, which if Seattle sticks to their recent run-first mentality, should be able to take full advantage of.
The Rams on the other hand, haven’t shown a lot of life on offense and Sam Bradford continues to look like he’s regressed badly since his promising rookie year. In fact, Bradford has only thrown an anemic four touchdowns in the seven games he’s played this year; by contrast, Aaron Rodgers has thrown four touchdowns in a single game in three games this year already
. Not to say Bradford can’t rebound; he has two games against the Seahawks, and one more against the Cardinals… but then again, he does face the 49ers twice, plus the Bengals and Steelers, so maybe the pain continues the rest of the year. But if Bradford is to have one moment of clarity, it probably will come at the expense of a Seahawks secondary that has been decimated by injuries and wasn’t very good to begin with.
If the Rams are to have any chance in this game, they will have to get Steven Jackson going in this game, as they’ve been competitive in the past three weeks due in no small part to the hard running of Jackson, who’s just about put the offense on his back to keep them in games. Bradford will also have to get the ball to Brandon Lloyd early and often to back the defense off from going with eight man fronts.
For the Seahawks, they’ll probably take a similar approach by letting Lynch run as much as possible, while letting Tavaris Jackson make a few plays here and there. The Seahawks have the sign of a team who’s arrow is pointing up, so this would be a good week to start your more reliable Seahawks and expect better than average stats.
RB Steven Jackson, WR Brandon Lloyd, QB Tavaris Jackson, RB Marshawn Lynch, WR Sidney Rice (if he plays)
Middle of the Road:
QB Sam Bradford, WR Doug Baldwin (if he plays)
WR Brandon Gibson, WR Austin Pettis, WR Mike Williams, TE Zach Miller