2016 NFL Week 2 Preview: Seahawks vs. Rams
The Seahawks take their talents on the road to challenge the Los Angeles Rams this Sunday. The Rams look to make their home debut in their new Los Angeles stadium, ideally recovering from a 28-0 drubbing by the San Francisco 49ers on Monday Night Football. 49ers starting QB Blaine Gabbert took a laser cannon to the Rams, throwing for 170 yards and a touchdown.
Look. I’m not going to mince words here. The Rams suck. They are an awful team, and I have no idea how Jeff Fisher and Les Snead have managed to begin yet another season at the controls. As a fan of an NFC West team, I am certainly not complaining. I’m just saying. They suck.
With that said, this game is going to be… rough. Yes, the worst team in the division shut out the Rams. Yes, the Seahawks are better than the worst team in the division in pretty much every single way. Yes, the Seahawks should absolutely blow the Rams out, home opener be damned. But they won’t. The Rams play the Seahawks tough every time the teams meet. Seattle is 1-3 against the Rams over the last two seasons; the sole win a home game in 2014.
Can the Seahawks buck recent history and start the season off 2-0? Absolutely, but the deck is not stacked in their favor. Russell Wilson is still on the mend, following his ankle injury sustained during Sunday’s win. What compounds this problem is the offensive line being a major concern against the Rams pass rush. Aaron Donald and Robert Quinn are very talented when it comes to disrupting offensive line play, and they alone could stifle enough offensive possessions to make this game a nightmare.
On the positive side, the Seahawks defense against the Rams offense could be just as stifling. Earl Thomas should rebound from his ghastly performance last Sunday, and that alone is a game changer. The Rams do feature sophomore running back and athletic phenom Todd Gurley, but I feel compelled to give the edge to Seattle, as they held the Dolphins to just 64 yards rushing and bring back most of the pieces that made them the top rushing defense last season. The Rams also have Tavon Austin, who is a talented young receiver but has a less than desirable presence at quarterback (Case Keenum). Keenum and the Rams’ offensive line should be quite concerned with the Seahawks pass rush, provided they bring the same intensity they brought against the Dolphins. Thomas Rawls and Jimmy Graham emerged from week one unscathed, and both should look to be greater presences for week two. Either way, if you know a Seahawks fan, buy them a shot (I prefer Knob Creek) this Sunday. They will certainly need it.
Prediction: Whoever is the most impactful on defense and special teams will win. (Hopefully Cassius Marsh can build on his impressive week one performance.