BLUE FRIDAY MATCH UP FOCUS, Game Previews

Blue Friday Matchup Focus: The St Louis Rams, and the Quest for the Tasty Rainbow.

Marshawn Lynch on one of his many Skittles Quests!

A Seahawks Monday Night Football is upon us, and it’s a great matchup for a team who still has a chance, albeit a very small one, to sneak into the playoffs. The Rams on the other hand…um, well the only “playoff” they can compete for is the one for the worst record in the league, and right now they are losing that match up to the Colts.

I’ve stated several times before how much I still hate the Rams despite the fact that the Seahawks have completely dominated them lately (12 of the last 13, and 6 straight in Seattle). I still can’t get Tory Holt and Marshall Faulk’s irritating and disrespectful comments out of my head from early on in the Holmgren era. I never will.

So sit back, relax, and enjoy in-game broadcast NFC West bashing, a little Seahawks bashing, and hopefully a ton of skittles to shove down their throat!

Key injuries

Seahawks
IR: LT Russell Okung, RG John Moffitt, RT James Carpenter, WR Sidney Rice
Rams
15 members on IR, QB Sam Bradford will try to play with severely sprained ankle, and DT Robins may miss game with back injury.

Key matchups to watch when the Seahawks have the ball:

DE Chris Long and DE James Hall vs LT Paul McQuiston and RT Breno Giacomini: This is the only matchup that scares me. This is a huge mismatch, and it may just be the one that keeps the heavily overmatched Rams in the game. TE Zach Miller has done a great job in the blocking game all year, and his services will be needed again. I’m predicting the Seahawks go to their heavy (2TE) sets for the majority of the game if the Rams ends can create pressure. If, and that’s a big IF,  Paul McQuiston and Breno Giacomini can hold up, we should roll easily in this one.

The Seahawks running game vs The Rams rush defense: The Seahawks have been on a tear posting 5 straight 100 yard efforts, and will need that kind of effort in order to crush any hopes of a struggling Rams team. The fact that the Rams have the worst run defense in the league should mean that Beastmode will be in full effect on national TV, but not so fast.  How the Seahawks handle the transition from Russell Okung at left tackle to Paul McQuiston, and Lemuel Jeanpierre starting his first game at the RG position will be key to a victory tonight.  Offensive line coach Tom Cable has done a great job of molding our line, but I’m not sure how rabbits are left in that hat of his. That said, I really can’t think of a better opponent to get some important training snaps against, than this current Rams defense.

Prediction: The extra time between games has given Tom Cable enough time to prepare the new line.  The running game will be the number one offensive weapon to protect Tarvaris from the Rams Defensive ends. Look for 15-20 passes again from Tarvaris Jackson. The 100 yard streak continues… Get your Skittles ready!!

Key matchup to watch when the Rams have the ball
CB Richard Sherman vs Wr Brandon Lloyd

“Wr Brandon Lloyd has been a huge addition to the Rams offense. Since the trade he is the Rams # 1 option in the passing game and has surpassed all Rams receivers in targeted passes.”

I wrote that a couple of weeks ago and it remains true today. WR Brandon Lloyd is the Rams only passing target that demands extra attention. This will be another opportunity for the CB Richard Sherman, and CB Brandon Browner to show improvement. During the last meeting, Brandon Lloyd was held to 5 catches (67 yds, 1 TD) on 14 targeted passes. For the most part,  Seahawks did a good job of keeping him quiet, and I anticipate the same for tonight.

* NOTE: There is still a huge question mark on the Rams QB situation for tonight. Sam Bradford is going to be a game time decision but If he can’t go look for the Rams to insert QB Kellen Clemens, freshly signed to the Rams after being cut from the Houston Texans. Sam Bradford has been awful this year, so the drop off might not be dramatic .

Final Matchup Thoughts:

Look for a ton of three and outs early from both teams. The Seahawks should focus on getting some push and continuity from their offensive line and this might mean the special teams, particularly Jon Ryan and the punt coverage units will get a lot of early snaps. In my opinion, this will be temporary. Barring unforeseen issues, the Seahawks will pound the Rams with time of possession, and a brutal running attack until the seas begin to part and the game is put out of reach.

Caution: This game feels like the Cleveland game to me. A very winnable game, against a struggling team. The only huge difference is the Rams do not play defense like the Browns do, and Charlie Whitehurst isn’t starting. I say we atone for the failure in Cleveland.

Prediction: Seahawks 24– Rams 13 (Predicted MVP: The Seahawks offensive line)

Silver lining: The media will be forced to talk about a Seattle win, because the alternative, is well….. The Rams.

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About Will

Football fanatic, former coach, and obsessive blogger. Proud member of the Seahawks 12thManNation. Follow him on twitter @12thManScribe

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