The Los Angeles Rams were so bad in Week 1, they allowed the San Francisco 49ers to finish atop the league in point differential. That’s an honor that surely will not stick, but it’s still worth pointing out as the Rams enter their second straight NFC West match, and against a much tougher opponent in the Seattle Seahawks.
Sunday’s home opener for the Rams will be a big occasion for a number of reasons. It will be their first regular season game in Los Angeles since the move the back from St. Louis. What will the Rams look like in Los Angeles? Will the crowd at LA Coliseum be a factor — and in the Rams’ favor?
Pete Carroll, who coached in the Coliseum for years while at USC, said he was looking forward to returning to the stadium. Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman even told the LA Times that his head coach "will probably get a louder reception" than the Rams.
But what happens on the field is more important if Jeff Fisher is going to meet the 7-9 record he requires to continue working in the NFL.
The Seahawks managed to beat the Miami Dolphins and escape an early trap game with a 12-10 win. Offensively, they were far from mistake-free and defensively, they failed to create the needed big plays.
Seattle trailed until Russell Wilson hit Doug Baldwin for a 2-yard touchdown pass in the final minute of the game. That final drive went 75 yards in 14 plays and chewed up 3:37 of clock.
Although Wilson led the team back for the win, his play suffered for the most part after he sprained his ankle in the third quarter. The Marshawn Lynch-less Seahawks asked Wilson to throw the football a total of 43 times, and he completed 27 of them for 258 yards with a touchdown and an interception. He also rushed for 16 yards on four carries.
More concerning than the interception is the fact that the Seahawks let Wilson get sacked three times for a loss of 18 yards. Bolstering the offensive line was a stated goal of the Seahawks this offseason and the jury is still out on whether they have actually done that. On paper, they will face a stiff test in the Rams, who boast one of the more talented defensive lines in the league, led by Aaron Donald.
But that line didn’t do much harm to Blaine Gabbert on Monday, and Donald was ejected late in the game for making contact with an official. Gabbert can move, as evidenced by his 43 rushing yards in Week 1, but he’s nowhere near the elusiveness of Wilson and he doesn’t have the ability to get rid of the ball nearly as well.
Even if Wilson isn’t 100 percent, he’s still a difficult guy to stop, as he proved in the game-winning drive against Miami. So it could be a long day for the Rams’ defense, which let the 49ers score 28 points and looked frustrated and exhausted by the fourth quarter. What they’ll need more than any one thing is simple: Case Keenum to sustain a drive to give them a rest or two.
That might be asking too much, if Week 1 is any indication.
Sunday’s game between the Seahawks and Rams will be among the afternoon games, beginning at 4:05 p.m. ET. The game will be broadcast on FOX, with the team of Joe Buck and Troy Aikman on commentary. Live streams can be found at Sunday Ticket and at Fox Sports GO, though the latter will require credentials from a television or satellite provider.
How to Watch Seahawks vs. Rams on Sunday
Time: 4:05 p.m. ET
Location: Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, Los Angeles, Calif.
Announcers: Joe Buck, Troy Aikman, Erin Andrews