The Key: Protecting the Football
The Answer: Despite grabbing an early 3-0 lead with a 33-yard field goal by
By contrast, despite being held to just 135 yards off offense, which include an 80-yard touchdown strike to Golden Tate in the third quarter, Seattle did not commit a turnover. Head Coach Jeff Fisher addressed the turnover disparity and its impact at his Tuesday news conference.
“We were minus two in takeaways, and that was the difference in the game, the two turnovers.” Fisher said. During that little stretch where we were plus seven, we were winning ballgames, but we turned it over a couple of times and didn’t get any.”
The Key: Rams’ Run Defense vs. Marshawn Lynch:
Seattle employs perhaps the most run-heavy offensive attack the Rams will see this year, led by RB Marshawn Lynch. Entering this week, Lynch ranks second among all NFL backs with 578 yards on the ground. He has also rushed for six touchdowns, which ranks second in the league.
The Rams have faced their share of talented backs through seven weeks, including San Francisco’s Frank Gore and Houston’s Arian Foster. While those backs gained success at times against the Rams’ defensive front, Lynch may be the best back of the lot. In two games against the Rams last season, Lynch carried 38 times for 218 yards and a touchdown.
“He’s the toughest guy to tackle in the NFL,” LB
The Answer: Facing one of their stiffest challenges of the season, the Rams came up with their best performance against the run on the season against the Lynch, who was held to 23 yards rushing on eight carries, his lowest rushing total since 2011. The Seahawks finished with 36 yards rushing as a team, marking the second time this year that the Rams held their opponents to fewer than 50 yards on the ground.
The Key: Starting Quickly
Through the season’s first seven games, few factors have been more indicative of the game’s outcome than the halftime score. When the Rams begin the second half either tied or in the lead, the Rams are 3-0. Meanwhile, the Rams have trailed entering the second half in each of their four losses.
Getting off to a quick start offensively could prove to be a significant challenge this week, as Seattle boasts the league’s third-ranked scoring defense and has allowed just five first-half touchdowns through seven games.
The Answer: Despite outgaining Seattle 75 yards to -1 during the first quarter, early turnovers stunted a pair of promising first-half drives. The Seahawks’ only scoring drive of the first half came after an interception provided them with a short field, though it was enough to give Seattle a 7-3 halftime lead. RB