The Seahawks offense will be tested early and often against the LA Rams tomorrow. How will the running game fare against Aaron Donald and company?
I’ve been writing many scary words about Rams defensive end Aaron Donald this week with much trepidation. The Seahawks haven’t matched up particularly well with the Rams since Donald entered the league, and it’s easy to see why: a generational talent against an inconsistent offensive line.
How the line holds up and whether it can minimize the damage caused by Donald and fellow defensive linemen Michael Brockers and Robert Quinn (directed by defensive wizard Wade Philips), will greatly affect the outcome of this game. Russell Wilson‘s mobility will also be key, as it was last week against the Colts.
But what about the running game? If you play fantasy football, you probably already know to avoid the Seahawks backfield at least for one game if you can (bye weeks can be brutal) after the injury to Chris Carson (who I picked up in my PPR league to help replace top overall pick David Johnson–sigh) throwing Seattle into a running-back-by-committee situation.
Thomas Rawls will presumably return from the wilderness after sitting out the Colts game and handle at least some of the carries for Pete Carroll and Darrell Bevell, but I’d guess Eddie Lacy will get first crack at becoming the Seahawks every-down back against the Rams.
While using two running backs (glass-tendoned C.J. Prosise is out yet again) makes sense from a strictly tactical perspective, my guess is that one back or the other becomes the three-down back Seattle has been looking for since Marshawn Lynch retired.
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Either back getting into a rhythm against the Rams will be difficult, but not impossible. Bevell showed he was willing to try and pound the rock against Indianapolis even when the game was still in doubt last week, if for no other reason than to establish his precious play-action. Seriously, how much fun do you think Bevell has calling rollouts and bootlegs for Wilson all day? It must be his favorite thing.
Expect to see Bevell and the Seahawks offensive line try to neutralize the profoundly disruptive power of Donald with the running game. As for who gets the most carries for the Seahawks–Lacy or Rawls–your guess is as good as mine. There will be plays when Rawls and/or Lacy will have to make Rams’ defenders miss, and those plays will likely go a long way to deciding this game, even if the offensive line takes another step forward.
Tomorrow’s kickoff in Los Angeles will be at 1:05 pm on CBS (NOT FOX).