The Seattle Seahawks play six of their 16 games against the NFC. We begin a three-part series of quick previews of division rivals with the L.A. Rams.
This is the first in a three-part series. Emerald City Swagger wants to give the 12th man some quick and easy previews of the Seattle Seahawks NFC West Rivals. We start with the Los Angeles Rams. Jamaal Artis of L.A. Sports Hub provided us with his insights on the defending division champions.
Los Angeles Rams
Home Stadium: Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum
2017 Record: 11-5 (4-4 at home, 4-2 vs. NFC West)
2018 Games against Seahawks: September 7 in Seattle; November 11 in Los Angeles.
The Los Angeles Rams made a major leap from year one back in Los Angeles to last year. Coach Sean McVay opened up the playbook and unleashed former first pick overall, quarterback Jared Goff and running back Todd Gurley on offense. As a result, the Rams became the highest scoring offense in the NFL.
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Now favorites to repeat as NFC West champions, the Rams won’t be able to sneak up on the NFL again and that’s fine with them.
The Rams retained receivers Cooper Kupp and Robert Woods while adding some help by acquiring explosive deep threat, Brandin Cooks. Former 2013 first round pick, all-purpose player Tavon Austin was sent to the Dallas Cowboys in the off-season.
Where Los Angeles made significant moves was on the defensive side of the ball. Despite having the NFL Defensive Player of the year in Aaron Donald, the Rams were a middling team on defense when it came against the run. They finished in the bottom five of the league in rushing yards against, average yards-per-carry against, and rushing touchdowns against.
To shore the run defense up, the Rams signed nose tackle Ndamukong Suh to plug the middle. If opposing quarterbacks do manage to avoid Donald they might have trouble finding an open receiver thanks to defensive backs Aqib Talib and Marcus Peters, also newly acquired.
The Rams window for a Super Bowl is open, it starts this season. A fully healthy team should be a force to reckon with.
Los Angeles already had an explosive offense. It’s now combined with an improved defense. If the Seattle Seahawks want to make up the two games they finished behind the Rams last year, they have their work cut out for them.