I hate the fuckin’ Rams like The Dude hates the fuckin’ Eagles. Just this bitter, resigned exasperation, like, “Really? We’re doing this shit again?”
I hate the Rams and I really shouldn’t, is what I’m getting at. The Rams have been mediocre-to-terrible for over a decade now, with no end in sight if I’m being honest. And yet, they’ve beaten the Seahawks an alarming number of times, dating back to the Holmgren years.
Hell, they haven’t won more than 8 games in the regular season since 2003!
But, I’ll be God damned if they don’t have our number, and it starts right up there at their defensive line. Like that idiot owner in fantasy who loads up at one position, to the detriment of the rest of his team, the Rams have stockpiled a ridiculous number of elite defensive linemen, while neglecting things like – oh, I dunno – quarterback, wide receiver, offensive line, linebackers, the secondary, tight end … pretty much anything that isn’t the defensive line or Todd Gurley.
If this were the 1930s, I’m sure the Rams would be the cock of the walk, and I’m sure Jeff Fisher would seem like a genius. But, this is now, the Rams are fucking terrible, and Jeff Fisher can only seem to beat Pete Carroll, which is a neat parlor trick to show off to your friends, but it isn’t going to keep you gainfully employed.
(as a quick aside, I’ve been laboring under the impression that they’d already given Fisher an extension beyond this season, but apparently all those reports were of a deal being “imminent”. Which I assume means, “just as soon as he beats the Seahawks”. I’m still sticking to my guns that this is going to be his final year there, extension or no extension, because come on)
And so here we are, another year older, another couple of Rams games on the schedule. The first one is this weekend, and it’s the first regular season game back in Los Angeles since whenever they moved away last. There will be 90,000 die hards in attendance, of which I want to say half will be corporate or celebrity, which is another way of saying it’ll have a Super Bowl atmosphere without the stakes. I’m sure it’ll be loud in the early going, but once we get into this thing, I can’t imagine the crowd is going to have that much of an impact.
Key to this game will, of course, be Russell Wilson and how well he’s able to move in and around the pocket. Last Sunday, after the Suh hit, it didn’t look like he could take more than a couple steps. I would assume he’ll be better today, but I think it’s a longshot that we’ll see him as an active runner on read-option plays. My hope is, if he can handle it, to tuck and run with the ball early, to at least show the defense he’s okay (even if he’s not totally 100%). That should mitigate things a bit, and hopefully open things up for the running backs.
Thomas Rawls will return to his starting role, which I think is appropriate, and not just because I have him on my fantasy team. He’s the more complete back, and he should be getting the bulk of the carries. I still like Christine Michael, but I think I like him more as a change of pace back. Pick your spots and let him do his thing. But, I still don’t know if I trust him to hold down the starter’s job full time.
The offensive line is what everyone will be focused on, of course. They’re going up against a D-Line even better than an already-good one in Miami. On the plus side, they’ve had an extra week to work with J’Marcus Webb at right guard, so hopefully they’ll be able to gel a little bit, and we won’t see so many breakdowns from the right side of the line.
Still, this is a game you just have to grit your teeth and hope for the best. The Seahawks most certainly won’t be able to move the ball all that well. Even in the second half of last year, when Russell Wilson was putting up God-like numbers, we laid an egg at home to the Rams in Week 16. If that’s the case, there’s no good reason for us to expect the Seahawks’ offense to produce this time around.
The defense, as always, will have to run the show. Take a look at what the 49ers did on Monday Night, and do that. Do exactly that. I want constant pressure on their quarterback, I want Gurley’s ass to be dumped in the backfield on the reg, and I want their receivers stuffed short of the line to gain. No more breakdowns, no more tight ends running free down the field, no more missed tackles, and so help me God, you BETTER force some turnovers! I’m not kidding! If the Rams are going to throw our offense around like a ragdoll, I want our defense to be twice as vicious!
And, for the love of all that is holy, stop falling for their special teams tricks! Is it too much to ask to fucking FOCUS on the shit that keeps repeatedly beating us?
As for a prediction, I don’t even know how to start. I know what this game SHOULD look like: it should be a bloodbath where the Seahawks win 27-7, and the Rams only get that TD late in the 4th quarter after we’ve inserted our subs. What WILL it look like? Oh, probably more of the same horseshit. If I’m feeling optimistic, maybe something like a 16-13 Seahawks victory. If I’m feeling realistic, probably a 24-18 Rams drubbing.
This game has Huge Embarrassing Failure written all over it. Once again, we’ll be pointing to games like this as the reason why the Seahawks failed to get the seeding they wanted in the playoffs. I almost don’t even want to watch this catastrophe.