Battering Down the Rams
Another week, another divisional match in prime-time for the 6-1 Seattle Seahawks. Lining up opposite the Hawks will be the sad-sack St. Louis Rams and their deceivingly average 3-4 record.
Having struggled to develop any semblance of a competent passing game for the better part of this season, the Rams will now have to try and put it all together mid-stream without their starting quarterback – for the rest of the season, actually – and against the most feared and respected secondary in all of football. And to you St. Louis, I send my condolences.
But hey, at least your city has that whole World Series thing going for it, so yeah, there’s that. Good luck, I guess.
The one saving grace, and hallmark of nearly every middle of the pack, not quite terrible but far from good team, for these Rams is their defensive line. As the Jets, Lions, Rams and to a much lesser extent the Oakland Raiders prove to us on an almost annual basis, any team with a respectable defensive front can always hover around average. And it’s up to the Rams unit, anchored by Chris Long and Robert Quinn, to validate that theory this Monday and beyond.
Robert Quinn vs. Michael Bowie
With nearly every injury report I’ve found being remiss of Russell Okung‘s name, we can all rest assured that Russell Wilson‘s blindside will be protected considerably better than it has been in past weeks; Chris Long bearing down on it or otherwise. Gone are the maddening, hair-loss inducing days of everyone’s most beloved ginger, Paul McQuistan (and his abysmal nearly -14 rating on PFF) and back are the ones of Russell Okung. Don’t it feel great?
But my oh my, do I ever digress.
On the opposite side of the line, the Seahawks will still be without Breno Giacomini - which means that rookie seventh-rounder Michael Bowie will be tasked with blocking the Rams sack leader, Robert Quinn. One would have to think that Bowie will be the recipient of several heavy sets, with tight end help on the outside, but I’m not overly concerned should Darrell Bevell be dumb and not do that.
For a seventh-rounder, Bowie’s 0.8 grade on the line this season is actually quite impressive, and instills all kinds of confidence from me in him.
Moar Trench Wars
On the defensive end of things, the Seahawks front seven are going to have quite the task ahead of them. While the Rams ground game struggled to get much, if anything, going for the earlier parts of the season – while they foolishly tried to convince themselves that Daryl Richardson was of starting quality – they’ve found a way to pick things up since moving Zac Stacy into the starting role.
That being said, they are still 29th in the league for rushing, so I’m not overly concerned; Zac Stacy’s 4.1 YPC or not.
Look to Brandon Mebane and the revolving door at 3-tech to shut the door on St.Louis and their ground game. It’s a match-up the Seahawks will surely have the advantage in, as the combined grade of roughly 25.0 for all of the Seahawks defensive tackles will indicate. But that merely covers the interior ground game.
Should they bounce it to the outside, they will find no more favorable a match-up.
Taking it to the strong side of the line, the Rams will then be colliding head on with one of either Red Bryant or Michael Bennett, who much like the rest of the Seahawks line, are putting in work this year.
Us, the Fans vs. Boredom
Putting Kellen Clemens in any of these match-up previews would be an insult to these esteemed pieces and the rest of the players involved. Or something. So hear his impact will be remarked upon instead, without so much as a hint to it in the title.
Where am I going with that? Well, it’s Kellen friggin’ Clemens, and he’s the starting quarterback for the Rams. You combine that with Brian Schottenheimer, and his most vanilla of offense’s at the best of times, and you my dear friends have the recipe for a snooze fest for the ages.
Worst of all, the strength of both defense’s ensures this won’t even be one of those high-scoring, touchdowns losing their allure, type boring games.
Well, there’s always the World Series during the ad breaks… or more often, I guess.