Week 15 Tale Of The Tape: Los Angeles Rams At Seattle Seahawk
- QuarterbackThe Rams may have lost their Week 14 encounter with the Eagles, but they played one of the most entertaining games of the year and demonstrated that they deserve to be considered with the best teams in the league. Second-year quarterback Jared Goff has thrown for 249.4 yards per game while compiling a 22-6 TD-interception ratio.The Seahawks have had a myriad of problems this year, including the loss of a young running back in Chris Carson and the depletion of their once-dominant defense, but the reason they are still fighting for a playoff spot is the play of Russell Wilson. Athletic and tough, Wilson plays his best football when the game is on the line and he has thrown 29 TD passes this year.
- OffenseRunning back Todd Gurley has been sensational this season, running for 1,035 yards and 10 touchdowns and catching 51 passes for 602 yards with three TDs. Rookie Cooper Kupp has taken on a key role in the passing game, as he excels at getting open and making tough catches. Kupp leads the team with 56-783-4. Sammy Watkins is explosive and could be huge down the stretch.The Seahawks have not had much of a running game this year, and that has increased the pressure on Wilson and his receivers. Doug Baldwin is an outstanding pass catcher who can take over at any time because of his skill, hands, toughness and desire. Paul Richardson has turned into one of the best complementary receivers, while tight end Jimmy Graham continues to be a playmaker.
- DefenseThe Rams have plenty of speed and quickness on defense and defensive coordinator Wade Phillips’ charges play with intelligence and passion. However, the Rams lack size and strength, and this has an impact from time to time and explains why they rank 18th in yards allowed. Defensive end Aaron Donald is one of the quickest at his position and he has 8.0 sacks.The Seahawks have suffered serious losses on defense throughout the year, and that unit took two more big hits in their Week 14 defeat at Jacksonville when linebackers Bobby Wagner (hamstring) and K.J. Wright (concussion) both went down. Wagner may be the best defensive player in the NFL, and the Seahawks suffered badly once he went out of the game.
- Special TeamsThe Rams excel in all areas of special teams, and that unit came through with a key punt block for a TD against Philadelphia. Pharoh Cooper and Tavon Austin are both explosive return specialists, while the PK-P combination of Greg Zuerlein and Johnny Hekker is the best in the league.The Seahawks used to have the most aggressive and dominant coverage teams in the league, but they have regressed in that area. While explosive Tyler Lockett is fast and dangerous, PK Blair Walsh can be shaky when the game is on the line.
The Seahawks are still tough and they are clearly more seasoned. However, the Jaguars are improving and they have the homefield edge. This could be a tight game that comes down to the last possession.