The St. Louis Rams face their first divisional opponent of the 2012 season this Sunday when the Seattle Seahawks visit the Edward Jones Dome. Even though there is a twinge of disappointment given how last week went for the Rams, there is still plenty to be excited about looking forward. Here are some things to watch for when these two hook up for the first of two meetings this season.
This game will feature a high number of first year players in prominent roles as the Seahawks obviously boast starting quarterback Russell Wilson, but they also have first round pass rusher Bruce Irvin to harass opposing quarterbacks. The Rams have cornerback Janoris Jenkins entrenched as a starter and first round pick Michael Brockers is expected to make his on-field debut at defensive tackle this week. The youth movement has officially begun in the NFC West and these two clubs are at the forefront of it.
Seattle actually has the league’s top points allowed average at a mere 13.0 PPG. The Rams aren’t as statistically impressive as their opponents, but they have been good at utilizing a bend but don’t break mentality. This has allowed St. Louis to stay in the game until the closing moments if their offense actually decides to show up.
After watching the Seahawks’ pass rushers get off against the Green Bay Packers’ offensive line on Monday night, quarterback Sam Bradford had to be a bit worried about this game. The Rams’ patchwork offensive line has been steadily on the decline this season as evidenced by their six sacks allowed this past week versus the Chicago Bears. The Seahawks tallied eight sacks and 12 QB hits against the Pack and those numbers could be even worse against the makeshift unit forced to try and protect Bradford on Sunday.
There are several reasons to be concerned about the first divisional game of the year as a Rams fan heading into this week 4 showdown. Getting the running game going will help to back off the Seahawks pass rush and get the offensive line settled in. If the Rams are unable to establish the run and are forced to play from behind, it could be a long afternoon for Bradford and the St. Louis offense.
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