When the St. Louis Rams travel to the northwest corner of the United States this Sunday to face their division rivals in the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday there will be plenty on the line. Despite being eliminated from playoff contention, the Rams have aspirations of finishing over .500 for the first time in a decade in 2012. The Seahawks, on the other hand, have visions of making a deep playoff run and possibly still becoming NFC West champions with a loss by the San Francisco 49ers.
Obviously neither team will lack for motivation in this contest, but just what will it take to get the win on Sunday? Here are three keys for the Rams if they want to end their decade-long stretch of ineptitude in Seattle.
ALL HANDS ON DECK
Rookie quarterback Russell Wilson has been outstanding for the Seahawks this season, but that has been in large part due to the success running the ball by Marshawn Lynch. If the Rams want to have a chance in this one, they must make Seattle one-dimensional and force Wilson to beat them through the air. When the Rams fierce pass rushers Robert Quinn and Chris Long can pin their ears back and come after Wilson, the odds certainly shift in their favor.
GET S-JAX GOING
What was most noticeable last week when the 49ers were drubbed by the Seahawks in Seattle was the abandonment of the running game and Frank Gore. For the Rams to have a puncher’s chance, Steven Jackson has to get plenty of touches in this one. The back needs just 10 yards to eclipse the 1,000-yard mark for the eighth consecutive season and the Rams are going to need plenty more after that 10 yards if they want to get the win.
Some teams might find it tough to play out the final week with maximum effort given the fact that there is no next game on the schedule, but for these young Rams looking to finish above .500 for the first time a decade that should be no problem. The motivation is clearly there for both of these sides in this game, but the Rams just need to find a way to want it more than their opposition. Both of these teams are young and will battle for years to come in the NFC West so there is that additional incentive to try and one-up a team that you will be battling with for many years into the future.
This contest will be like a playoff game for the Rams as they have nothing on the schedule next week, but it would be nice to carry the momentum of a win into the offseason. Look for a tight battle in this one with some late-game drama possible as the Rams try to end the year on a high note.
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