Los Angeles Rams X-Factors To Watch Against The Seahawks

Los Angeles Rams' NFL free-agent signings 2021: Leonard Floyd returns on a four-year deal

Los Angeles Rams X-Factors To Watch Against The Seahawks

The Los Angeles Rams are headed to hostile territory at Lumen Field to face the Seattle Seahawks. The Rams are coming off an ugly loss to the NFC West rival Arizona Cardinals. Meanwhile, the Seahawks are coming off a big road win against the San Francisco 49ers. Both teams will now face another tough test with each other on a short week. The Rams need this to be a “get right” game in order to avoid going 0-2 in division play. Let’s discuss the x-factors to watch against the Seahawks.

Spoil Russell Wilson‘s Cooking

The Seahawks will go as far as Russell Wilson will take them. He is playing at a high level after Seattle poached offensive coaches, players, and schemes from the Rams. Raheem Morris’ defense just got bodied by another mobile quarterback. The same key to victory exists this week. The Rams must contain Wilson. That means keeping contain and sticking to rush lanes. Leonard Floyd is going to need to play a big part in that plan. Morris also needs to allow Jalen Ramsey to shadow D.K. Metcalf like he did in 2020. The Rams star player needs to cover the opposing star players.

Along with getting pressure and keeping contain with the edge rushers, the defense needs to apply loads of interior pressure. The Seahawks’ interior offensive line has struggled, giving up 20 pressures between Gabe Jackson, Kyle Fuller, and Damien Lewis. Aaron Donald needs to have a big day after struggling with Arizona. Meanwhile, Sebastian Joseph-Day needs to continue to prove himself as a consistent threat on the interior.

Again, the Rams’ safeties must step up as Wilson has been deadly throwing deep to Metcalf and Tyler Lockett. The two playmakers have accounted for 618 yards and 6 scores with four of those being passes thrown 20+ yards. Taylor Rapp and Jordan Fuller must limit their mistakes and prevent the Seahawks from creating yards after the catch. This might be a good time to insert Terrell Burgess into the lineup as well. How the Rams defense responds to a shellacking and how they approach spoiling Wilson’s cooking is one of the most important x-factors to watch this week.

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Darrell Henderson is not Cam Akers, but he is a very good running back in his own right. Sean McVay needs to remember that. He has been known for abandoning the run and that needs to stop. The Seahawks defense is allowing 4.4 yards per carry to running backs. McVay’s offense coincidentally is averaging 4.4 yards per carry by running backs. Henderson however, is averaging 4.9 yards a pop despite playing with sore ribs against the Cardinals. Henderson is also able to be a factor as a receiver despite not getting many opportunities to do so. Ken Norton Jr.’s defense has allowed running backs to account for 31 receptions and 289 yards.

McVay needs to let Henderson keep the clock moving and allow him to finally be treated like a number one back even if it is by default. He can make plays and the offensive line has done their job, so don’t bottle him up. Make the Seahawks do that. I’m not saying not to let Matthew Stafford do his thing, but the offense doesn’t need to be one-dimensional either. How the Ram’s utilize Henderson will be one of the most interesting x-factors to watch against the Seahawks.

Halt The Seahawks Ground Attack

Shane Waldron’s offense is averaging 4.7 yards per carry by running backs. Raheem Morris’ unit has been up and down, ultimately allowing an average of 4.6 yards per carry. Some of that is by design, whether that is a good thing or not. However, the defense needs to improve regardless because opponents are consistently controlling the clock and in turn the pace of the game at times. Kenny Young looked like a potential breakout star through the first three weeks of football but had a forgettable game in week four. The defense needs him to respond like the leader he was becoming. How the front seven approaches the challenge of causing Seattle’s rushing attack to stutter will be one of the most critical x-factors to watch in week five.

Get Right Game For Rams Passing Attack

Stafford had a terrible game on Sunday. He’s good at moving on to the next big play though. The Rams need that from everyone this week. Cooper Kupp didn’t have the game many expected either. Meanwhile, McVay and Stafford need to get Robert Woods more involved. The chemistry between Stafford and anyone not named Kupp or Van Jefferson has been spotty nearly a quarter of the way through the regular season. Yes, keep letting Jefferson and Kupp make plays. But Stafford has to hit his deep shots to DeSean Jackson and he has to realize Woods is a problem after the catch as well. Hit him in stride and watch the offense fly.

The offense has been marred by poor ball placement at times and uncharacteristic drops as well as an unbalanced approach by McVay. The other thing many don’t want to discuss; McVay has to stop coaching scared. Go for it on fourth and short, the analytics favor it. We saw Brandon Staley favor it against the Las Vegas Raiders on Monday Night Football. McVay has been innovative everywhere except fourth down. If you don’t have faith that your top-tier offense can get 1-2 yards in a critical moment, then you have a bigger problem. The offense outside of one game looked unstoppable. McVay needs to trust his quarterback in those moments.

Tre Flowers and Sidney Jones have allowed completions on 21/25 targets for 378 yards and 3 touchdowns. They’re allowing passer ratings of 139.6 and 158.3 respectively. This is a perfect opportunity to get Woods involved and not just catch the ball but do big things once it is in his hands. Stafford and McVay need to plan on exploiting this matchup in Seattle. How Stafford, McVay, and others respond to a rough division game and how they correct those mistakes will be one of the most exciting x-factors to watch against the Seahawks.


Los Angeles Rams’ NFL free-agent signings 2021: Leonard Floyd returns on a four-year deal – ESPN Los Angeles