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Game Preview: Rams, Seahawks look to continue playoff push on Sunday Night Football

The Los Angeles Rams (7-5) will host the Seattle Seahawks (10-2) at the Coliseum on Sunday Night Football with playoff implications at stake for both teams.

Seattle currently holds the No. 2 seed in the NFC playoff picture, while Los Angeles is only one game behind the Minnesota Vikings for the second wild card spot.

To get you ready for the contest, compiled a quick preview featuring who to watch, what to watch for on offense and defense for both the Rams and the Seahawks and three keys to victory for L.A.


Five players to watch

  • Rams cornerback Jalen Ramsey : Will he primarily shadow wide receiver Tyler Lockett, who has been Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson's top target, or travel between Lockett and rookie D.K. Metcalf, who has also shown he's capable of creating big plays in the passing game?
  • Rams running back Todd Gurley II : He went over 100 yards from scrimmage in each of Los Angeles' two games, so it will be interesting to see if that workload continues and what difference it makes. The former Georgia star had 15 carries for 51 yards and two touchdowns against Seattle in Week 5.
  • Seahawks running back Rashaad Penny: The San Diego State product is coming off his two best performances of the season and created another rushing threat for the Rams defense to pay attention to in addition to Chris Carson.
  • Seahawks wide receiver Josh Gordon: He has just four catches for 47 yards through his first three games with Seattle, but he's always a threat to catch deep passes.
  • Rams tight end Tyler Higbee : Higbee will have a chance to build on last week's career performance with fellow tight end Gerald Everett (knee) out for the second straight game.

What to watch for…

On offense for the Rams

The general approach.

L.A. chose to air it out on offense in the first meeting, with quarterback Jared Goff racking up 395 passing yards, but Gurley's increased usage and consequent effectiveness over the last two games may have them opt for a more balanced approach this week.

On offense for the Seahawks

Penny and Gordon's involvement.

Penny had 29 rushing attempts through his last two games after 36 through his first six. Gordon, meanwhile, has been targeted only five times so far.

On defense for the Rams

How they plan to contain Wilson as a passer and Carson as a runner.

Wilson was 17 of 23 for 268 yards and four touchdowns, while Carson carried the ball 27 times for 118 yards.

On defense for the Seahawks

With Mychal Kendricks doubtful to play, rookie Cody Barton would step in at strongside linebacker for his first career start, so that would be something to monitor.

The effectiveness of defensive ends Ziggy Ansah (neck) and Jadeveon Clowney (core) will also be worth watching. Both are questionable to play after logging limited and full participation respectively for Friday's practice. Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll told reporters there's a good chance they are available for Sunday's game, but they will take it all the way through pregame to ensure they're good to go.

Three keys to victory

  1. Stay disciplined: There are times, like the touchdown pass to Tyler Lockett in Week 5, where there's simply nothing a defense can do to counter some of the throws Wilson makes, or is capable of making. Awareness and staying with assignments will help minimize the chances of those kinds of things happening.
  2. Stop the run: Wilson, Carson and Penny are all legitimate rushing threats for Seattle. The trio accounted for 189 of Seattle's 218 rushing yards last week.
  3. Take some shots in the passing game: Seattle, like Arizona, has talent in its secondary, but it has allowed the fourth-most passing yards per game in the NFL this season.

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