The Rams (3-1) travel to Seattle Thursday night to face the Seahawks (3-1) in the first divisional matchup of the 2019 season for Los Angeles. Kickoff from CenturyLink Field is set for 5:20 p.m. pacific time.
L.A. has won seven of the last 10 meetings between the two teams, including each of the last three. During that three-game win streak, the Rams' offense has averaged 37 points per contest.
To get you ready for the contest, theRams.com compiled a quick preview featuring who to watch, what to watch for on offense and defense for both Los Angeles and Seattle and three keys to victory for L.A.
Five players to watch
- Rams RT Rob Havenstein: Seahawks DE Jadeveon Clowney will present a tremendous challenge for the right side of Los Angeles' offensive line, which means Havenstein will play an instrumental role in keeping the pressure off of QB Jared Goff.
- Rams CB Aqib Talib: He'll likely draw Seahawks WR Tyler Lockett as his assignment. Lockett has been one of the most dependable receivers in the NFL this season, catching 81.2 percent of passes thrown his way this season – second among all wide receivers behind Michael Gallup's 86.67, according to NFL Next Gen Stats.
- Seahawks RB Chris Carson: Coming off the best performance of the season, he's the focal point of a Seattle rushing attack averaging 111.5 yards per game.
- Seahawks TE Will Dissly: He's also been a reliable target in the Seahawks passing game, 86.36 percent of passes thrown his way per Next Gen Stats. That ranks fourth among all players, regardless of position.
- Rams S Eric Weddle: Similar to last week, L.A.'s defense will face a quarterback who has a knack for executing off-schedule plays with a pair of wide receivers who are big plays waiting to happen. Communication will be key, and that starts with the Rams' primary defensive signal caller.
What to watch for…
On offense for the Rams
A more balanced approach.
While it was understandable Los Angeles leaned on its passing game given the challenges Tampa Bay's run defense was was going to present, even QB Jared Goff admitted it's not a sustainable approach.
The Seahawks won't give the Rams too many opportunities to establish the run given they allow the sixth-fewest rushing yards per game. However, with the few opportunities the Rams do get, they'll need to take advantage.
On offense for the Seahawks
QB Russell Wilson can make plays with his arm or his legs, and he's shown throughout his career that he doesn't need to be overly reliant on one or the other to lead Seattle to victory.
The Seahawks also have two offensive linemen – starting LT Duane Brown (biceps) and backup LG Ethan Pocic (foot) – who are questionable for Thursday's game.
On defense for the Rams
The defensive line, especially DT Aaron Donald.
In 10 career games against the Seahawks, the two-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year has tallied 10.5 sacks, 46 total tackles (17 for loss) and forced two fumbles.
On defense for the Seahawks
Primarily Clowney, who will be one of the toughest tests for a young Rams offensive line this season.
Three keys to victory
- Find a rhythm in the passing game: Clowney is going to generate pressure, but the Seahawks defense has the ninth-lowest graded pass rush in the league according to Pro Football Focus.
- Limit the Seahawks' rushing attack: An effective rushing attack contributes to the ability to open up play action, and Lockett and rookie WR D.K. Metcalf are both capable of capitalizing on it.
- Capitalize on special teams: The Seahawks' net average of 39.9 yards per punt is fourth-lowest in the NFL through the first four weeks, a potential opportunity to create good field position.