(CBS 2)- The 2019 season has not been quite as successful as last season for Sean McVay and the Los Angeles Rams. This time last year, they were wrapping up a playoff berth and preparing for a Super Bowl run. On this go-around, they are on the outside looking in at the playoff picture and need a strong finish in order to get the chance at another playoff run.
After a 34-7 win over the Cardinals last week, it seemed that the offense got back on track. Quarterback Jared Goff threw for over 400 yards and two touchdowns, and Todd Gurley added 95 yards and a score on the ground in the win. The biggest part of the victory seemed to be that the Rams were finally healthy on the offensive side of the ball and Goff had his full complement of weapons. That is why, heading into this week’s matchup against the Seattle Seahawks, SportsLine senior NFL analyst Larry Hartstein believes the Rams’ hopes rest on Goff’s shoulders.
“I think it’s going to come down to Jared Goff. He had a great game last time, 395 yards up in Seattle. He has all of his weapons back, all of his receivers are healthy, and Todd Gurley is running better,” said Hartstein. “Can the Seahawks pressure him? We know he falls apart and he crumbles more than most quarterbacks under pressure.”
The good news from the Rams’ side of things is that the Seahawks haven’t really gotten their pass rush going. Hartstein notes that with Jadeveon Clowney and Ziggy Ansah back in the lineup for last week’s game against the Minnesota Vikings, the team got just seven QB hits and zero sacks on Kirk Cousins. The first time these teams played, Seattle sacked Goff just one time. If that’s the case again Sunday night, you could see another strong performance from Goff, who lit up the Seahawks the last time out.
However, there is one nagging trend that is keeping Hartstein and many others from leaning too far to the Rams’ side of things in this game. Seahawks QB Russell Wilson, a frontrunner for MVP, has been phenomenal in prime-time games.
“This is crazy, the Seahawks are 10-2 they have only outscored their opponents by about three points per game. By all rights their record should be about 7-5 based on the point differential,” said Hartstein. “But Russell Wilson, wins every close game. What does he do at night? 25-5 straight up, 23-6 against the number with a push. It’s hard to fade him in prime-time.”
The oddsmakers have this game as a pick’em entering Sunday night, which means they’re building in that X-factor that Wilson seems to bring to prime-time games, as normally the Rams would get at least three points as the home team. With the last matchup ending on a missed field goal from Greg Zuerlein with 15 seconds left, we’re sure to have another entertaining game on our hands.
The Rams and Seahawks cap off Week 14’s Sunday of action when they kick off at 5:20 p.m. Pacific Time.