December has arrived, and with it NFL fans across the league are turning to dreams of a Cinderella run through the playoffs that culminated with an unexpected run that ends with a Lombardi Trophy. Except for fans of the Los Angeles Rams, who are just hoping that they can field a team down the stretch after injuries waylaid a good piece of the core of the team.
Joining Field Gulls this week to preview the Week 13 matchup against the division rival Rams is Evan Craig of Turf Show Times, whose answers to the questions posed are worth reading simply for the unsolicited mocking of the Denver Broncos that they brought about. So, without wasting any time, here are the responses to the questions that were posed ahead of what might be one of the least meaningful matchups between the Seattle Seahawks and Rams in recent seasons.
1. This has easily been the most difficult season for Sean McVay since he arrived in Los Angeles. How are most fans handling the emotional up and down of going from Super Bowl Champion in February to a very real possibility of being mathematically eliminated from playoff contention before Christmas?
Most fans are disappointed that the team won’t have a chance of “running it back” to defend their crown. Probably the best Christmas gift they will receive this season (besides the classic Cooper Kupp onesie which makes a perfect stocking stuffer) is for this miserable and forgettable campaign to mercifully end. I understand this team hasn’t been mathematically eliminated yet but they need to face the music and come to the realization that it’s over. They should quit kidding themselves and remove their stars from harm’s way. The fanbase seems to understand this is a lost year but I don’t see the coaching staff or front office seeing it that way. Just rest the stars and preserve them for next year. There isn’t a magical run coming out of this team unless Santa decides to grant my Christmas wish early.
2. During the 2022 calendar year the 2021 Rams team won three games at Sofi Stadium. So far during the 2022 calendar year, the 2021 Rams team has won just two games at Sofi, meaning they will need to win two of three games left before the end of the year against the Seahawks, Las Vegas Raiders and Denver Broncos to finish the year with more wins at home during 2022 than the 2021 Rams. Can they do it?
With the way LA has been playing this season, I’m not counting on it. The Seahawks game on Sunday will be the toughest matchup for them. As for the Raiders and Broncos games, if the Rams have even a couple of their key guys back, they might have a chance. Vegas will be a tougher challenge with Josh Jacobs playing out of his mind. Denver should be an easy win. If LA can put up at least 17 points they’ll be fine. I can’t believe the NFL put a lump into our stockings with that godawful matchup Christmas day but in all fairness, how were they supposed to know how inept both teams would be? I don’t know how anyone can handle watching the Broncos on national TV again. Oh well, merry frickin’ Christmas to us.
3. The list of big name players not out due to injury for this game is pretty short after years and years of above average injury luck. Is there anything in particular that has led to the injuries this season, or has it simply been a whole lot of bad luck?
A lot of it has been just bad luck all across the board. The offensive line has been especially hammered with injuries and that is why they haven’t rolled out the same lineup since the season opener against the Bills. LA just didn’t have enough depth or emphasize the position in the offseason and it’s coming back to bite them now. I can also attribute these injuries to a shorter offseason due to the long playoff run they had last season. Call it the price of winning a Super Bowl but I’m certain that’s one the front office would be more than happy paying up for again.
4. With so many core players out due to injury, what are a couple of lesser known names Seattle fans should become familiar with heading into the game Sunday?
On the offensive side, Seattle should know who Tutu Atwell is. He’s a receiver who has been the bane of the fanbase’s existence since he was drafted last year. There is big play potential with Atwell because he can take the top off a defense before they ever see him coming. The Louisville product hasn’t played very much this season but when he has, he’s taken advantage of his opportunities. On the defensive side, the 12s are thanking their lucky stars Aaron Donald is out this weekend so they can sleep rather peacefully the night before. Edge rusher Michael Hoecht is one of the young players tasked with stepping in for Donald. In last week’s loss, Hoecht was used as an edge rusher for 84-percent of his snaps and recorded six total tackles. He has flashed some in the preseason the last two years and this little audition will help him a lot in the long run.
5. What is your prediction for the game? Can the Rams pull off some McVay magic and come away with a stunning upset? Or at least cover the 4.5 point spread? (Editor’s note: Spread has since moved to Seattle -7.5)
Last week I predicted the Rams would be blown out in Kansas City and to my surprise, they hung in there and made Patrick Mahomes look somewhat mortal for a time. For this week, I believe it’ll be rough for LA as I don’t anticipate any McVay magic. Instead we’ll probably see the McVay mishaps that we’ve suffered through all season. I envision the Seahawks will do everything they can to fight for the playoff spot they were in the driver’s seat for just a couple weeks ago. Seattle wins by at least 10 points as Geno and the offense have their way with the Rams’ depleted defense.
Seahawks 23 Rams 13
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