It’s been a long time since the Los Angeles Rams were on top of the NFC West, staring down at the Seattle Seahawks. The Seahawks will try to draw even in the division and reassert their status as the class of the NFC West when they visit the Rams on Sunday.
Seattle dropped two of its first three games -- with the lone win a 12-9 home triumph over the winless San Francisco 49ers -- but seemed to finally put everything together last week in the second half of a 46-18 drubbing of the Indianapolis Colts. “Well you can see it just built on each other,” Seahawks coach Pete Carroll told reporters. “The energy was so high as we got going, and they just fed off each other. Everything started to click and go, and the pass rush was on fire. ... That was really fun to see.” Los Angeles has been fun to see all season with an offense that leads the NFL in scoring at an average of 35.5 points under first-year head coach Sean McVay. “I think what good coaches do is they put their players in situations to have success, but ultimately those players are the ones that are making those plays,” McVay told reporters. “You feel fortunate to be a part of that. I think the players have done a good job, but I also can’t say enough about our coaching staff.”
TV: 4:05 p.m. ET, CBS. LINE: Rams -1. O/U: 46.5
ABOUT THE SEAHAWKS (2-2): Seattle got its running game going in last week’s win over the Colts, rushing for 194 yards on 33 carries spread amongst five rushers. The Seahawks gave rookie Chris Carson 12 carries last week while making veteran Thomas Rawls a healthy scratch, but Carson underwent season-ending ankle surgery on Tuesday and Carroll plans to make Rawls a bigger part of the offense. “We haven’t seen him in a while,” Carroll told reporters of Rawls. “We haven’t had a chance to see him on a regular basis, so this is a chance for him to re-enter. I‘m really excited for him. He’s in good shape, he has worked out hard. ... He’s all fired up about it. He’s healthy and he’s real anxious, I can’t wait to get him out there.”
ABOUT THE RAMS (3-1): Los Angeles recorded 224 points last season -- the lowest total by an NFL team since 2012 -- and is already up to 142 in 2017 behind 2016 No. 1 overall pick Jared Goff and a new offense designed by McVay. Goff, who completed 54.6 percent of his passes and managed five TDs and seven interceptions in seven games under Jeff Fisher last season, is completing 66.7 percent of his passes with seven TDs and one pick for McVay. Running back Todd Gurley is taking on a bigger role in the offense and leads the team in both rushing (362 yards) and receiving (234).
1. Seahawks DE Cliff Avril (neck) was ruled out of Sunday’s contest and could miss several weeks.
2. Los Angeles S LaMarcus Joyner (hamstring) did not practice this week.
3. Seattle WR Doug Baldwin (groin) and TE Jimmy Graham (ankle) were both full participants in Thursday’s practice.
PREDICTION: Rams 35, Seahawks 31