Seahawks chop down on Rams; teams tied for NFC West lead

Since 2010 the Seahawks are 8-6 against the Rams

Since 2010 the Seahawks are 8-6 against the Rams

The biggest groans came at the end, after the Rams drove 55 yards in 49 seconds and had the ball at the Seattle 20 with a chance to win.

OK. It might be premature for such a bold proclamation. "It was just one of those things where it's a business decision and I'm OK with that", Rawls said. Los Angeles may not have won Sunday, but they proved they belong at the top of the division-one they haven't won since 2003.

"We've seen the Rams and they have been explosive on offense and has really controlled the ball", Carroll said.

And though the numbers through five games say otherwise, the Seahawks are rebuilding their case as the league's No. 1 defense.

Is Goff the quarterback he was the first four games of the season - he completed two-thirds of his passes for more than 1,000 yards and seven touchdowns - or the quarterback he was against the Hawks?

Examining just the opponents of each team, it reveals how evenly-matched the Seahawks and Rams may be as this Week 5 game approaches.

Both teams want this game pretty bad, but the Seahawks need it. Take the 2 1/2 points that Seattle is getting. With the first possession for the Rams, the Rams marched down the field and were about to score, but a hit from Earl Thomas III to Todd Gurley forced the ball to come out and hit the end zone.

Goff has looked spectacular this year.

And now? Now there's the distinct possibility that the Rams might actually be good. Whether it's a couple of early deep balls to stretch the Rams' secondary to loosen them up or going with a hurry-up or no-huddle approach, Wilson must dictate the tempo of the game early and often to give his offensive line a chance to succeed. Many have speculated that low attendance at National Football League games and slumping ratings could be a direct result the anthem protests. He was the target one play later on a similar play/route, only this time the Seahawks were ready. Not only that, but the Rams defensive line has tended to manhandle Seattle up front.

The Hawks' decent defensive statistics against a Rams team that has averaged 35.5 points a game coming in is even more impressive considering Goff had as much time as he needed. They're also allowing 4.9 yards per carry, which is the fourth most. Seattle's five offensive linemen have had trouble blocking four and three pass rushers this season.

The Rams win if ...

Goff is a different quarterback under McVay, Gurley has bounced back from a sophomore slump with an All-Pro-caliber start to 2017, the receiving corps is far better with newbies Sammy Watkins, Robert Woods and Cooper Kupp joining Tavon Austin, and that entire unit has benefited greatly from the addition of Pro Bowl-caliber left tackle Andrew Whitworth. Seriously, it might be that simple. Chris Carson's injured ankle suffered last week knocked him out for the season just when the rookie started to assume control of the position.

As Carroll noted, the Seahawks have tried, specifically in the opening defeat at Green Bay when Seattle thought Graham got interfered with trying to bring down a high throw in the end zone.

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