Seahawks at Rams: Preview, prediction, odds and pick

Seahawks-Rams showdown will set tone for NFC West

It's the one conundrum the Seahawks have yet to solve. Although Seattle has struggled at times during this season, they seem to be struggling more than usual. But some fans and members of the media haven't been paying attention to recent Seahawks history.

The Rams have always been a pill for Pete Carroll and Russell Wilson. Not only has it taken time for Wilson most years to find his rhythm, but he's also notorious for being a slow starter during games.

Are the Seahawks or Rams better this season?

Just when Seattle thought that it had found its lead running back, they have to start the search all over again.

An offense that couldn't muster more than 16 points per game a year ago is now averaging a league-leading 35.5.

Looking back now, almost a full year later, with Goff developing into one of the best young quarterbacks in the National Football League and the Rams emerging as legitimate contender, it's incredible to think how far they've traveled since last December and how astutely new head coach Sean McVay and general manager Les Snead have constructed the safe surroundings from which Goff now operates. They started the season 3-3 before winning nine of their final ten games. To me the key to the game is Kam Chancellor. Considering that the San Francisco 49ers have yet to win a game this season, it's safe to assume that Seattle only has to beat Arizona and Los Angeles to win the division. Goff ranks eighth in the league in both completion percentage and yards per game, as well as first in yards per pass attempt.

The 2016 Seahawks struggled out of the gate with two lackluster performances. Russell Wilson started the streak off with a 23-yard scramble for the tie-breaking touchdown in the third quarter. In addition, how will Seattle extend the pocket and let Wilson use his legs to keep the Rams defense off-balance? Their biggest win would have to be defeating the Cowboys 35-30 in Dallas.

With Sherman dealing with Watkins and the Seahawks excellent middle-of-the-field defenders shadowing Kupp, Woods could be a fallback target for Goff against Seattle's Jeremy Lane. Seattle has given up a few long touchdowns late in games that have skewed their stats.

For the last couple of meetings, the Rams front seven has dismantled the Seahawks offensive line. Or how he vainly looked up field for open receivers - there were none - before taking off running down the sideline.

Seattle's offensive line has been a unit in transition for a few years and still has major problems.

The win last week over Dallas on the road was a huge one in terms of the Rams proving that they belong as a possible playoff contender.

The Rams have been Seattle's nemesis for years. But now they go into the hard part of their schedule.

It's not just the Rams who might not resemble the team they were the last time the Seahawks played them in Los Angeles, featuring a new coach, maturing quarterback and what is through four games the highest-scoring offense in the NFL. For the Seahawks, it has been their inability to stop the run consistently as they now rank 27th at 134 rushing yards per game allowed.

The Rams have dominated the Seahawks in head-to-head matchups in years past due to their defensive line. However, rookie Chris Carson has emerged as the leader of the backfield, and it'll be up to Aaron Donald and the rest of the Rams defensive line to limit his yards. This will begin the process of wearing down the Seahawks' defense and set up Goff (right) in the passing game.

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