This game matters only for pride. But that’s not to say it doesn’t matter. It’s not to say that we excuse the Rams, Boller, Null or Danny Amendola at quarterback, for laying down this game. For laying up for a high draft pick.
After consecutive blowout losses, Jim Mora has been urging Hasselbeck and the elder members of the Seahawks team not to “get used to losing” — a clear shot at the Rams. This is our one and only shot to make a statement back to this team.
Here’s what I wrote in the preseason, looking forward to this game.
Week 12: Seahags’ Revenge
|Week||Date||Opponent||LY: Record||LY: Points||3Y: Record||3Y: Points|
|12||Nov. 29||vs Seattle Seahawks||4-12||294/392||23-25||1022/1024|
|Rams games vs opponent, last three seasons:|
|Week 6, 2006: Lost 28-20 at home
Week 10, 2006: Lost 24-22 in Seattle
Week 7, 2007: Lost 33-6 in Seattle
Week 12, 2007: Lost 24-19 at home
Week 3, 2008: Lost 37-13 in Seattle
Week 15, 2008: Lost 23-20 at home
Week 1, 2009 (Predicted): Lose 30-17 in Seattle
Walter Jones (age 35, back troubles, knee that can’t be fixed), done. Marcus Trufant (bulging disk), done. Matt Hasselbeck (chronic back trouble, broken down protection), highly medicated. TJ Duckett (age 28), hitting the wall. Patrick Kerney, hobbled. Deion Branch, in the trainers room, again. Julius Jones, hitting the bench as he has in every season.
Ladies and gentlemen, cry not for the Seattle Seahawks as they enter the dark and lonely era that the Rams are just now emerging from. The era of Suck.
I point out these injuries and maladies not to gloat, but to show how predictable they are. And yet in their offseason moves, Tim Ruskell and the Seahawks organization has essentially glossed over them, rearranging deck chairs (exit Julian Peterson, enter Aaron Curry) while the Titanic is on a collision course.
By this point in the season, both the Rams and ‘Hawks might have pretty similar records — four wins or so against 7 losses — but will be heading in completely opposite directions. And finally, St Louis will be able to put an end to the reign of error that has seen them lose six consecutive (seven, if my Week 1 prediction holds true) to their hated rivals. But this is no time for sympathy, it is time for the Rams to put their cleats on Seattle’s throats.
Many pundits point to the emerging stable of quality receivers in Seattle, thanks to the signing of TJ Houshmandzadeh and the presumptive return to health of Nate Burleson. But these gains are almost completely nullified by the ultra-conservative, short-distance passing game that Jim Mora is installing, in support of a Falcons-esque run-dominant offense. The second major problem with this plan is an offensive line much like last years’ Rams, far too aged and on the verge of collapse (with Max Unger playing the role of Richie Incognito in “I can’t do this all by myself!”). The third problem was that Atlanta’s offense under Mora was repeatedly bailed out by Michael Vick’s sheer ankle-breaking athleticism. And even if he’s called upon to play the role, Seneca Wallace is no Michael Vick.
By this point in the season, the Rams’ offensive line will have been tested and hardened against much tougher opponents, to the point that running against Seattle’s 28th-ranked (and little-improved) run defense will feel like taking off leg irons. The lack of depth in any unit beyond the linebackers will give Bulger ample opportunity to reclaim a swagger that has been missing from his divisional matchups the last few years. And the Rams, once they get a taste for revenge, will drink deeply in what will become the season’s first laugher: a 34-6 Rams victory.