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announcing themselves as the new powerhouse in the NFC Wes
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: 02 2018

 : 25 2019, , 08:25   •  •  

The last time the Los Angeles Rams visited Seattle Youth Michael Brockers Jersey , they were t by handing the Seahawks a drubbing unlike any they had experienced in Pete Carroll's tenure.As much as the Seahawks would like to forget that day last December, a 42-7 loss to a division rival lingers.Less than a year later, the Rams are more than just the favorites of their division. A quarter through the season, they may be the prohibitive Super Bowl favorites. The Rams (4-0) make their annual trip to Seattle on Sunday looking to take control of the division just five weeks into the season."I think there's definitely a lot of confidence that comes with playing well and definitely can get some momentum going, but I think we're just executing," Rams quarterback Jared Goff said. "We've done a pretty good job executing."And there is little reason not to believe Los Angeles will be leaving town with a three-game lead.The Rams are scoring an absurd amount of points, having scored at least 33 points in all four games. Goff is coming off a career-high 465 yards passing and five TDs, carving up a Minnesota defense that was regarded as among the best in the NFL and posting a perfect passer rating in the process. Cooper Kupp, Robert Woods and Brandin Cooks each had 100 yards receiving against the Vikings.Oh, and there's still Todd Gurley, who the last time he saw the Seahawks rushed for 152 yards and scored a career-high four total touchdowns. And this time, they'll be facing a Seahawks defense without safety Earl Thomas after suffering a season-ending lower leg fracture last week against Arizona."Not having Earl now, this week changes a lot and just how good he is at understanding offenses and concepts," Goff said. "You wish he was there, you want to get them at full strength with him as part of that and how good he is. Would have been great to compete against him."The Seahawks (2-2) have recovered from a 0-2 start by knocking off Dallas and Arizona in consecutive weeks. The Seahawks have rediscovered their run game with consecutive 100-yard rushers and their defense has held three straight opponents to under 305 total yards of offense.But they know the Rams are a different challenge."They're going to do something that we haven't seen before http://www.ramsauthorizedshops.com/authentic-johnny-hekker-jersey , but if we're disciplined and we do what we practiced, we should be fine," Seattle linebacker Bobby Wagner said. "That's why your eyes are so important this week."Here's what else to watch for:FIRST THINGS FIRSTSlowing the Rams' powerhouse offense on first down would be huge for the Seahawks, but it's been almost impossible this season. Goff is an astonishing 46 of 56 for 668 yards and six touchdown passes on first downs in the Rams' first four games, averaging 11.9 yards per pass. Add in Gurley's steady running on every down, and Los Angeles is tough to contain."We've done a pretty good job so far (of) staying in second-and-manageable, and then third-and-manageable, as well," Goff said.RUNNING OPTIONSSeattle is coming off consecutive 100-yard performances by running backs for the first time since the 2014 season. But it was two different backs accomplishing that feat, leaving open the question of how Seattle divides the carries going forward. Starter Chris Carson is expected to return Sunday after missing last week with a hip injury. Mike Davis has earned a role after rushing for a career-high 101 yards and two TDs in the win over Arizona. And, rookie first-round pick Rashaad Penny has started to look more like the back Seattle expected in a limited role.Running won't be easy against a Rams defense giving up just 86 yards per game on average.TEDRIC TIMESecond-year safety Tedric Thompson knows he's about to get a lot of attention. Thompson will be stepping in at free safety replacing Thomas after the former All-Pro was lost for the season in last week's win. Thompson gained plenty of experience in the offseason and training camp when Thomas was holding out as part of a contract dispute, but there couldn't be a tougher team to debut against than the top passing offense in the NFL through four weeks."He's really mature about stuff, he's really worked hard to understand the scheme and the principles of what we want and he plays really strict and disciplined football," Carroll said.TEMPORARY KICKERKicker Cairo Santos will make his Rams debut in Seattle. Los Angeles signed the former Chiefs kicker Tuesday after cutting Sam Ficken and determining that All-Pro Greg Zuerlein isn't quite ready to return from a groin injury.Santos, who injured his own groin twice last season Lamarcus Joyner Jersey , is getting his shot at an NFL return in a high-pressure rivalry game, but he welcomes the challenge."Coming out and playing for a great offense, hopefully I'll get a bunch of kicks and show the other 31 teams that I'm back and I belong in this league," Santos said. OverviewThe Los Angeles Rams embark on the second of a three-game road trip visiting the Denver Broncos in Mile High Stadium on Sunday.The Rams defense will seek to improve upon their dreadful performance in Seattle focusing on stopping the run. The Rams offense will once again attempt to keep their streak of scoring 30+ points per game going with or without WR Brandin Cooks or WR Cooper Kupp.The Broncos have shown signs of life. They played a pretty good game up until the fourth quarter against the undefeated Kansas City Chiefs ultimately losing a close one 27-23. Now, they get the chance to spoil the Rams undefeated streak this time at home.The set up for this game couldnt be clearer. This could be a trap game.The Rams are the better team; theres no doubt about that. But if the Rams rest on their laurels having extended their lead in the NFC West Division to three games after a hard-fought win against their division rival Seattle Seahawks, they could fall into a trap of believing theyre too good to be beat.The Broncos are a Jekyll and Hyde team. One week they play great as they did against KC. The next week, they look like shrubs losing to the New York Jets, 43-16. The Broncos troubles stem from a lackluster offense led by former Rams QB Case Keenum via the Minnesota Vikings along with a mediocre defense. At 2-3, the Broncos sit third in the AFC West behind the Los Angeles Chargers at 3-2 and the Chiefs at 5-0. If the Broncos are going to make a run for the playoffs in the AFC Conference, its looking like a wild card spot will be their only option.Yet even with all the statistical information available for analysis on how this game should play out, the most interesting thing I see is mother nature.X-Factor: The WeatherAngelenos dont pay much attention to weather reports. We tend to know that its going to be another sunny and warm day. God forbid theres rain bringing the whole city to a standstill. However according to current forecasts, the weather in Denver at game time is supposed to 30 degrees with snow.What the heck is snow?The closet Angelenos get to frozen water is the ice dispenser of a refrigerator. If I heard that the weather in Los Angeles was going to be anything below 70 degrees, I would have to wear two Rams sweaters, underneath my Rams hoodie, with my Rams ear muffs just to get my mail.Then factor in the cool Authentic Rodger Saffold Jersey , crisp, clean air of the high altitude of mile-high Denver. The high altitude does funny things with a football like being able to make 60+ yard field goals as merely standard operating procedure. Visiting teams outside the AFC West Division travelling to Denver are not used to this. They need oxygen.Inhaling purified filtered air isnt something Angelenos are used to. We prefer to know whats going into our lungs. We want to see it. They call the stuff we breathe smog. After all the weather reports and jokes. The reality for diehard Rams fans is that we know the Rams dont usually play well in inclement weather. Theyre not used to it. Having seen my Rams lose too many times to count in the playoffs in the sub-zero temperatures of the Midwest and East during December and January, this Sunday is scary.But heres the key to beating the X-factor which is decidedly in favor of the Broncosits about mind over matter. If you dont mind, it wont matter. So put all this weather stuff behind you and play the kind of Rams football Angelenos having been watching the last five weeks regardless of the conditions.What the Rams need to do on offenseRams Head Coach Sean McVay must continue to be aggressive whether or not he has to scratch his starting wide receivers in favor of WR KhaDarel Hodge and WR Josh Reynolds.The offense starts with giving QB Jared Goff time to throw and our offensive line finding a way to contain All Pro pass rusher OLB Von Miller. I wouldnt be surprised if Rams Defensive Coordinator Wade Phillips, the Broncos former DC, knocked on McVays door to give him a few pointers about his former players and especially Miller.If the Rams can control the line scrimmage on offense, theyre destined to score at least 30 points. And if they can convert red zone offense into touchdowns rather than field goals, the Rams offense could score 40 or more.I dont expect the Broncos secondary to get burned as bad as they did on long passes last week by Jets rookie QB Sam Darnold although the Rams may find a matchup they like and exploit it once in a while.What the Rams need to do on defenseSTOP THE RUN!STOP THE RUN!And for further emphasis, STOP THE RUN.All things bad originate from not being able to stop the run. It leads to getting beat with playaction passes. In a close game, being able to run the ball, as the Rams did last week to end the game against Seattle, is a clock killer. Keeping the Broncos in second- and third-and-long is what the Rams need to do. When shutting down the run, Ill take my chances that QB Case Keenum isnt going to be able to light up the Rams secondary. The problems the Rams had against the Seahawks in coverage was easily fixable. The more stops by the Rams defense, the more opportunities the Rams high-powered offense will have to score, and score they will.What the Rams need to do on special teamsWhat excites me the most is seeing P Johnny Hekker. I know this sounds silly wanting to see a punter kick Youth Rob Havenstein Jersey , but given the Rams have the lowest percentage of punts per offensive plays is exactly why.Ram fans already know the kind of leg Hekker has, but seeing him boom just one punt in Mile High if possible is going to be fun. Ive never heard of an 80-yard punt, but theres always a first time.PK Cairo Santos cannot miss any extra points! As for field goals, lets see what that altitude will do. Depending on field position and the time, I wouldnt be surprised to see Head Coach Sean McVay give Special Teams Coordinator John Fassel the go ahead to try a long one. If the Rams get out to early big lead in the first half or at the end of 1st half or in the 2nd half if the Rams are holding onto a 14 point-lead, I could see Santos trotting out to turn it into a three-possession game.Depending on whether PR JoJo Natson or Kupp are able to play, I would just want WR Robert Woods, the third guy in line, to just fair catch the punts in order to avoid injury.Other X-factorsI could easily see the Rams struggling in this game having what looks appear to be an insurmountable lead in the NFC West, but theres a lot at stake for the Rams.If they dont want to play outdoors in the cold winter weather at playoff time in Philadelphia or Green Bay or Chicago or Carolina at playoff time, now is the time to get used to it and win this game.This way the Rams can maintain their best record in the NFC Conference which will go along way to securing home filed advantage throughout the playoffs in the sunny confines of the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.Remember its about mind over matter. If you dont mind, it doesnt matter.Not even mother nature can beat my Rams.
     
  
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