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Rams Or Seahawks: Who Has The Edge In The NFC West?

Robert Deutsch/USA TODAY Sports

Seattle won the first meeting between them, but that doesn’t mean they are the favorites going forward.

The Seattle Seahawks have been the class of the NFC West since Russell Wilson came into the league. They have been in the playoffs every year since 2012, winning three division titles, two NFC championships, and one Super Bowl over the Denver Broncos in 2013

There is no doubt who has owned this division, and in Week 5, the Seahawks showed their supremacy with a narrow 16-10 victory in LA. But, after a 7-2 start by the Los Angeles Rams, they have been crowned the favorite going forward

Even though the Seahawks won the first meeting between the two, the Rams are going to win this division because they are the more complete team. Thus far, the offense ranks first in points per game, as well as third in yards per game. Sean McVay has transformed one of the worst offenses in the league last year to one of the best offenses in franchise history. McVay himself has gone from being a questionable hire back in January because of his youth, to being the coach of the year favorite

They can beat you both in the rushing attack and passejing attack. Todd Gurley II ranks fourth in the league in rushing while Jared Goff has made people completely forget about his abysmal rookie year by turning himself into an MVP candidate. He leads the league in yards per attempt, is seventh in passing yards, and seventh in touchdown passes.

Ranking NFL QBs on 3-step concepts from @BrianSpoon

— Pro Football Focus (@PFF) November 14, 2017

Their offense has been incredible, but the defense has been nearly as impressive. They rank in the top half of the league in YPG, while also being third in NFL in PPG allowed. Since returning from his offseason holdout in week 2, Aaron Donald has been one of the most dominant players in the NFL helping the Rams defense rank top five in sacks. They are also the best team in the league in taking the ball away with 19.

Seattle, on the other hand, is quite unbalanced. They haven’t been able to run the ball consistently since Marshawn Lynch left, and are 22nd in the league in rushing, but if you take out Wilson’s 32 yards per game, they would rank dead last in rushing. The injury bug hasn’t given them any breaks either with promising rookie Chris Carson going down for the year, as well as second year back CJ Prosise struggling to stay healthy. Their offensive line issues have been well documented, which is why they went out and traded for Duane Brown from Houston. However, over the past two games they have still only averaged 63.5 yards rushing from their running backs

The defense has been as dominant as ever ranking fifth in the league in PPG allowed and taking the ball away at a much higher rate than last season. However, with arguably their best defensive player Richard Sherman tearing his achilles, they are going to take at least a slight step back. Sherman completely neutralized one side of the field and without him teams are going to be able to attack both sides of the field, which is something Seattle hasn’t had to deal with.

Through Week 10 - Projected final regular season NFL standings (S of S = strength of remaining schedule, green=easier)

— Mike Clay (@MikeClayNFL) November 14, 2017

Wilson and the defense have been able to carry Seattle against some of the weaker teams, but down the stretch they have the third toughest schedule in the league, which is slightly more difficult than the Rams, who have the fifth toughest schedule. There is no doubt that both teams will be heavily tested down the stretch, but the Rams are better equipped to win these games because of the variety of ways they can attack a defense. 

In all likelihood, the division will be decided in the Week 15 matchup between these two teams in Seattle. The Rams will be out for revenge after losing a game in LA when they had five turnovers, but they will have to use their dominant defensive effort and a balanced offensive game plan to win this Week 15 game and take the NFC West away from the Seahawks.

Edited by Emily Berman, Coleman Gray.

Who was the last Ram to win the NFL MVP award?
Created 11/14/17
  1. Marshall Faulk
  2. Kurt Warner
  3. Eric Dickerson
  4. Todd Gurley II

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