The Rams don’t have a scheduled game after Seattle, and that’s a goal Jeff Fisher can’t check off his list.
The young Rams will look back at their inability to close out games in Detroit and Miami, and their no-shows against New York and Minnesota as the difference makers in 2012.
Fisher reiterated that Sunday’s outcome would not define the season, saying the team is always improving:
Any rational person can find positives from 2012. The defense improved, the offense showed a heartbeat, and they played meaningful games into December.
But the difference between 8-7-1 and 7-8-1 looms large. Especially at Seattle, where the Rams have lost seven straight games. A win would ensure a winning record for the first time in nine years, a 5-0-1 record against division foes, and the confidence that this team can overcome a hostile environment like CenturyLink Field.
In 2010, this exact game had playoff implications, and the Rams forgot to show up. Sunday, the Rams not only must show up, but they need to win. The Rams can play with Seattle. They beat them in September, and Sunday will show which team improved more over the course of the season.
A day after practicing indoors past 5:00 PM, the Rams were back outside in frigid temperatures preparing. It’s hard to remember a Week 17 practice that went long, but this is Fisher’s way of saying ‘we’re not there’. The mass exodus following Sunday’s game won’t cut it.
The lights are going out too early, and Sunday is the first step towards ensuring they stay on through January.
This game will teach us a lot about Sam Bradford. In five games against the ‘Hawks, Sam is 2-3 having completed just 51% of his passes. He’s thrown 3 TD passes and thrown 5 interceptions. But here are his stats at Seattle:
- 2010: 19/36 155 Yards 0 TD 1 INT
- 2011: 12/29 193 Yards 0 TD 1 INT
Bradford got bad news today when Pro Bowl cornerback Richard Sherman won his appeal against the NFL, nullifying a four-game suspension. Sherman (6’3 195) has 7 INT’s, 3 forced fumbles, and 23 defended passes. Lookout, Sam.
Brian Schottenheimer had some interesting comments regarding the Seattle defense:
Seattle had four more first downs, and 33 more total yards against St. Louis in their Week 4 loss. Both Marshawn Lynch and Robert Turbin ran well.
The Rams will have to run the football effectively against a stout defensive line. The Rams cannot abandon Steven Jackson as they have in most of their losses. Jackson needs 10 yards to become the 6th running back in NFL history to have eight consecutive seasons with 1,000 rushing yards.
The Rams offense has implemented several silent cadences to work around the crowd noise, and its imperative they refrain from committing drive killing, pre-snap penalties.
The offense probably won’t “win” this game, but they could certainly lose it. A turnover free, conservative game plan is the best route St. Louis flies home happy.
Get Janoris Jenkins the team leader in touchdowns, and everyone goes home a winner.