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Rams-Seahawks notes

by Steve Savard

KMOV.com

Posted on November 8, 2005 at 1:35 PM

Updated Wednesday, Nov 4 at 3:26 PM

As of Monday, the Rams were seven point underdogs to the Seahawks. I'd be willing to bet it's been seven years since the Rams were touchdown 'dogs in a division game. The Seahawks are for real. This may be the best and toughest team Mike Holmgren has had in Seattle. A key for the Rams will be to minimize the damage quarterback Matt Hasselbeck does on the move. He killed the Rams with bootlegs and scrambles in the first meeting. Hasselbeck isn't spectacular but he is smart and rarely makes mistakes that result in turnovers.

It will be important for the Rams to keep middle linebacker Chris Claiborne on the field. He's a difference maker defending the run. Seattle will try to get him off the field and force the Rams to use extra defensive backs by lining up three wide receivers on most plays.

Shawn Alexander is the best cutback runner in the game. He runs behind two All Pros on the left side but he always looks to cut the play back. If the Rams over pursue, Alexander will have a monster day.

Mike Martz always believed his receivers presented major problems for the Seahawks secondary. It will be interesting to see if Steve Fairchild's game plan reflects that. Some people incorrectly presume that we'll start seeing Steven Jackson carry the ball 25 to 30 times a game. The opponent and game situation will dictate offensive balance. But, expect to see Jackson become a big part of the passing game. The Rams are having success taking what's there in the passing game rather than forcing the ball down the field into traffic.

Turnovers will kill the Rams in this game. The Seahawks are improved defensively because of the addition of their rookie middle linebacker, Lofa Tatupu. He makes plays all over the field. A lot of teams blew it last April not taking him in the first round of the draft.

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