Although the Los Angeles Rams hadn’t lost a game until last

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Although the Los Angeles Rams hadn’t lost a game until last

Сообщение panxing18 04 янв 2019, 09:32

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Cortez Kennedy Color Rush Jersey , their spectacular season has featured several close calls.Not many were closer than their 33-31 victory just five weeks ago in Seattle, where the Seahawks racked up 190 yards rushing, intercepted two passes by Jared Goff and came agonizingly close to a huge NFC West win.With the second-place Seahawks (4-4) visiting the Coliseum on Sunday for the rematch, the Rams (8-1) have a chance to essentially end the division race with seven weeks to go. The Rams aren’t looking that far ahead, but Aaron Donald hopes Los Angeles will learn from that narrow win in Seattle — and a 45-35 loss at New Orleans last week.“We’re in a good place, and we’re locked in,” said the Rams’ superstar defensive tackle, second in the NFL with 10 sacks. “We play these guys twice a year, so we’ve got respect for them. We’ve just got to get after them.”The Rams have never lost back-to-back regular-season games in their 1½ seasons under Sean McVay, but they’ve thrived primarily on the strength of an offense that has been able to outscore nearly every opponent, including the Seahawks. NFL scoring leader Todd Gurley rushed for three TDs in Seattle, and the Rams kept the ball out of Russell Wilson’s hands in the final 3:38 by running out the clock.The Seahawks also are coming off a loss after the Chargers won in Seattle last week, but the Seahawks know they can beat the Rams because they did it last season at the Coliseum.Even if the division race might already be out of hand, they’ve got a chance to begin their playoff rally with a statement victory.“We can’t allow them to score as many points as they put up,” Seattle linebacker Bobby Wagner said. “We feel like we did a really good job against the run for the most part. We have to find a way to do that, make them one-dimensional, make sure Todd doesn’t get into the end zone as many times as he did.”More things to watch in this NFC West showdown:TOUGH CHECKDonald has sacked Wilson eight times in their careers, more than any other quarterback. But Donald and the Rams didn’t manage to sack Drew Brees last week, and they still have something to prove to the Seahawks — particularly to guard D.J. Fluker, who wasn’t impressed by the toughness of the Los Angeles defense in the clubs’ previous meeting.The Seattle offensive lineman said the Rams “want to be pass rushers,” but hadn’t “seen a team go out there and actually take it to them.” Donald had no interest in starting a public discussion this week: “We’re just going to go out there and play a game and let our play speak for us.”RUN AROUNDSeattle’s impressive rushing performance in their first meeting with the Rams included 116 yards from Chris Carson, but he is in question for the rematch because of a hip injury that caused him to sit the final 2½ quarters last week against the Chargers. Mike Davis and seldom-used Rashaad Penny probably would replace Carson.But Seattle also has offensive line concerns after Fluker injured his calf late in the loss to the Chargers. Fluker’s addition to the offensive line helped spark Seattle’s turnaround in the run game starting in late September.GURLEY GOESGurley has scored a touchdown in a franchise-record 12 straight games, and his 868 yards rushing are the NFL’s most by a whopping 162 yards over Pittsburgh’s James Connor.Gurley’s 16 TDs this season are the most in the league and the second-most in NFL history through nine games, trailing only Jim Brown’s 17 in 1958. That’s the challenge facing Seattle’s run defense, which is giving up 4.8 yards per attempt — tied for fourth-worst in the league — but has been effective in stretches.GET MARCUSFormer Washington Huskies defensive back Marcus Peters was targeted repeatedly by the Saints, and the Rams’ top corner took the blame for much of Brees’ success. The Seahawks undoubtedly saw the former Pro Bowl cover man’s struggles on video, but Rams defensive coordinator Wade Phillips has limited options in the continued injury absence of cornerback Aqib Talib. The Rams’ best solution might be increased pressure on Wilson Shaun Alexander Color Rush Jersey , who has been sacked 25 times already this season.SAFETY PLANBradley McDougald has been one of Seattle’s defensive standouts, but with a quick turnaround to facing Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers next Thursday, McDougald may end up sitting out against the Rams because of a bothersome knee injury. If McDougald can’t play, the Seahawks would turn to second-year safety Delano Hill, which could create an extremely young secondary. If Hill starts, he would play alongside second-year free safety Tedric Thompson, second-year cornerback Shaquill Griffin and rookie cornerback Tre Flowers. Nickel cornerback Justin Coleman, in his fourth season, would be the veteran of the group. When the NFL announced its Pro Bowl rosters on Tuesday evening, only two members of the Seattle Seahawks made the squad, All Universe linebacker Bobby Wagner and rookie phenom punter Michael Dickson. Of the multiple Seahawks who made the team as alternates, one of the players who received the most outcry about having been snubbed is Frank Clark, who is an alternate, but is not a starter. Thus, the question becomes, was he snubbed? Fans of the Hawks (and other teams) reacted on social media and elsewhere regarding the omission of Clark from the NFC squad. Here’s a sampling of some of the reaction on Twitter: So, obviously, multiple fans think Clark was snubbed, so let’s turn to the stats and see. There’s no doubt that Clark is easily having the best season of his young NFL career, as he has been a terror for opposing quarterbacks all season, recording 12 sacks and 21 quarterback hits. How does that compare to the three defensive ends that made the NFC Pro Bowl team? Frank Clark and Pro Bowl DEs rushing the passer in 2018PlayerSacksQB HitsTotal PressureSnaps PlayedPlayerSacksQB HitsTotal PressureSnaps PlayedSo, by those measures Clark is certainly in the discussion for being in place when it comes time for the Pro Bowl to announce the players who made it. However, these are obviously all numbers that are accumulated in the passing game, so the question follows, where does Clark stack up when it comes to making plays in the running game, and here we start to see some separation between Clark and the other players. Frank Clark and Pro Bowl DEs against the run in 2018PlayerTacklesTFLSnaps PlayedPlayerTacklesTFLSnaps PlayedThere is zero doubt that when looking at these from a run-stopping perspective, Frank Clark comes in below the other three. Thus Jarran Reed Color Rush Jersey , when combining the fact that the pass rushing numbers are largely the same for all four players, the fact that Clark’s contributions in stopping the run fall short of the other three leads me to believe that Pro Bowl selection process actually made the correct decision putting him as an alternate. Now, can an argument be made that Clark should have made the Pro Bowl? Absolutely. But in my opinion, the three guys who did make it, are the three guys who should have made it. Moving on to one of the other players for whom there have been some loud voices on social media, Tyler Lockett was also not selected to the Pro Bowl roster. This in spite of having recorded 800 yards and 9 touchdowns in an offense that throws the ball less often than any other offense in the NFL, which appears to have been the problem. Yes, there is no doubt that Lockett is having a phenomenally efficient season, and that he has returned to health in 2018 to fill the void left by the departure of Paul Richardson and Jimmy Graham. However, players don’t make the Pro Bowl based on efficiency because fans still like big counting numbers. Thus, let’s go ahead and compare Lockett’s 2018 numbers to those players who did make the Pro Bowl: Julio Jones, Michael Thomas, Adam Thielen and Davante Adams. Tyler Lockett next to 2018 Pro Bowl WRsPlayerReceptionsTargetsCatch RateYardsYards/ReceptionTDPlayerReceptionsTargetsCatch RateYardsYards/ReceptionTDAs you see, the last row in the table is an anonymous player I’ve named the “Mystery Man” because if there is a wide receiver in the NFC who warrants having made the Pro Bowl roster over one of the four receivers that actually did make it, that would be my vote. Unfortunately, Mystery Man isn’t a real person, it’s the combined stats of Lockett and Doug Baldwin. So, yes, there is absolutely zero debate whatsoever that Lockett is having a phenomenal season, and that his phenomenal season is the result of a historically efficient season. At the end of the day Pro Bowl voters want big numbers, and no receiver in the current Seahawks offense is going to put up the kind of numbers necessary to make the Pro Bowl. Thus, if you have an issue with Lockett having been left off the Pro Bowl roster, it seems more appropriate to take it up with Pete Carroll and Brian Schottenheimer than it does to complain about the process or how Lockett never stood a chance in the offensive system in which he plays. Just to demonstrate how little the Seahawks actually throw the ball, and how few opportunities he actually gets as a receiver, here are Lockett’s numbers compared to the four Pro Bowl tight ends from both the AFC and the NFC. Tyler Lockett 2018 stats versus Pro Bowl TEsPlayerReceptionsTargetsCatch RateYardsYards/ReceptionTDPlayerReceptionsTargetsCatch RateYardsYards/ReceptionTDLooking at that, the only thing I can think of is to just imagine how good Eric Ebron could be if he had a real quarterback throwing the ball to him.
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