Last week I posted that 12th Man Rising was looking for new Staff Writers. The following article was submitted by Jake, who going to be joining us. I had hoped to get him set up in time for him to post this article himself, but it appears that isn’t going to happen so I’m posting this form him.
"Without stating the obvious, here are five keys to victory in the upcoming Seahawks game in St. Louis vs. the Rams:1: Win time of possession.This is a lot easier said than done for this Seahawks team. In the 9 games they have played this season they have only won this battle twice, against Dallas and Baltimore, and only by seconds in Dallas. This is achieved, obviously, by running the football effectively, limiting turnovers and penalties, and playing good defense. It will be interesting to see if Marshawn Lynch will get his third straight 100 yard rushing game in light of the injuries to the right side of the line (sigh). Also, in 13 career games, the most against any team in his career, Rams running back Steven Jackson has never ran for 100 yards against the Seahawks, but is playing well, having rushed for 100+ yards in each of his last 3 games. The Seahawks 3rd (previously 1st) ranked yards per carry rush defense has been in decline each game since Atlanta. Seattle is currently allowing 3.6 yards per carry and Jackson is averaging 22 carries per game in games he finishes, putting him on pace for around 80 yards.2: Take advantage of St. Louis’ Ravaged secondary. This one’s a little bit simpler. The Rams have 9, …yes 9, cornerbacks on IR. If there ever was a time for Tarvaris Jackson to shine, this is it. If the Seahawks can generate even an inkling of a running game, Sidney Rice, Doug Baldwin, and Mike Williams should have a field day against this secondary. I don’t expect much of a drop off in pass protection due to the injuries to Dan Carpenter and John Moffit, as they were not great in pass pro anyhow. Tjack should have close to 300 yards passing in this game.3: Pressure Sam Bradford.The Seahawks have only 14 sacks this season, 30th in the league. However, Bradford is not playing well behind an offensive line that has given up 32 sacks, most in the NFL, and could potentially be without starting left tackle, Roger Saffold. The Seahawks defensive line is built to stop the run and outside of Chris Clemons, have struggled getting to opposing quarterbacks. If the Seahawks can gain an early lead, and I suspect they will, and force the Rams into passing situations, look for Clemons and Raheem Brock to have nice games. The Rams Also lack playmakers at the wide receiver position outside of Brandon Lloyd. With as good as the Seahawks secondary has played despite the lack of a pass rush, I don’t expect a big day for Bradford. Look to see if this D-line can get a few sacks, or force a couple bad throws against one of the league’s worst offensive lines, and a struggling quarterback.4: Win the coaching battle, handle being favored.As much as I love what Pete Carroll has done here, he has left fans with some real head scratching decisions. (Starting Whitehurst over a healthy enough Tjack for one).This is a division rival that we need to be able to beat. During the first half of the season I was very impressed with the halftime adjustments this team was able to make, especially on defense. However it seems like the last few losses, especially at Cleveland and Dallas, it was just more of the same thing that wasn’t working in the first half. Pete has played this Rams team twice, going 1-1. This is a team that is struggling with massive injuries that the Seahawks should be able to beat without trying to pull any heroic antics. Good sound football and our young talent should win this game for us. On that same note, this is the first game the Hawks are favored to win; Pete needs to have his team ready to play hard. We wouldn’t want the hawks to fall into a trap game. Look for Pete’s game plan to include a heavy dose of Marshawn Lynch and play action passes. With this banged up secondary for the Rams, If Tarvaris Doesn’t pass for close to 300 yards and a score, I will be looking closely at the game plan and play calling.5: Stay healthy.I know this one isn’t really a key to victory in the game, but if the first four things can happen, the Hawks will have a victory. This is a very young team and every game played together is as important to this team as wins, at least this season. They have already lost their top two picks for the season from this year’s draft in John Moffit and James Carpenter, A huge setback in my opinion. Any game we get through without serious injury is another game this young team can play together. In a year where the playoffs are near out of sight, the importance of player development, building confidence and cohesion is becoming as important as wins. Pete Carroll is building a young, confident team that I feel will contend for an NFC West title next year, and for years to come."