3 crucial matchups that could decide Seattle Seahawks vs. Rams in Week 1

Seattle takes on Los Angeles at Lumen Field in Week 1 of the 2023 season.

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The Seattle Seahawks play the Los Angeles Rams to begin the 2023 season. While Seattle won both matchups in 2022, Seattle was playing against a diminished Rams team that had been decimated by injuries. The good thing is that the Rams got rid of a lot of proven talent this offseason so they may not be much better than they were last season.

Still, no NFL team can be overlooked. Every player on every NFL team, except for maybe the Arizona Cardinals who are clearly trying to tank for next year's draft, is getting paid to play football for a reason. That reason is that they can help their team win games.

Plus, if Seattle and LA played 10 straight times maybe the Seahawks win most of those games. But the one they lose could be this game coming up in Week 1. Seattle almost faces a must-win situation at the beginning of the year simply because the schedule gets a lot tougher near the end of the season. The following three position matchups might decide who wins in Week 1 between Seattle and LA.

Seahawks offensive line vs. Rams DT Aaron Donald

The Los Angeles Rams lost a ton of talent this offseason, but they still have arguably one of the best players to ever play in the NFL. Aaron Donald might be the greatest defensive tackle in history, and if the Pro Football Hall of Fame made an exception to just go ahead and enshrine a current player then Donald would likely be that guy.

In 2022, Seattle got really lucky in that Donald was injured for both games the Rams and Seahawks would have played so Geno Smith and his offense never faced Donald. But in the 16 games Donald has played the Seahawks in his career, Donald has 15 sacks and 41 quarterback hits. Saying Donald has been a menace to Seattle would be underselling what a wrecking ball Donald has been to the Seahawks offense.

Seattle needed to get bigger and stronger at center this year and they did by signing center Evan Brown. Damien Lewis is a good left guard and right guard Phil Haynes can run block. But because Los Angeles lost so much talent this offseason, the Seahawks focus will be in keeping Donald from singularly disrupting Geno Smoth and friends. If Seattle is success doing so, that could go a long way toward winning the game.