Never mind that the Los Angeles Rams looked horrible in their 28-0 season-opening loss against the San Francisco 49ers.
When it comes to games between the Rams and the Seattle Seahawks, history says they will not only be far more competitive, but that the Rams have a decent chance of winning. That’s what Warren Moon, the former Seahawks quarterback and analyst on their radio broadcasts, sees when he looks at how these NFC West rivals match up.
‘Certain teams just know how to play you well’
“A lot of your games in your division are matchups, a lot of teams you have problems with in your division,” Moon told Jim Miller and Pat Kirwan on Movin’ The Chains. “Certain teams just know how to play you well, and the Rams always play the Seahawks well. It doesn’t matter if we win the football game or, like last year, we lost both football games. It’s always a dogfight.
“They match up well, because of their personnel, especially on defense. And we’re going to have our hands full this week, because we’re talking about a team that’s coming off a very embarrassing loss on Monday Night Football (against) the 49ers. They’re coming home for a home-opener for the first time in Los Angeles in 22 years. There’s going to be over 90,000 people at the game.
‘Going to be a lot of electricity, a lot of energy’
“So these guys are going to come out ready to play. There’s going to be a lot of electricity, a lot of energy in that stadium, and I’m sure they’re going to feed off of it. So we’re going to have a very tough football game and I think our team knows it because of the way they play us every time we play them.”
Moon sees one potential disadvantage for the Seahawks in the health of quarterback Russell Wilson, who suffered an ankle injury in last week’s game against Miami.
‘Not going to be vintage Russell’
“He practiced all week and he was able to move around and throw the football,” Moon said. “But he’s not going to be vintage Russell in this football game, so I think we’re going to have to run the football well. I think we’re going to have to really score points early in the ballgame and kind of get them to be a one-dimensional football team.”
Koetter worries Buccaneers ‘looking in the rear-view mirror’ before facing Cardinals
Dirk Koetter is worried. Granted, that could describe every NFL coach every day, but in Koetter’s case, the concern has plenty of merit.
His Tampa Bay Buccaneers are an unfamiliar territory. They won their season-opener last week against an NFC South rival, the Atlanta Falcons, in dramatic fashion. And now Koetter is wondering whether his players have spent more time savoring that triumph than focusing on the task at hand: Sunday’s game at Arizona.
‘A lot of excitement around Tampa’
“I think the fan reaction and the reaction in our building to getting that first win on the road, especially against a divisional opponent, that was big for our organization,” Koetter told Alex Marvez and Tim Brown on the Weekend Kickoff. “And I think we try to go with the old 24-hour rule and then get back to work, but there’s definitely been a lot of excitement around Tampa this week.”
There’s also a lot of desperation in Arizona, with the Cardinals looking to avoid a 0-2 start after their season-opening home loss against New England.
‘Coming into a dangerous situation’
“We know we’re coming into a dangerous situation this week, because the Cardinals open the season with two games at home,” Koetter said. “They lose on the last play of the game; they could have easily won that Patriots game last week. So this is a team that’s in a must-win situation. I’m sure they’ll be looking at it that way.”
As far as Koetter is concerned, the Buccaneers need to view all of their games that way.
‘Can’t worry about what happened last week’
“When you’re a team like us that’s trying to become relevant again, you can’t worry about what happened last week,” he said. “Every week has to be a playoff-type game for us. This will be the first time that we’ve faced it. I’ve got to admit, I am a little bit nervous about that. I think there’s a chance that we would be a little bit too much looking in the rear-view mirror and that’s something we can’t do. We’ve got to learn to get back after it and put our best foot forward this week.”