I hate the Rams. I have since the mid 2000's when the Rams and Seahawks were the power in the NFC West. This was right around when I started seriously following the NFL. The Rams were at the end of their Greatest Show on Turf era and the Seahawks great Hasselbeck and Alexander teams were just coming into their own. The team to beat in the NFC West was the Rams.
The 2004 season was the one that cemented my hatred of the Rams. Prior to this season I would root for them because I remembered how fun the Kurt Warner led Super Bowl team were. The Rams had a high octane offense and I, like most fans, liked scoring. However, in 2004 the Seahawks were a good team with an exciting offense of their own. Yet somehow the stupid freaking Rams beat the Seahawks both regular season matchups that year and then just to make it hurt a little worse the Rams beat the Seahawks in a game at Qwest Field during the Wild Card playoff match. The Seahawks went 0-3 against the Rams in 2004 and kicked them out of the playoffs. It stung.
The rivalry had a long stretch of ups after the low of 2004. The Seahawks beat the Rams 10 straight times between 2005-2010. Throughout the span I didn't stopped relishing every Seahawks win over the Rams, but because of this dominance many fans forgot about the Rams rivalry. They wrote them off as jokes, not worthy of Seattle fandom's attentions. But I never forgot. Every win was a great thing, a chance to stick it to a dangerous rival and remind them who the true boss of the NFC West is. But all great things come to an end and so did this amazing run of dominance.
In During Pete Carroll's time with the Seahawks the team has been really good. They have made the playoffs all but one year (2011) and made two Super Bowls winning one (2013) and losing the other (2014). The team added stars all over the roster. One of the biggest stars is Quarterback Russell Wilson, who claim into the NFL with mild to no fanfare and yet has dominate almost the whole league. Wilson is a legitimate top five QB.
During the Pete Carroll era most fans have focused on the 49er rivalry. The Whiners were a dominate team for a few years during the same time frame. They had a similar playing style and an easily hated coach in Jim Harbaugh. For other fans the main focus of their rivalry ire has been the Carolina Panthers. Like the 49ers the Panthers playing style is very similar to the Seahawks, they are a defense first team, with a run oriented offense. Also like the 49ers the Panthers have a figure head that is easy to hate, but instead of the head coach it is the Panther's QB, Cam Newton.
But it isn't the Panthers or the 49ers that have given the Seahawks the most trouble during the Carroll era. It is the freaking Rams. They have been a thorn in the Seahawks side, frustrating us year after year. The Rams are the one glaring exception to Wilson's brilliance and Carroll's sterling record. After Sunday's loss to the now Los Angeles Rams, the Seahawks have gone 7-6 against them since 2010, when Pete Carroll joined the team. With Russell Wilson starting at QB the Seahawks are 4-5 against the Rams (see Table 1 for a look at the Seahawks and Rams series since 2004). The freaking Rams got the Seattle Seahawks number and refuse to give it up.
Some of the success the Rams keep having against the Seahawks can be explained by simply looking at the matchup between the two teams strengths and weaknesses. The Seahawks are best at pass defense, and running offense. Their weakest unit on the field is their offensive line. The o-line has a penchant for giving up QB pressures and sacks. On the flip side the Rams best unit is their defensive front seven, whose ability to pressure quarterbacks is unmatched in the NFL. The Rams weakness is their offense, specifically their passing game. These perfectly aligned strengths and weaknesses usually result in low scoring slugfests.
Couple the perfect opposed strengths and weaknesses with the Seahawks strong tendency to hurt themselves with stupid penalties and the Rams stay in the games it appears they should lose. In low scoring tightly contested games the outcome is often determined by special teams, turnovers, and trick play. Unfortunately for the Seattle Seahawks the Rams head coach specializes in exactly this sort of nonsense.
During his time as the Titans Head Coach Jeff Fisher built a reputation as a football risk taker. His team faked kicks, ran weird sweeps, and went for it on fourth down. When Fisher arrived in St. Louis in 2012 he brought this same gamblers mentality with him. The Rams Head Coach isn't afraid to call for an onside kick at a random time, or go for it on fourth and long. These exact type of plays haven't beaten the Seahawks at least a couple times over the last few years. The frustration caused by losing a game because of a fake punt is huge. When it is the freaking Rams that beat you with a fake punt that frustration is multiplied several times over.
Losing to the freaking Rams is never fun. It stings even more because the Rams have been and are a much worse all around team than the Seahawks. The Rams have been mediocre to bad, yet those same Rams keep beating the Seahawks. The rivalry between the Rams and the Seahawks is one of the most annoying because the Seahawks should own the freaking Rams, but they don’t anymore. I hate the freaking Rams.
|Table 1: Seahawks vs Rams Results Since 2004|