The 2009 preseason is now finished and in the books. Now all 32 NFL teams will turn their attention to what really matters and that is the 2009 regular season and with one goal in winning the super bowl.
Two of the four worst teams (record wise) will be facing off in a week one division battle.
For the St Louis Rams this is really just a game where they don't want to lose any players to injury because with the moves the Rams have made they are not in any position to better themselves in the standings.
Let's take a look at some important pregame notes for both teams before we get to the in depth preview.
LT Walter Jones- Out
C Chris Spencer- Out
DE Derrick Walker- Doubtful
CB Travis Fisher- Doubtful
WR Deion Branch- Game time decision (questionable)
OT John Greco- Out
LB Larry Grant- Questionable
QB Mark Bulger- Probable
S Craig Dahl- Probable
Now let's take a look at some key players to watch on both teams.
Seahawks players to watch:
QB Matt Hasselbeck- The Seahawks depend on quarterback Matt Hasselbeck to lead the tempo of the entire Seahawks offense. When the Seahawks and Hasselbeck start well they never look back but when they start slow it's always a long day in Seahawks Nation.
So if Hasselbeck and the Seahawks score first like they did in the preseason they will never look back and pick up their first regular season win under Jim Mora Jr.
RB Julius Jones/Edgerrin James- Both Edgerrin James and Julius Jones will be very important in Hasselbeck's success the entire season and in week one against a horrendous Rams defense.
If the Seahawks and Edgerrin James/Julius Jones have early success in the running game it will help setup Matt Hasselbeck in the play action and then that's when the Seahawks new high powered offense is deadly.
WR TJ Houshmandzadeh- Last season when the Seahawks faced the Rams in week two they did not have Nate Burleson, Deion Branch or the Seahawks newest high profile wide out TJ Houshmandzadeh.
In preseason play and during the entire training camp it was easy to see that Matt Hasselbeck and TJ Houshmandzadeh were on the same page on every single play.
For St Louis and the Rams defense that is not a good thing considering their defense hasn't gotten better other than a new head coach who was a great DC in NY.
If Houshmandzadeh and Hasselbeck are on the same page it will be a very long day for the Rams secondary.
LB trio- What can $140 million get you? It can get you just about anything you want in life or it can get you the best line backing trio in the NFL led by middle linebacker Lofa Tatupu who has been known for taking out players including Rams QB Marc Bulger.
The Seahawks line backing trio will feature one of the best rookie linebackers in a long time. Fourth overall pick Aaron Curry who was a tackling machine in college at Wake Forrest.
If all three linebackers play to their potential it will be a long day for the entire Rams offense including running back Steven Jackson.
Rams players to watch:
QB Marc Bulger: Bulger has not been the same quarterback he use to be before he signed his huge six year $65 million dollar contract back in 2007.
Bulger is no longer the star player on the St Louis Rams offense. That title is now held by running back Steven Jackson.
However if Bulger does play Sunday he'll be more effective handing the ball off than he will trying to throw with a broken pinkie.
RB Steven Jackson- Steven Jackson is probably the only above par player on the St Louis Rams offense.
Jackson, when he's not holding out can be a top five running back in the NFL but because he plays in a horrendous St Louis Rams offense which does not feature any consistent support he's an easy number to follow.
Look for Jackson to score all of the Rams touchdowns this sunday which probably will be one with the Seahawks new defense.
Overview and predication:
2009 is completely behind the Seattle Seahawks now and with just about everyone healthy there is nothing holding this team back.
The Seahawks defense has a greatly improved interior defensive line with DT Colin Cole who is a great run-stuffing defensive tackle.
The only weakness the Seahawks might have is out the outside at CB with Marcus Trufant on the PUP list which makes Josh Wilson and Kelly Jennings that much more important this season.
I for see the Seahawks offense having a huge day both running and throwing due to the lack of talent on defense outside of Chris Long and LB James Laurinaitis.
I do see the Rams scoring but nothing to the point of last seasons opener (23-20).
My prediction for the week one Seahawks-Rams game.
Seahawks 35-Rams 10.
TJ Houshmandzadeh with 2 TD receptions. Julius Jones and Edgerrin James both with 1 rushing touchdown and one defensive touchdown.
The St Louis Rams touchdown will come on the ground via Steven Jackson and a FG from Josh Brown.