Bill Wixey’s keys to a Seahawks victory over the Rams

Defensive end Frank Clark #55 of the Seattle Seahawks celebrates after sacking Quarterback Ryan Tannehill #17 of the Miami Dolphins at CenturyLink Field on September 11, 2016 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)

Defensive end Frank Clark #55 of the Seattle Seahawks celebrates after sacking Quarterback Ryan Tannehill #17 of the Miami Dolphins at CenturyLink Field on September 11, 2016 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)

SEATTLE — As most Seattle Seahawks fans know very well, the Hawks have struggled against the Rams, particularly on the road.

This time around, the Hawks travel to Los Angeles to face a very motivated Rams team that is not only playing its first game in front of the LA fans in 22 years, but they also have a lot to prove after getting shellacked by the 49ers 28-0 in the season opener.

Here are my three keys for the Seahawks to win this one on the road:

How healthy is Russell Wilson? — Wilson says his injured ankle is good to go, and it better be. The Rams have one of the most disruptive defensive lines in the NFL, and have given the Seahawks fits for years. With the Hawks’ makeshift offensive line struggling to keep pace, Wilson needs two legs to avoid the rush.

Stop the run — Rams running back Todd Gurley was held in check against the 49ers in Week One of the season. And the Rams’ offense looked terrible.  But I honestly think they are much better than they showed, and Gurley is the key to the LA offense. The Seahawks haven’t given up a 100-yard rusher since 2014. If they hold Gurley in check today, I think this bodes well. Because we can be fairly sure Case Keenum isn’t going to beat the Hawks with his arm alone.

Keep the emotions in check — This is the return to SoCal for Pete Carroll and several Seahawks stars including Richard Sherman. This is a high-profile matchup, that will have the nation’s attention, and certainly the LA fans will be fired up for the return of NFL football. Also, after being blanked in the opener, the LA Rams still haven’t scored a touchdown in 22 years. If and when the Rams find the end zone, the place will go nuts. A quick start on offense for Seattle will do a lot to keep the crowd out of the game.

MORE: PETE CARROLL ON THE NFL’S RETURN TO LA