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The previous time the Los Angeles Rams visited Seattle, they were announcing themselves as the new powerhouse in the NFC West by handing the Seahawks a drubbing unlike any they had experienced in Pete Carroll’s tenure.

As much as the Seahawks would like to forget that day last December, a 42-7 loss to a division rival lingers.

Less than a year later, the Rams are more than just the favourites of their division. A quarter through the season, they may be the prohibitive Super Bowl favourites. The Rams (4-0) make their annual trip to Seattle on Sunday looking to take control of the division just five weeks into the season.

“I think there’s definitely a lot of confidence that comes with playing well and definitely can get some momentum going, but I think we’re just executing,” Rams quarterback Jared Goff said. “We’ve done a pretty good job executing.”

And there is little reason not to believe Los Angeles will be leaving town with a three-game lead in the division.

The Rams are scoring an absurd amount of points, having scored at least 33 points in all four games. Goff is coming off a career-high 465 yards passing and five TDs, carving up a Minnesota defence that was regarded as among the best in the NFL and posting a perfect passer rating in the process. Cooper Kupp, Robert Woods and Brandin Cooks each had 100 yards receiving against the Vikings.

Oh, and there’s still Todd Gurley, who the last time he saw the Seahawks rushed for 152 yards and scored a career-high four total touchdowns. And this time, they’ll be facing a Seahawks defence without safety Earl Thomas, who suffered a season-ending lower leg fracture last week against Arizona.

“Not having Earl now, this week changes a lot and just how good he is at understanding offences and concepts,” Goff said. “You wish he was there, you want to get them at full strength with him as part of that and how good he is. Would have been great to compete against him.”

The Seahawks (2-2) have recovered from a 0-2 start by knocking off Dallas and Arizona in consecutive weeks. The Seahawks have rediscovered their run game with consecutive 100-yard rushers and their defence has held three straight opponents to under 305 total yards of offence.

But they know the Rams are a different challenge.

“They’re going to do something that we haven’t seen before, but if we’re disciplined and we do what we practiced, we should be fine,” Seattle linebacker Bobby Wagner said. “That’s why your eyes are so important this week.”

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