Here’s our weekly First Look at the upcoming game:
Game time: 5:40 p.m. Pacific Time, Monday, Edward Jones Dome
Coach: Jeff Fisher (152-131-1 in 19 years overall, 10-12-1 in second year with Rams)
Last game: Lost at Carolina, 30-15
The series: Seahawks lead 18-11 and have won 14 of the last 16 dating to 2004
The early line: Seahawks by 10.
Key players: Seattle had been expecting to face QB Sam Bradford, the No. 1 pick in the 2010 draft. But he suffered an ACL tear Sunday is out for the season. So the Rams instead will likely start Kellen Clemens — an Oregon grad — at quarterback, instead. Clemens (above in an Associated Press photo) has started 12 games in his career, going 4-8, including an 0-3 record with the Rams in 2011, the last time he started. The Rams’ most consistent offensive weapons have been tight end Jared Cook (26 catches, 344 yards) and running back Zac Stacy (214 yards on 50 carries). Defensively, the Rams are led by end Robert Quinn, who is sixth in the NFL in sacks with seven, and linebacker James Laurinaitis, who has 55 tackles.
St. Louis’ key to success: The Rams haven’t quite lived up to some of the pre-season talk that they were a darkhorse playoff contender and will be further challenged now without Bradford. After a 1-3 start, the Rams beat Jacksonville and Houston with an improved running game – the Rams averaged 121 yards per game on the ground in those two wins with Stacy getting 78 and 79. St. Louis, at least, has been careful with the ball, losing just nine turnovers, fewer than all but seven other NFC teams, and has a plus-three turnover margin for the season.
BY THE NUMBERS
7-5 — Seattle’s all-time record at St. Louis
52 — St. Louis’ sacks last season, which tied for the most in the NFL.
18 — St. Louis’ sacks this season, tied for 16th.