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December 24, 2013 at 7:26 AM

First look: Rams

quinnsack

Here’s our weekly First Look at Seattle’s opponent, which this week is Robert Quinn (above in an AP photo) and the St. Louis Rams:

Seahawks opponent:  St. Louis

Game time: 1:25 p.m. Sunday, CenturyLink field

TV: FOX

Coach: Jeff Fisher, 155-135-1 overall in 19 years overall, 14-15-1 in second year with Rams.

Record: 7-8.

Last game: Beat Tampa Bay, 23-13.

The series: Seahawks lead it 19-11, including a 14-9 win in St. Louis on Oct. 28 when Seattle held the Rams out of the end zone on the final play. Seattle has won 15 of the last 17, and hasn’t been beaten by the Rams at home since 2004.

The early line: Seahawks by 10.

Key players: St. Louis features one of the more imposing defensive front sevens in the NFL led by end Robert Quinn, who leads the NFL with 18 sacks, which is also a team record. He got the record Sunday when he had three sacks in the Rams’ win over Tampa Bay, getting the final sack in the final minute of the game. Rookie linebacker Alec Ogletree forced two fumbles in the game and now has six forced fumbles on the season, good for third in the NFL. Another rookie, running back Zac Stacy, has emerged as one of the leaders of the offense as he has 958 yards. He has rushed for more than 100 in each of the Rams’ last two games, with 104 against Tampa Bay and 133 against New Orleans, each home wins. Former Oregon star Kellen Clemens has been a steadying force since taking over at quarterback for the injured Sam Bradford — the Rams are 4-4 in his eight starts as he has thrown for seven touchdowns and five interceptions. Tight end Jared Cook is his favorite target, with 46 catches for 641 yards. The Rams suffered a big loss Sunday, however, when starting left tackle Jake Long was lost with an ACL injury.

St. Louis’ keys to success: The Rams were considered one of the disappointments of the NFL at mid-season, floundering with a 3-6 record and playing without quarterback Sam Bradford, lost for the season with a torn ACL. But as they did a year ago, the Rams are again finishing strong, having won four of their last six games, including relative routs of Indianapolis (38-8), Chicago (42-21) and New Orleans (27-16). The Rams are at their best when they are pressuring the quarterback on defense — they are tied for third in the NFL in sacks with 49; and running the ball on offense — they have rushed for 100 or more in each of their last eight games, and 140 or more in five of those contests. That streak began with a 200-yard rushing game against the Seahawks on Oct. 28, a contest Seattle held on to win 14-9 despite being outgained 339-135. St. Louis also has proven adept at getting turnovers, currently holding a plus-10 differential that is tied for fourth in the NFL.

BY THE NUMBERS

24 — St. Louis’ forced fumbles, most in the NFL. St. Louis has returned three for touchdowns, tied for most in the NFL.

4-4 — St.  Louis record with Kellen Clemens starting at quarterback.

3-4 — St. Louis record with Sam Bradford starting at quarterback.

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