Sports Out West

Seahawks vs. Rams preview: Seattle gets first look at St. Louis without Sam Bradford

Marshawn Lynch #24 of the Seattle Seahawks scores a touchdown against Craig Dahl #43 of the St. Louis Rams at the Edward Jones Dome on September 30, 2012 in St. Louis, Missouri.
(September 29, 2012 - Source: Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images North America)

For the second week in a row, the Seattle Seahawks will take the stage in a nationally televised game with a division rival. After a 34-22 win over the Arizona Cardinals, the Seahawks get a Monday night road matchup against the St. Louis Rams.

The Seahawks have won 14 of their last 16 games against St. Louis, but the two teams split a pair of tough, competitive contests a year ago. The Rams were able beat the Seahawks 19-13 in St. Louis last season.

Taking away some of the appeal of the matchup, the Rams will be without starting quarterback Sam Bradford, who tore his ACL against the Carolina Panthers last week. Bradford had possibly been having his best year in the NFL, with 14 touchdowns to 4 interceptions and a career-high 90.9 passer rating.

That leaves Kellen Clemens as the expected starter for the 13th time in his career, despite the rumors that the Rams gave a call to Brett Favre. Clemens has completed 51.8 percent of his passes while throwing 13 interceptions to just 7 touchdowns in his eight-year career.

The Rams don’t have much of a running game to turn to, either. The tandem of Zac Stacy and Daryl Richardson hasn’t been able to get anything going, averaging just over 70 yards per game on the ground, 29th in the NFL.

This looks like a mismatch in the Seahawks favor all over the field. Clemens will have the unfortunate task of starting against Seattle’s secondary, which gives up fewer than 200 yards per game passing and should be able to create of turnovers Monday night.

On the other side of the ball, the Seahawks’ strength is the Rams’ weakness. St Louis is 30th in the NFL is rushing yards allowed per game, including 175 to DeMarco Murray and 219 to the San Francisco 49ers as a team. Marshawn Lynch should be able to have a field day against the Rams’ struggling front seven.

St Louis sacked Russell Wilson six times, including three  times by Chris Long, in the last meeting between the two teams Week 17 in 2012. The Rams rank right in the middle in the NFL with 16 sacks, including 2.5 by long, but the Seahawks’ running game should be able to be effective enough to take most of the pressure off of Wilson and the offensive line.

The Seahawks have had some tough games with St. Louis recently, but this one has all the makings of a blowout. Points will be difficult to come by for the Rams, while Seattle’s grinding run game should be able to wear down St. Louis by the second half. 

Photo Credit: Dilip Vishwanat / Getty Images 


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Nathaniel Reeves

Nathaniel Reeves is a journalism student at the University of Washington, currently covering sports for The UW Daily in addition to Sports Out West. He has been closely following Seattle sports his entire life.