A 14-12 winner Monday night against the Packers, the Seahawks have won their last three matchups with the St. Louis Rams, and 13 of the last 14 dating to 2005.
GAME: Seattle Seahawks (2-1, T2, NFC West) at St. Louis Rams (1-2, 4th NFC West). TYPE: Regular season. WEEK: 4. WHEN: Sunday, 10 a.m., PT, Edward Jones Dome, St. Louis. MEETING: 28th (Seahawks lead 17-10). STREAKS: Seahawks W 2; Rams L 1. HEAD COACHES: Jeff Fisher, St. Louis; Pete Carroll, Seattle. LINE: Seattle by 3. TV: FOX. RADIO: ESPN 710 AM, KIRO 97.3 FM.
The Seahawks, who play four of their next five on the road beginning Sunday against the Rams in St. Louis, are 2-1 to open a season for the first time since 2007. It’s been at least that long since the Seahawks played as well on defensive as they are now. They have surrendered a league-low 13 points per game and rank fifth in the NFL with 10 sacks.
Eight of the sacks, including a record-tying four by Chris Clemons and two by first-round pick Bruce Irvin, came against Green Bay last week — all in the first half — when the media coverage surrounding the game’s final play reduced Seattle’s defensive performance to a footnote.
“I don’t know how Clemons gets four sacks in one half,” coach Pete Carroll said of the NFC’s Defensive Player of the Week. “A tremendous job by those guys, and the two edge guys rushing (Clemons and Irvin), they feed off one another.”
Clemons and Irvin should have plenty to feed off Sunday. They’ll oppose a battered Rams offensive line that has had a different starting combination in every game and won’t have center Scott Wells, out with a broken foot, or tackle Rodger Saffold, out with a knee injury.
The Chicago Bears dumped St. Louis quarterback Sam Bradford six times last week, when the Rams produced a season-low 160 yards. Life has been so rough for Bradford that 87 of his 95 throws have been shorter than 20 yards.
Seattle’s defense is built on speed, said St. Louis running back Steven Jackson, who has been hobbled with a groin pull. They are doing an excellent job so far this season. They have established that they are going to come after the quarterback and we are going to have to protect Sam. In the running game, we are going to have to make sure that we get our reads right and we get a man on a man and take advantage of the creases that are going to be there.”
“We’re going to have another week to work together and we’ll continue to do the same things that we’ve been doing with these guys,” coach Jeff Fisher said this week. “You coach them up. You put them in position where you think they can be successful and then you’ve got to adjust.”
The main adjustment the Rams will have to make against the Seahawks, according to Rams offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer, is to keep his offense out of obvious passing situations and defuse Seattle’s pass rush.
“On first down, we need to stay on track,” said Schottenheimer. “These guys are really, really good when you get into third-down and long situations.
” Last week, we just didnt play very well against Chicago. The week before, we did. Its a great challenge. You talk about the top two or three in most (defensive stat) rankings . . . Im glad were playing Seattle at home.
When Seattle has the ball, the Rams defense will try to bait rookie quarterback Russell Wilson, going for his third consecutive victory, into mistakes.
“The first thing I see out of him is that he’s got a lot of composure,” said Rams assistant head coach Dave McGinnis. “Hes a guy that is very sure of himself out there. Theyre doing a very good job with him. Of course it benefits him greatly, as it does any young quarterback in this league, to have a real horse (Marshawn Lynch) to be able to hand it off to.
Wilson is a very composed guy. They like to move him. He can get on the edges. Hes extremely athletic and hes accurate when he takes off and throws it.”
SERIES: Dates to Oct. 31, 1976, when the Los Angeles Rams hammered the Seahawks 45-6 in the Kingdome. The Seahawks have won 15 of the past 19 meetings and 13 of the last 14. In the three previous contests, the Seahawks outscored the Rams 70-26.
LAST MEETING (Seahawks 30, Rams 13, Dec. 12, 2011): Tarvaris Jackson threw for 224 yards and a TD and Lynch ran for 115 and a TD as the Seahawks built a 23-6 lead and cruised. Seattle also got a Michael Robinson TD on a 17-yard return of a blocked punt and three Steven Hauschka field goals.
Seahawks: 2-1-0, T2, NFC West; scored 57 points (19 per game), ranking 26th; allowed 39 points (13.0 per game), 1st; differential of +18 points ranks seventh. Rams: 1-2-0, 4th, NFC West; scored 60 points (20.0), ranked 24th; allowed 78 (26.0), 22nd; differential of -18 points ranks 23rd.
SEAHAWKS HEAD COACH: Pete Carroll (49-50-0 career, 16-19-0 Seattle) is in his third season. In 2010, he directed Seattle to the NFC West title, the Seahawks becoming the first team in NFL history to win a division with a losing (7-9) record. Prior to joining the Seahawks, Carroll served as head coach at Southern California, where his Trojans won seven Pac-10 titles.
SEAHAWKS QUARTERBACKS: Russell Wilson — at Arizona — 18 of 34 for 153 yards, 1 TD, one INT, 62.5 rating; vs. Dallas — 15 of 20, 151 yards, 1 TD, 0 INTs, 112.7 rating; vs. Green Bay — 10 of 21 for 130 yards, 2 TDs, 0 INTs, 99.3 passer rating . . . Matt Flynn — at Arizona, DNP; vs. Dallas, DNP; vs. Green Bay, DNP.
SEAHAWKS STATS / NOTES
TEAM OFFENSIVE RANKINGS
|Total Yards||807||4||Total Yards||862||28|
|Yards / Game||269.0||4||Yards / Game||287.3||28|
|Rush Yards||424||6||Rush Yards||287||20|
|Rush / Game||141.3||6||Rush / Game||95.7||20|
|Pass Yards||383||32||Pass Yards||575||27|
|Pass / Game||127.7||32||Pass / Game||191.7||27|
|Points / Game||19.0||T26||Points / Game||20.0||T24|
TEAM DEFENSIVE RANKINGS
|Total Yards||817||4||Total Yards||1076||19|
|Yards / Game||272.3||4||Yards / Game||358.7||19|
|Rush / Allw.||176||2||Rush / Allw.||362||21|
|Rush / Game||58.7||2||Rush / Game||120.7||21|
|Pass Allw.||641||10||Pass Allw.||714||16|
|Pass / Game||213.7||10||Pass / Game||238.0||16|
|Points Allw.||39||1||Points Allw.||78||22|
|Points / Game||13.0||1||Points / Game||26.0||22|
SEAHAWKS OFFENSIVE LEADERS
SEAHAWKS DEFENSIVE LEADERS
|Tackles||Wright 25, Chancellor 24, Wagner 16|
|Sacks||Clemons 5.0, Irvin 2.5, Mebane 2.0|
|Quarterback Hits||Clemons 7, Irvin 5, Branch 3, Mebane 3|
|Interceptions||Browner 1, Sherman 1|
|Passes Defensed||Sherman 4, Wright, Mebane, Clemons, 2|
|Forced Fumbles||Robinson 2, Clemons, Thomas, Wright, 1|
|Fumbles Recovered||Mebane, Thomas, 1|
RAMS NOTES: Steven Jackson leads with 140 yards but has yet to score a rushing touchdown. Jackson had 123 scrimmage yards (63 rush, 60 rec.) in his last meeting with the Seahawks and has 12 career games with both 60 or more rush yards and 60 or more receiving yards. Since 2006, his average of 112.9 scrimmage yards per game (10,044 yards, 89 games) is the league’s best with a minimum of 60 games . . . Danny Amendola has caught 25 passes (second in the NFL) for 296 yards and one touchdown . . .Quarterback Sam Bradford is third in the NFC with a 111.1 passer rating on third downs, completing 17 of 23 (73.9 pct.) for 182 yards with a TD . . . Defensive end Chris Long had two sacks last week and has 12 in his past 13 games. He also had a sack in his last home game against the Seahawks. In 15 games at home, he has 13.5 sacks . . . Rams DT Michael Brockers, the team’s first-round draft pick, could make his debut this week after recovering from a high right ankle sprain.
RAMS QUARTERBACKS: Sam Bradford has completed 61 of 96 passes (64.2 percent) for 660 yards, four touchdowns and three interceptions for a passer rating of 85.4. Bradford has one 300-yard passing game this season, 310 with three TDs in a 31-28 win over the Washington Redskins. Last week, he completed 18 of 35 for 152 yards, no TDs and two INTs in a 23-6 loss to the Chicago Bears.
RAMS HEAD COACH: Jeff Fisher (142-121-0 overall, 1-2 St. Louis) is in his first year. Fisher served as the head coach of the Houston Oilers/Tennessee Titans from 1994-09. He got his NFL start as a defensive assistant with the Chicago Bears (1985) and has also worked for the Philadelphia Eagles (1986-87), Los Angeles Rams (1991) and San Francisco 49ers (1992-93). He coached the Titans in Super Bowl XXXIV.
KEY DATES: Nov. 18 — Seahawks bye week; Jan. 5-6, 2013 — Wild card weekend; Jan. 12-13 — Divisional playoffs; Jan. 19-20 — Conference championships; Jan. 27 — Pro Bowl (Honolulu); Feb. 3 — Super Bowl, New Orleans. Feb. 20-26 — NFL combine (Indianapolis); April 25-27 — NFL draft.
NFC West Standings
|Arizona||3-0||1-0||Sunday vs. Miami Dolphins|
|S. Francisco||2-1||0-0||Sunday at New York Jets|
|Seattle||2-1||0-1||Sunday at St. Louis Rams|
|St. Louis||1-2||0-0||Sunday vs. Seattle Seahawks|
COMING UP: Seahawks travel to Carolina before returning to CenturyLink Field Oct. 14 to host the New England Patriots.
2012 Seahawks Preseason Schedule
|8/11/12||vs. Tennessee||7 p.m.||Q13||W||27-17||1-0|
|8/18/12||at Denver||6 p.m.||Q13||W||30-10||2-0|
|8/24/12||at Kansas City||5 p.m.||Q13||W||44-14||3-0|
|8/30/12||vs. Oakland||7 p.m.||Q13||W||21-3||4-0|
2012 Seahawks Regular-Season Schedule
|9/9/12||at Arizona||1:25 p.m.||FOX||L||20-16||0-1|
|9/16/12||vs. Dallas||1:05 p.m.||FOX||W||27-7||1-1|
|9/24/12||vs. Green Bay||5:30 p.m.||ESPN||W||14-12||2-1|
|9/30/12||at St. Louis||10 a.m.||FOX||—||—||—|
|10/7/12||at Carolina||1:05 p.m.||FOX||—||—||—|
|10/14/12||vs. N. England||1:05 p.m.||CBS||—||—||—|
|10/18/12||at S. Francisco||5:20 p.m.||NFLN||—||—||—|
|10/28/12||at Detroit||10 a.m.||FOX||—||—||—|
|11/4/12||vs. Minnesota||1:05 p.m.||FOX||—||—||—|
|11/11/11||vs. NY Jets||1:05 p.m.||CBS||—||—||—|
|11/25/12||at Miami||10 a.m.||FOX||—||—||—|
|12/2/12||at Chicago||10 a.m.||FOX||—||—||—|
|12/9/12||vs. Arizona||1:15 p.m.||FOX||—||—||—|
|12/16/12||*at Buffalo||1:05 p.m.||FOX||—||—||—|
|12/23/12||vs. San Francisco||1:15 p.m.||FOX||—||—||—|
|12/30/12||vs. St. Louis||1:15 p.m.||FOX||—||—||—|
* in Toronto
2012 Seahawks Capsules
Aug. 11 Seahawks 27, Titans 17 (at Seattle) — Rookie quarterback Russell Wilson ran for a touchdown and passed for one, leading the Seahawks over a Tennessee Titans team featuring two quarterbacks with strong local ties, ex-Seahawk Matt Hasselbeck and ex-Husky Jake Locker. Hasselbeck threw two interceptions while Locker completed 7 of 13 for 80 yards.
Aug. 18: Seahawks 30, Broncos 10 (at Denver) — Starting his second straight exhibition game, QB Matt Flynn failed to seize control of the quarterback job, finishing 6 of 13 for 31 yards with no TDs or INTs. But Wilson made a case for himself by completing 10 of 17 for 155 yards, two TDs and a passer rating of 28.5. The Seahawks finished with 228 yards rushing, led by Sutton’s 48 yards on three carries.
Aug. 24: Seahawks 44, Chiefs 14 (at Kansas City) — Wilson completed 10 of 17 passes for 185 yards and two touchdowns. With Wilson playing into the second half, Seattle scored 21 points, overcoming a 10-9 halftime deficit. Earl Thomas made the big defensive play, returning an interception 75 yards for a touchdown. Flynn did not play due to injury.
Aug. 30: Seahawks 21, Raiders 3 (at Seattle): Flynn, getting most of the snaps, completed 11 of 13 passes for 102 yards. Seahawks outgained the Raiders 334 yards to 101.
Sept. 8: Cardinals 20, Seahawks 16 (at Phoenix): Despite seven tries inside Arizona’s red zone in final minute, the Seahawks could not score the game- winning touchdown. The Seahawks overcame a tepid first half offensively thanks to an 83-yard kickoff return and a 52-yard punt return by Leon Washington.
Sept. 15: Seahawks 27, Cowboys 7 (at Seattle): The Seahawks took a 10-0 lead in less than five minutes when Michael Robinson forced Felix Jones to fumble the opening kickoff, leading to a short field goal, and Malcolm Smith blocked Chris Jones’ punt and Jeron Johnson returned it for a touchdown. Marshawn Lynch ran for 122 yards and the defense allowed the Cowboys only 34 yards and three first downs in the second half.
Sept. 24: Seahawks 14, Packers 12 (at Seattle): Russell Wilson and Golden Tate hooked up on a wildly controversial 24-yard touchdown pass as the clock ran out, giving the Seahawks a dramatic victory. As Wilson’s pass reached the end zone, Tate committed a pushing penalty that wasn’t called. Green Bay’s M.D. Jennings intercepted the ball and Tate tried to wrestle it away. One official ruled no touchdown, another signaled TD. After review, Tate was awarded the touchdown. The Seahawks had eight sacks in the first half, a record-tying four by Chris Clemons.