GAME: Seattle Seahawks (5-1, 1st, NFC West) at St. Louis Rams (3-4, T3, NFC West). TYPE. Regular season. WEEK: 8. WHEN: Monday, 5:40 p.m., Edward Jones Dome. MEETING: 30th (Seahawks lead 18-11). STREAKS: Seahawks W 2, Rams L 1. HEAD COACHES: Pete Carroll, Seattle; Jeff Fisher, St. Louis. LINE: Seahawks by 11. TV: ESPN. RADIO: ESPN 710 AM, KIRO 97.3 FM.
With St. Louis quarterback Sam Bradford lost for the season with an ACL tear, the Rams, off to a shaky start even with Bradford, should pose little threat to Seattle’s momentum. Favored by 11 points, the Seahawks will be seeking their 15th win in the last 17 meetings with the Rams and their fourth road victory of the year.
The Seahawks are 14-2 in the series since 2005, but they have lost twice in their last three trips to St. Louis, including a 19-13 defeat last season, in which Russell Wilson threw three picks, one of two multi-interception performances in Wilson’s 23-game career.
The Rams haven’t lived up to preseason billing as a team on the rise. After a 1-3 start, St. Louis beat Jacksonville and Houston, and are ranked 24th in scoring offense and scoring defense.
Seattle (6-1) has matched last season’s total for road wins (3) after a 34-22 victory at Arizona Oct. 17. The Seahawks haven’t won four games away from home since 2006. The single-season franchise record, five, came in 1984 and matched in 2005, the year Seattle played in the Super Bowl.
Winners of 13 of their last 15, the Seahawks sport an 18-8 record on Monday Night Football, the NFL’s best record by percentage in the prime-time game. Seattle has a six-game winning streak, its last victory coming Sept. 24, 2012, a 14-12 decision over Green Bay that ended with Wilson’s controversial “Fail Mary” TD pass to Golden Tate in the corner of the end zone as the clock ran out.
The Rams are expected to give backup QB Kellen Clemens, the former Oregon Duck, the 13th starting assignment of his career. The eight-year pro completed 52.7 percent of his passes for 546 yards, two TDs and one interception over three starts in 2011 while Bradford was sidelined with a high ankle sprain. That was Clemens’ last extended action.
“He has a real good understanding of what we’re doing,” St. Louis coach Jeff Fisher said of Clemens. “He’s been in the system for a long time, he was in the system at New York with Brian Schottenheimer (St. Louis offensive coordinator) and he has a good command of the offense.”
Seattle coach Pete Carroll said he does not expect St. Louis to change up much with Clemens.
“They’re at mid-stream right now and they have a big commitment to their style of play,” he said. “I would think they wouldn’t change their style of throws or emphasis.”
Clemens will face a Seattle defense that ranks second in the league in total yards allowed (282.1 per game) while limiting opponents to an average of 16.6 points.
“A few weeks ago we played Houston and they were the No. 1-rated rated defense,” said Fisher. “Last week we played the No. 3-ranked defense (Carolina), and now we’re playing the No. 2-ranked defense. So we have another challenge on our hands.”
“I think Richard Sherman has said multiple times about how talented they are, and he’s absolutely right,” said Clemens. “They are a very good secondary. Earl Thomas plays everywhere. He plays deep, shallow, sometimes he starts deep and he steals something shallow. He’s just a great player. And Kam Chancellor . . . I mean, have some mercy. Do not be standing on the tracks when that train comes down the tunnel. He’s put some plays on tape that have been really impressive.”
The Seahawk hoped WR Percy Harvin, who practiced last week for the first time since hip surgery, would play, but Carroll ruled that out Saturday, leaving open the possibility that Harvin might be available Nov. 3 when Seattle hosts Tampa Bay at CenturyLink.
“I can’t wait to see him at 100 percent because that’s pretty special,” said offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell. “But it’s a process where we have to build up his conditioning, build up his strength. It’s not going to be something where he’s going to play 70 plays in one game. We’ll just build him up until he can go all the time.”
The Seahawks will get back LB Bobby Wagner back (high ankle sprain), although he may not start. That will leave Seattle’s dwindling injury list to OT Breno Giacomini (knee), SS Jeron Johnson (hamstring) and FB Derrick Coleman (hamstring).
The Seahawks expect that newly re-signed Michael Robinson will start at fullback.
“We got to kick the rust off of him a little bit,” Carroll said of the former Pro Bowler. “But, he’s another person with experience and he can help us.”
SERIES: Dates to Oct. 31, 1976, when the Rams, then in Los Angeles, defeated the Seahawks 45-6 at the Coliseum. Seattle collected its only points on a pair of John Leypoldt field goals. The season series last year was split, the Rams winning 19-13 in St. Louis and the Seahawks 20-13 at CenturyLink. Seattle is 14-2 against St. Louis since 2005 and won the last meeting Dec. 30 when Russell Wilson scored the winning touchdown on a one-yard run in the fourth quarter.
Seahawks: Scored 191 points (27.3 per game), ranking 5th; allowed 116 points (16.6 per game), 3rd; differential of +75 points ranks 3rd. Rams: Scored 156 points (22.3), ranked 24th; allowed 184 (21.2), 24th; differential of -28 points ranks 22nd.
SEAHAWKS HEAD COACH: Pete Carroll (64-55 career, 31-24 Seattle) is in his fourth 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 vs. Carolina, 25 of 33, 320 yards, 1 TD, 0 INT, 115.7 passer rating; vs. San Francisco, 8 of 19, 142 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT, 63.9 passer rating; vs. Jacksonville, 14 of 21, 202 yards, 4 TDs, 1 INT, 117.5 passer rating; vs. Houston, 12 of 23, 123 yards, 0 TDs, 1 INT, 48.7 passer rating; vs. Indianapolis, 15 of 31, 210 yards, 2 TDs, 1 INT78.7 passer rating; season, 91.2; vs. Tennessee, 23 of 31, 257 yards, 0 TDs, 0 INTs, 98.5 passer rating; vs. Arizona, 18 of 28, 235 yards, 3 TDs, 0 INTs, 122.1 passer rating. Tarvaris Jackson vs. Jacksonville, 7 of 8, 129 yards, 1 TD, 0 INT, 158.3 passer rating.
SEAHAWKS STATS / NOTES
- REGULAR SEASON SUMMARY: Record: 6-1-0. Home: 3-0. Road: 3-1. Vs. NFC: 3-0. Vs. AFC: 3-1. Vs. NFC East: 0-0. Vs. NFC North: 0-0. Vs. NFC South: 1-0. Vs. NFC West: 2-0. Points For: 191 (27.3). Points Against: 116 (16.6).
- NFL RANKS: Scoring Offense — 27.3 (5th); Total Offense — 368.6 (10th); Rushing Offense — 154.4(2nd); Passing Offense — 214.1 (25th); Scoring Defense — 16.6 (3rd); Total Defense — 282.1 (2nd); Rushing Defense — 91.6 (6th); Passing Defense — 190.6 (2nd).
- Won four games in September for the second time in franchise history (1984, 4-1) and also had its fourth undefeated September (3-0 in 2003, 2004 and 2006).
- Seattle holds a 39-26 prime-time record, which includes games on Monday, Sunday night and Thursdays.
- Russell Wilson has the second-highest passer rating (108.6) since Week 9 of the 2012 season. Peyton Manning: 112.7.
- Over his past 15 starts, Wilson is 13-2. He has exceeded a 100.00 passer rating 10 times.
- Wilson has seven fourth-quarter comebacks, the most recent against Houston Sept. 29.
- Marshawn Lynch leads the NFL with 17 100-yard game games since 2011 and has rushed for 100 or more yards in 17 of his last 32.
- Since Week 9 of 2012, Lynch has rushed for 3,109 yards and 26 touchdowns, both totals leading the NFL (Adrian Peterson 2,783 yards, 20 TDs).
- Rank T2 in the NFL and first in the NFC with a +7 turnover differential (Kansas City is +11).
- Seattle limited opposing quarterbacks to a 66.1 passer rating, lowest in the NFC and second lowest in the NFL.
- Richard Sherman has picked off 15 passes since 2011, most in the NFL. His three picks this year are tied for second in the NFC. Sherman has also defensed 51 passes since 2011, most in the NFL.
- Seattle is 18-8 on Monday Night Football, a .692 winning percentage, best in the NFL. San Francisco is second at 43-25, a .632 percentage.
SEAHAWKS 2013 OFFENSIVE LEADERS
SEAHAWKS 2013 DEFENSIVE LEADERS
|Tackles||Thomas 47, Wright 41, Chancellor 34|
|Sacks||Bennett 4.5, McDonald 3.5, Clemons 3.5|
|Quarterback Hits||Bennett 13, Clemons 8, 2 with 4|
|Interceptions||Thomas 4, Sherman 3, Chancellor 2|
|Passes Defensed||Sherman 10, Browner 8, Thurmond 5|
|Forced Fumbles||Thomas, Avril 2|
|Fumbles Recovered||Chancellor, Mebane, McDaniel, Wright 1|
RAMS NOTES: The Rams defeated Arizona (27-24), Jacksonville (34-20) and Houston (38-13) and lost to Atlanta (31-24), Dallas (31-7), San Francisco (35-11) and Carolina (30-15) . . . Rams rank 18th in scoring offense (22.3), 30th in total offense (298.7), 29th in rushing offense (70.6), 18th in pass offense (228.1), 24th in scoring defense (26.3), 22nd in total defense (373.4), 30th in rushing defense (126.4) and 17th in pass defense (247.0) . . . Zac Stacy is St. Louis’ leading rusher with 214 yards and Daryl Richardson has 176 . . . Tavon Austin leads the Rams with 29 catches for 198 yards. Jared Cook has 26 catches for 344 yards and two touchdowns and Austin Pettis has 25 catches for 251 yards and four TDs.
RAMS QUARTERBACKS: Before suffering a season-ending injury, Sam Bradford completed 159 of 262 passes for 1,687 yards, 14 TDs and four INTs for a rating of 90.0. Backup Kellen Clemens has completed two of four for 19 yards, 0 TDs and 0 INTs.
2013-14 KEY DATES: Jan. 4-5, 2014 — Wild-card playoff games; Jan. 11-12 — Divisional playoff games; Jan. 19, 2014 — AFC and NFC Championship games; Jan. 26, 2014 — AFC-NFC Pro Bowl, Honolulu; Feb. 2, 2014 — Super Bowl XLVIII, MetLife Stadium, New York; Feb. 18-25, 2012 — Scouting combine, Indianapolis; March 11, 2014 — Free agency begins; May 8-10, 2014 — NFL draft.
NFC West Standings
|Seattle||6-1-0||2-0-0||Monday at St. Louis|
|S. Francisco||6-2-0||2-1-0||Nov. 10 vs. Carolina|
|St. Louis||3-4-0||1-1-0||Monday vs. Seattle|
|Arizona||4-4-0||0-3-0||Nov. 10 vs. Houston|
2013 Seahawks Preseason Schedule
|8/8/13||at San Diego||7 p.m.||NFLN||W||31-10||1-0|
|8/17/13||vs. Denver||7 p.m.||NFLN||W||40-10||2-0|
|8/23/13||at Green Bay||5 p.m.||CBS||W||17-10||3-0|
|8/29/13||vs. Oakland||7 p.m.||Fox||W||22-6||4-0|
2013 Seahawks Regular-Season Schedule
|9/8/13||at Carolina||10 a.m.||FOX||W||12-7||1-0|
|9/15/13||vs. SF||5:30 p.m.||NBC||W||29-3||2-0|
|9/22/13||vs. JAX||1:25 p.m.||CBS||W||45-17||3-0|
|9/29/13||at Texans||10 a.m.||FOX||W||23-20||4-0|
|10/6/13||at Indy||10 a.m.||FOX||L||34-28||4-1|
|10/13/13||vs. Tenn||1:05 p.m.||CBS||W||20-13||5-1|
|10/17/13||at Arizona||5:25 p.m.||NFLN||W||34-22||6-1|
|10/28/12||at StL||5:40 p.m.||ESPN||—||——||—|
|11/3/13||vs. Tampa||1:05 p.m.||FOX||—||——||—|
|11/10/13||at Atlanta||10 a.m.||FOX||—||——||—|
|11/17/13||vs. Minn||1:25 p.m.||FOX||—||—–||—|
|12/2/13||VS. NO||5:40 p.m.||ESPN||—||——||—|
|12/9/12||at SF||1:25 p.m.||FOX||—||——||—|
|12/15/13||at NYG||10 a.m.||FOX||—||——||—|
|12/22/13||vs. Ariz||1:05 p.m.||FOX||—||——||—|
|12/29/13||vs. STL||1:25 p.m.||FOX||—||——||—|