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 didn’t play very well against Chicago. The week before, we did. It’s a great challenge. You talk about the top two or three in most (defensive stat) rankings . . . I’m glad we’re 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. "He’s a guy that is very sure of himself out there. They’re 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. He’s extremely athletic and he’s 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
- SEASON SUMMARY: Record: 2-1. Home: 2-0. Road: 0-1. Vs. NFC: 2-1. Vs. AFC: 0-0. Vs. NFC East: 1-0. Vs. NFC North: 1-0. Vs. NFC South: 0-0. Vs. NFC West: 0-1. Points For: 57 (19.0). Points Against: 39 (13.0).
- NFL RANKS: Scoring Offense --19.0 (T26); Total Offense -- 269 (29th); Rushing Offense -- 141.3 (6th); Passing Offense -- 127.0 (32nd); Scoring Defense -- 13.0 (1st); Total Defense -- 272.3 (4th); Rushing Defense -- 58.7 (2nd); Passing Defense -- 213.7 (10th).
- RB Marshawn Lynch leads the NFC with 305 yards on 72 carries and has run for at least 85 yards in 11 of his past 12 games.
- Leon Washington ranks No. 5 in the NFL in kickoff return yards with a 32.5-yard average.
- Chris Clemons ranks third in the NFL with 5.0 sacks, one behind Clay Matthews of Green Bay and a half a sack behind J.J. Watt of Houston (5.5). In his last four games vs. Rams, Clemons has 6.5 sacks and had three in his last game at St. Louis.
- INJURY REPORT: Did not practice -- OT Breno Giacomini, DE Jason Jones, OG John Moffitt. Limited practice -- DT Jaye Howard; DE Greg Scruggs. Full participation -- WR Doug Baldwin; CB Byron Maxwell.
- There's a good chance that former N0. 1 pick James Carpenter could return to Seattle's offensive line after being sidelined since November when he suffered a severe knee injury.
- 12th Man Flag Raisers: Tennessee -- Steve August; Oakland -- 2012 area Summer Olympians; Dallas -- Shawn Springs; Green Bay -- Trent Dilfer.
|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|
|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|
|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 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.TRANSACTIONS
- Aug. 26: Waived LB Jameson Konz, DE Pep Levingston, DB Roy Lewis, TE Cameron Morrah, WR Phil Bates, OT Edawn Coughman, CB Donny Lisowski, CB Ron Parker, RB Tyrell Sutton, OT Alex Barron, OG Deuce Lutui, WR Terrell Owens.
- Aug. 27: Traded LB Barrett Ruud to New Orleans to for an undisclosed future draft pick; waived DE Dexter Davis and re-signed CB Denny Lisowski, an undrafted rookie free agent from Montana who attended O'Dea High; traded QB Tarvaris Jackson to Buffalo for an undisclosed future draft choice.
- Aug. 31: Waived/released CB Phillip Adams, DE Pierre Allen, LB Allen Bradford, WR Deon Butler, WR Kris Durham, G Paul Fanaika, G Rishaw Johnson, WR Jermaine Kearse, LB Kyle Knox, DE Cordarro Law, WR Ricardo Lockette, TE Sean McGrath, C Kris O’Dowd, QB Josh Portis, S DeShawn Shead, LB Korey Toomer, WR Lavasier Tuinei, TE Cooper Helfet, RB Vai Taua.
- Sept. 1: Released TE Kellen Winslow; signed to practice squad LB Allen Bradford, G Rishaw Johnson, WR Ricardo Lockette, TE Sean McGrath, QB Josh Portis, S DeShawn Shead, LB Korey Toomer.
- Sept. 3: Signed to practice squad T/DT Edawn Coughman, WR Jermaine Kearse; signed TE Evan Moore.
- Sept. 13: Released G Rishaw Johnson and LB Korey Toomer from the practice squad and signed LB Allen Bradford and OT Mike Person in their places.
|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|
|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|
|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||---||---||---|