When: Monday, 5:30 p.m., CenturyLink Field
Record: 2-10 after Sunday’s 26-0 loss in San Francisco that clinched the NFC West title for the 49ers
Where they rank: No. 31 on offense (27th rushing, 28th passing); No. 23 on defense (32nd rushing, 8th passing)
Series: Seahawks lead 16-10, including a 24-7 in St. Louis in Week 11
Star power: Steven Jackson. Not much has changed in the three weeks since the Seahawks and Rams met in St. Louis. The Rams have lost two more games; the Seahawks have split a pair. But Jackson remains the obvious choice here. Last time it was by merit. This time, it’s by default, but also merit – despite his 10-carries-for-19 yards performance against the 49ers. Jackson was riding a streak of three consecutive 100-yard rushing performances enter the Week 11 game against the Seahawks, who held him to 42 yards on 15 carries. He hasn’t reached triple digits since, but Jackson still leads the Rams in rushing (832 yards) and touchdowns (five) and is tied for third in receptions (27). And, stopping the Rams still starts with containing Jackson.
Unsung hero: Brandon Lloyd. Since joining the Rams in mid-October, the veteran wide receiver has caught 32 passes for 430 yards and four touchdowns – including five for 67 yards and a 30-yard TD catch for the Rams’ only TD against the Seahawks in Week 11. “He’s been terrific,” Rams coach Steve Spagnuolo said before that game.
On the spot: The offensive line. Guard Jacob Bell, the lone remaining starter from the Rams’ opening-day unit, when down with a ligament injury in his right knee against the 49ers. What happened to the others? Tackles Jason Smith (concussion) and Rodger Saffold (pectoral) are on injured reserve; center Jason Brown was first benched and then moved to right guard; guard Harvey Dahl was moved to tackle to replace Smith. So, who’s left? From left tackle to right, Adam Goldberg, Brown, Tony Wragge, Dahl and Thomas Welch. At least that was the unit on the field at the end of the 49ers game. And this week this injury-ravaged line gets the 12th MAN on “Monday Night Football” to deal with.
Burning question: Who plays quarterback for the Rams? Sam Bradford was inactive against the 49ers because of a high ankle sprain that has been bothering him for weeks. Backup A.J. Feeley got a small fracture in his right thumb and also hurt his left hand against the 49ers. It sounds like Bradford will start against the Seahawks, if he can – although coach Steve Spagnuolo admits there are concerns about Bradford needing surgery if he injures the ankle again. “We will probably proceed the same way we did last week,” the Rams coach told reporters in St. Louis. “When we get to Wednesday we’ll decide just how much exertion we want to put on the ankle because the less you put on it, the better off he is when we get down to a game-type decision.” If neither Bradford nor Feeley can go, the Rams’ No. 3 QB is Tom Brandstater. Just in case, the Rams have signed QB Matt Gutierrez to their practice squad.
Number to know: 6, the number of plays the Rams ran in 49ers territory in Sunday’s shutout loss.
Familiar faces: Kicker Josh Brown was the Seahawks’ leading scorer from 2003-07. Punter Donnie Jones was with the Seahawks in 2004. Wide receiver Brandon Gibson played at Washington State. Defensive coordinator Ken Flajole was an assistant coach with the Seahawks from 1999-2002 and went to Pacific Lutheran. Wide receivers coach Nolan Cromwell held the same position with the Seahawks from 1999-2007. Defensive backs coach Clayton Lopez was an assistant coach with the Seahawks from 1999-2003.
The last word: “It’s kind of the same story we’ve had all year. We just can’t seem to put it all together.” – Feeley after the loss to the 49ers