When: Sunday, 1:05 p.m. PT, Edward Jones Dome, St. Louis
Records: Seahawks 3-6 and tied for second in the NFC West; Rams 2-7 and third in the NFC West
TV: Fox (channel 13 in Seattle), with Chris Myers, Tim Ryan and Jamie Maggio
Radio: 710 ESPN and 97.3 FM, with Steve Raible, Warren Moon and Jen Mueller
Rest of the West: Cardinals (3-6) at 49ers (8-1).
The Seahawks offense vs. the Rams’ triangle defense: No, this has not morphed into a basketball game. But the strength of a Rams defense that ranks 24th in the league overall and last in run defense is ends Chris Long and James Hall and middle linebacker James Laurinaitis. While Laurinaitis leads the Rams in tackles (68), Long (eight) and Hall (three) rank 1-2 in sacks. So if the Seahawks can handle these three, they have a chance to win back-to-back games for the first time since they beat the Bears and Cardinals in Weeks 6-7 last season. A key will be Paul McQuistan and Breno Giacomini stepping on the right side of the line for the injured duo of guard John Moffitt and tackle James Carpenter.
One to watch
Seahawks CBs Brandon Browner and Richard Sherman vs. Rams WR Brandon Lloyd: The former 49er/Redskin/Bear/Bronco has only been with the Rams for four games, but he’s also caught 21 passes for 255 yards and two touchdowns – not to mention being targeted 47 times. Sore-ankled QB Sam Bradford will look to Lloyd early and often, so it will be up to the 6-foot-4 Browner and the 6-3 Sherman to use their length and size to neutralize the receiver who has quickly become Bradford’s favorite target.
Fun to watch
Rams RB Steven Jackson vs. the Seahawks run defense: Speaking of favorites, Jackson has 140 of the Rams’ 231 carries – for 707 yards, a 5.1-yard average and four touchdowns. And that’s despite missing most of three games with a quad injury. Jackson is no stranger to the Seahawks, having scored a touchdown in five of his past six games against them in St. Louis. But Jackson has never run into a Seahawks defense that is this big and stout. The Seahawks are allowing averages of 3.6 yards per carry, which is fourth best in the league; and 106.4 rushing yards per game, which ranks 12th in the league. The 6-2, 240-pound Jackson will be on the Seahawks’ biggest challenges – literally and figuratively.
One tough task
Rams LT Mark LeVoir vs. Seahawks DE Chris Clemons: Rodger Safford has been a starter since the Rams’ selected him in the second round of last year’s NFL Draft, but he damaged his pectoral lifting weights this week. So LeVoir, 6-7, 310-pounder, is expected to make the fourth start of his 6½ season NFL career. He’ll have his hands full with Clemons, whose speed off the edge is only amplified when he plays on a fast surface. Clemons leads the Seahawks with five sacks this season and has 16 over the past 25 games since being acquired in a trade with the Eagles. Of those sacks, 10½ have come in road games, including two in St. Louis last season.
Marshawn Lynch has scored a touchdown in each of his past five games and is coming off the first back-to-back 100-yard rushing performances of his career. … WR Doug Baldwin has 484 receiving yards and needs 288 to pass James Jett (771 in 1993) for the most by an undrafted rookie since 1970. … Baldwin and Sidney Rice lead the Seahawks in receptions with 29 each. They left last week’s game with concussions, but are expected to play against the Rams. … Steven Hauschka tied a club record with five field goals last week and has missed only twice in 17 attempts this season. … The Seahawks’ defense has allowed five touchdowns in the second half, which ties for the second-best total in the league; and 60 points, which ranks fourth. … After losing their first six games, the Rams of won two of their past three – with the loss in overtime against the Cardinals in Arizona two weeks ago. … The Rams have scored 16 points in the first quarter and 20 in the fourth; while the Seahawks have scored 25 in the second quarter. … MLB David Hawthorne and FS Earl Thomas lead the Seahawks in tackles with 61 each. … SS Kam Chancellor leads the team in interceptions (three), is tied for the lead in passes defensed (eight) and is fourth in tackles (52).