When: Monday, 5:30 p.m., CenturyLink Field
Records: Seahawks 5-7 and tied for second in NFC West; Rams 2-10 and last in NFC West
TV: ESPN, with Mike Tirico, Jon Gruden, Ron Jaworski and Rachel Nichols
Radio: 710 ESPN and 97.3 FM, with Steve Raible, Warren Moon and Jen Mueller
Rest of the West: 49ers (10-2) at Cardinals (5-7)
The Seahawks’ defense vs. Rams RB Steven Jackson: The battering-Ram of a back has 27 100-yard rushing performances in his career. But in 14 games against the Seahawks, Jackson has none. He got 42 yards against them three weeks ago, and 19 came on one run. So the Seahawks held Jackson to an average of 1.6 yards on his other 14 carries by hitting him before he could get started. The fact that the Rams decided to spread the field and test the Seahawks’ untested cornerbacks also helped. But with Sam Bradford questionable and A.J. Feeley out because of injuries, the Rams could be forced to go with No. 3 QB Tom Brandstater. So the defense should see a whole lot more of Jackson tonight.
One to watch
Seahawks LT Paul McQuistan vs. Rams DE Chris Long: McQuistan slides from right guard, where he has replaced an injury John Moffitt the past three games, to left tackle, where he’s replacing an injured Russell Okung. McQuistan’s first NFL start at the pivotal position comes against Long, who leads the Rams with 12 sacks and has nine his past six games. Expect to see TE Zach Miller giving McQuistan a hand – and shoulder, and both arms – against Long.
Fun to watch
Rams MLB James Laurinaitis vs. Seahawks RB Marshawn Lynch: Laurinaitis leads the Rams with 99 tackles, while the Skittles-munching Lynch has led the way for the resurgence of the Seahawks’ offense during the 3-1 start to the second half of the season. So these two will be on a collision course all evening. Lynch has 100-yard rushing efforts in four of his past five games. The lone omission? Three weeks ago against the Rams, when Lynch had 88 yards and 3.3-yard average – the lowest figures in his five-game run. Even with the Seahawks using their sixth different combination on the line because of season-ending injuries to three starters, feeding the Beast will be imperative to the Seahawks climbing one game closer to reaching .500.
One tough task
Brandstater, or Bradford: Brandstater wouldn’t be making just his first NFL start, the Rams’ No. 3 QB will be playing in his first NFL game if Bradford can’t go. And Brandstater will be doing it on national TV, in the din created by the 12th MAN crowd at CenturyLink Field, and against a Seahawks defense that has forced eight turnovers and registered nine of its 22 sacks in the past four games. Even if it’s Bradford, his limited mobility because of a high ankle sprain could be a factor, especially after Seahawks DE Chris Clemons got to him for three sacks and two forced fumbles during the game in St. Louis.
The Seahawks defense has allowed the fewest second-half points (83) and second-fewest second-half touchdowns (eight) in the league. … Lynch has scored a touchdown in his past eight games, one shy of the consecutive-game club record set by Shaun Alexander in 2005. Since Week 9, Lynch has rushed for 591 yards, the most in the league. … Jackson is averaging 114.4 yards from scrimmage since 2006, highest in the league. … Seahawks WR Doug Baldwin is third among all NFL rookies with 625 receiving yards and needs 147 to pass James Jett (771 in 1993) for the most by an undrafted rookie since 1970. … CB Brandon Browner needs 2 yards to break the club single-season record for return yards off interceptions that was set by Dave Brown in 1984. Browner had a 94-yard interception return for a TD earlier this season, breaking the club record that was set in 1979. … MLB David Hawthorne (78) and FS Earl Thomas (76) led the Seahawks in tackles. … The Seahawks have won three of their past four games and a win against the Rams would tie the second-best start to the second half of the season in franchise history.