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MNF Preview: Seahawks at Rams

28 Oct

With Sam Bradford out for the season after suffering a torn ACL during last week’s loss to the Panthers, the St. Louis Rams contacted Brett Favre this week, yes Brett Favre, to see if he had any interest in attempting another comeback.

The decision to contact Favre likely had a lot to do with the fact that Kellen Clemens was next in line to start for the Rams. The ironic thing about Favre potentially taking Clemens job was that prior to the 2008 season, Favre did just that with the New York Jets. Kellen Clemens was poised to take over for Chad Pennington, but GM Mike Tannenbaum called Favre who was quickly named the starter.

Favre declined the Rams offer, and it will indeed be Clemens who gets the start on Monday Night. You can bet the (6-1) Seattle Seahawks will be licking their chops at the opportunity to face Clemens who has 7 touchdowns and 13 interceptions in his 8th year in the NFL.

Offense:

Even with Sam Bradford at quarterback, the Rams sported the league’s 26th ranked offense. Now with Kellen Clemens in the fold for the time being, that ranking is not expected to improve. The receiving game doesn’t have much star power. Tight end Jared Cook is the teams leading receiver. Chris Givens and Austin Pettis have had decent seasons, and rookie Tavon Austin has shown signs of his explosiveness.

The rushing attack led by Zac Stacy and Daryl Richardson ranks 29th in the league, which is only expected to make Kellen Clemens life all the more difficult.

Unlike the Rams, the Seattle Seahawks offense has been very efficient led by the league’s 2nd ranked rushing attack of Marshawn “Beat Mode Lynch” and Russell Wilson. Wilson isn’t lighting up the box score though.

He has only thrown for over 300 yards once this season, but he hasn’t had to chuck it around much. Seattle’s defense and rushing attack have been more than enough to carry them through the teams first 7 games.

With Percy Harvin likely one week away from returning, Russell Wilson will have to continue to rely on Doug Baldwin, Golden Tate, Sidney Rice, and Zach Miller in the receiving game. But as long as Seattle takes care of the football, everything should be fine.

Edge:
Seahawks – Russell Wilson and Kellen Clemens aren’t comparable, and Marshawn Lynch has been the league’s best running back in 2013.

Defense:
Throwing the football against Richard Sherman, Brandon Browner, and Earl Thomas has been hard enough. The Seahawks have the NFL’s 2nd best pass defense and don’t expect Kellen Clemens to put up significant numbers.

Chris Clemons and Michael Bennett have combined for 8 sacks, and Bruce Irvin is still getting his feet wet after serving a 4-game suspension to start the season, but he can explode at any time now. The rush defense for Seattle ranks 5th in the league, and the Rams rushing offense ranks 29th. Advantage: Seahawks.

With or without Sam Bradford, the Rams defense does not matchup well at all against the Seahawks. St. Louis has the 3rd worst rushing defense in the NFL, so expect Marshawn Lynch and Russell Wilson to have their way.

The Rams defensive struggles have little to do with a lack of talent, because there’s plenty of it. Chris Long a high motor at defensive end, James Laurinaitis is a tackling machine, and Janoris Jenkins has as much ability as anyone at the cornerback position. It’s been the offense inability to move the football and stay on the field that has really hurt this Rams defense.

Edge:
Seahawks – The Seahawks defense ranks 3rd in the NFL, and has been clicking on all cylinders. The Rams have had a hard time stopping anybody.

Special Teams:
Kicker: Steven Hauschka vs. Greg Zuerlein

Punter: Jon Ryan vs. Johnny Hekker

Return Man: Golden Tate vs. Tavon Austin

In the kicking game, Steven Hauschka and Greg Zuerlein have been among the league’s best with just one miss between the two.

In the punting game, Jon Ryan and Johnny Hekker haven’t been particularly impressive. Both are averaging under 45 yards per punt and have 5 touchbacks combined. Field position is going to much more vital to the Rams than it is the Seahawks and expect Hekker to be called upon several times.

In the return game, neither Golden Tate or Tavon Austin have broken long returns. Both are certainly capable though.

Edge:
Even – There’s not much difference between these teams special teams.

Prediction:
The fact that Kellen Clemens is starting for the Rams in this one is really all you need to know. There’s a reason he’s been unable to win a starting quarterback job in his 8 years in the NFL. Expect the Seahawks to win big.

Seahawks 35 Rams 7

 
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Posted by on 10/28/2013 in NFL

 

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