Game Scout: Seahawks at Rams

Derek Harper, The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

Seattle Seahawks (6-1) at St. Louis Rams (3-4)
Monday, 8:40 p.m. ET, at Edward Jones Dome, St. Louis - TV: ESPN
*TV announcers: Mike Tirico, Jon Gruden, Lisa Salters
*Keys to the game: Rookie Zac Stacy has provided a bit of a spark to the Rams' ground game, and they'll need to feed him the ball early and pray for some production. Coach Jeff Fisher insists he's excited to see how QB Kellen Clemens runs the offense, and he knows the playbook well, but Clemens is also making his first start since 2011 and just the 13th of his eight-year career. What the Rams don't want to do is fall behind and force Clemens to play catchup against Seattle's strong pass rush and excellent secondary. St. Louis' defensive line does have the ability to keep the game close. Seattle's offensive line is still minus both starting tackles and QB Russell Wilson is often left to improvise while on the run. The Seahawks set the table for their offense with RB Marshawn Lynch, and it will be key for the Rams' 30th-ranked run defense allowing 4.2 yards per carry to contain Lynch and force lengthy third-down situations for QB Russell Wilson.
*Matchup to watch - Seahawks LT Paul McQuistan vs. Rams DE Robert Quinn: Quinn has seven sacks, and far too much quickness for McQuistan, a guard forced to play outside due to Russell Okung's injury. McQuistan repeatedly gets beat around the edge, but the Seahawks can't often afford to provide him help with rookie RT Michael Bowie starting on the other side.
*Player spotlight - Seahawks FB Michael Robinson: The former Pro Bowl fullback was re-signed this week with Derrick Coleman sidelined 4-6 weeks with a hamstring injury. Robinson had a bad reaction to a medication during training camp, was hospitalized twice and didn't make the final roster - but coach Pete Carroll said the plan was always to bring back Lynch's lead blocker once Robinson was healthy.
*Fast facts: Wilson has eight fumbles this season, five lost. ... The Rams do not have a rushing touchdown this season.
These teams know each other well, and the Rams' defensive line has the ability to keep this game far closer than most expect. But with QB Kellen Clemens making his first start since 2011 and virtually no ground game to speak of, St. Louis simply can't put enough points on the board.
*Our pick: Seahawks 23-19

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