By Cedric Williams
With the official news coming down this morning that quarterback Sam Bradford suffered a torn ACL in Sunday’s loss to the Carolina Panthers, which almost certainly means he’s done for the season, the St. Louis Rams must turn the page quickly to get ready for their Week 8 opponent — the Seattle Seahawks.
When the 2013 schedule was originally released last spring, Rams fans were thrilled to see that this particular contest was selected as the Week 8 choice for Monday Night Football.
But with Bradford’s injury, the club coming off a disjointed and sloppy performance against the Panthers, and now with only a week to get backup QB Kellen Clemens ready to start, a Monday Night Football visit from the Seahawks — the team with the best record in the NFC at 6-1, and perhaps the conference’s best quarterback (Russell Wilson), running back (Marshawn Lynch), and defense (fourth overall this season in total defense and points allowed) — couldn’t come at a worse time for St. Louis.
Seattle on Offense
When the Seahawks storm out of the tunnel at the Edward Jones Dome next Monday night, they’ll be making their second straight nationally televised appearance.
Last week, they were featured on NFL Network’s Thursday Night Football in a matchup against the Arizona Cardinals. Seattle won in dominant fashion, 34-22.
In that game, Wilson was his usual efficient self, passing for 235 yards and three touchdowns, with no interceptions. Lynch carried the ball 21 times for 91 yards with a touchdown of his own, while top receiving threats Golden Tate, Sidney Rice, and Zach Miller combined for 12 catches, 167 yards and two scores.
Arizona forced two fumbles and was able to pull as close as 17-13 early in the third quarter, but the ‘Hawks answered with two quick scores to go up 31-13 and that was the end of any chance of an upset for the Big Red.
Seattle’s offense is ranked seventh overall in total yards, and second in rushing, with Lynch spearheading an attack that gobbles up 154.4 ground yards a game.
Wilson, the second-year pro out of Wisconsin via North Carolina State, has 1,489 passing yards and 11 touchdowns, with only four interceptions all season. The 5’11, 205-pounder, whose known for having rather small hands, was responsible for those two fumbles against Arizona last week.
Seattle on Defense
When Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll took over three seasons ago and began the task of rebuilding Seattle’s defense, he did it with one thing in mind — speed.
The ‘Hawks are fast, fast, fast on defense, especially at linebacker and in the secondary.
The big guys up front are aggressive and disruptive, but it’s the linebacking corps of K.J. Wright, Bruce Irvin, Malcolm Smith, and Bobby Wagner that seem able to run down just about anything and everything any opposing offense tries to do against them.
And then there’s the Seahawk secondary, which many consider the best in the league.
Officially, Seattle ranks second in the league in pass defense, but nobody has a better foursome than the Seahawks, with corners Richard Sherman and Brandon Browner ranking as the best coverage tandem in the league, and defensive backfield mates Kam Chancellor and Earl Thomas not far behind them in the safety rankings.
Seattle leads the all-time series with the Rams 18-12, which includes five straight years worth of wins for the Seahawks from 2005-2009.
St. Louis snapped that streak with a win in 2010, then went on to lose three more in a row to Seattle, before splitting with the Seahawks last season.
The Rams are 5-7 in 12 meetings with the Seahawks in St. Louis.
For more Rams news and updates, visit Rams Central.
Cedric Williams, a lifelong St. Louisan and proud UMSL alum, has been a freelance reporter/photographer covering St. Louis area sports for nearly two decades. Most recently, he has been working as a credentialed beat writer covering the Rams and small-school college sports for Examiner.com and other outlets from around the area. Please share any comments, questions, or feedback with Cedric at email@example.com. His work can be found on Examiner.com.