TALE OF THE TAPE

Week 17: St. Louis Rams At Seattle Seahawks

Rams
Seahawks
Minnesota Vikings vs St. Louis Rams
Seattle Seahawks 30 - Minnesota Vikings 20
Quarterback
The Rams may be one of the teams to look out for in 2013. Head coach Jeff Fisher set a professional tone for his team and they have followed him well. Fisher does not have to worry about the quarterback position because Sam Bradford is tough, smart and an accurate passer. He may not have the biggest arm in the league, but he can make plays on the run and keep drives alive.
Winner Russell Wilson continues to improve for the Seahawks. It’s one thing for him to lead the Seahawks to a victory over the 49ers, but it’s quite another to dominate them the way Wilson did. He threw four TD passes against their vaunted defense. Wilson is smart, athletic, has a much stronger arm than scouts said he did and he is a remarkable leader.
Offense
Steven Jackson is a solid pro at the running back slot. He has 990 yards and will go over the 1,000-yard mark for the eighth straight year. Brandon Gibson and Chris Givens are hard-trying targets for Bradford. Gibson has caught 48-646-5 while Givens has caught 40-644-3.
Winner The Seahawks ignite their attack with a power running game. Marshawn Lynch has 1,590 rushing yards, a 5.0 yards per carry average and 11 touchdowns. Wilson will wing the ball to several different receivers, but Sidney Rice and Golden Tate are his two best receivers. Tight end Zach Miller is an underrated player who has caught 35 passes this season.
Defense
The Rams are a reflection of Fisher and assistant head coach Dave McGinnis on the defensive side of the ball. They are well-positioned and they know their assignments. The Rams rank 15th overall on defense and 14th against the pass. James Laurinaitis has a team-high 137 tackles while defensive ends Robert Quinn and Chris Long have combined for 18.0 sacks.
Winner The Seahawks are the fourth-ranked overall defense and fifth-best defense against the pass. The Seahawks have another sensational rookie in middle linebacker Bobby Wagner leads the team with 130 tackles. Defensive end Chris Clemons is an excellent pass rusher with 11.5 sacks this year.
Special Teams
Winner The Rams have struggled with their punt and kickoff coverage units. Rookie placekicker Greg Zuerlein has one of the strongest legs in the league. He has made 7-of-12 FG attempts from 50 yards and beyond. Rookie punter Johnny Hekker is solid.
Winner The Seahawks always give a quality effort on special teams. Leon Washington is a true pro as a return man because he reads his blocks and can accelerate into the holes and run by tacklers. Punter Jon Ryan is averaging 46.3 yards per kick and is an effective weapon for the Seahawks.

The Winner Is

Seattle Seahawks 30 - Minnesota Vikings 20
Winner Seahawks
4 out of 4

The Seahawks probably can’t win the NFC West because they know the Cardinals are not going to beat the 49ers. Still, the Seahawks are undefeated at home this year and they won’t want to go into the playoffs coming off a loss. St. Louis may push them, but the red-hot Seahawks should win.

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