Game Preview: Seahawks-Rams

Running back Julius Jones (left) is a game-time decision, but that shouldn't stop the Seahawks from running the ball against the St. Louis Rams' 28th-ranked run defense.

Seattle Seahawks (3-7) at St. Louis Rams (1-9)

Time & Place:
Sunday, November 30, 2009
10:00am PT
Edwards Jones Dome
St. Louis, MO

Regular season series: Seattle rides a nine-game winning streak over the Rams into Sunday's contest, the 23rd time the two franchises will meet in the regular season. The Seahawks hold a 13-9 edge in the series, and have won four straight over the Rams in St. Louis. (Merci beaucoup, J.P. Darche)

Notable Newcomers

St. Louis
Steve Spagnuolo, head coach (DC, New York Giants)
Danny Amendola, WR (Signed off Philadelphia's practice squad)
Billy Bajema, TE (UFA, San Francisco)
Kyle Boller, QB (UFA, Baltimore)
Jason Brown, C (UFA, Baltimore)
James Butler, S (UFA, NY Giants)
Craig Dahl, S (UFA, NY Giants)
Samkon Gado, RB/KR (UFA, Miami)
Danny Gorrer, CB (Signed off New Orleans' practice squad)
Mike Karney, FB (UFA, New Orleans)
Jordan Kent, WR (UFA, Seattle)
Ruvell Martin, WR (UFA, Green Bay)
Ryan Neill, LS (UFA, Buffalo)

Seattle
T.J. Houshmandzadeh, WR (UFA, Cincinnati)
Colin Cole, DT (UFA, Green Bay)
John Owens, TE (UFA, Detroit)
Ken Lucas, CB (UFA, Carolina)
Cory Redding, DT (Trade, Detroit)

2009 Draft Class

St. Louis
Jason Smith, OT, Baylor (1st round, 2nd overall)
James Laurinaitis, LB, Ohio State (2nd round, 35th overall)
*Bradley Fletcher, CB, Iowa (3rd round, 66th overall)
Dorell Scott, DT, Clemson (4th round, 103rd overall)
*Brooks Foster, WR, North Carolina (5th round, 160th overall)
Keith Null, QB, West Texas A&M (6th round, 196th overall)
Chris Ogbonnaya, RB, Texas (7th round, 211th overall)

Seattle
Aaron Curry, LB, Wake Forest (1st round, 4th overall)
Max Unger, C/G, Oregon (2nd round, 49th overall)
Deon Butler, WR, Penn State (3rd round, 91st overall)
Mike Teel, QB, Rutgers (6th round, 178th overall)
**Courtney Greene, S, Rutgers (7th round, 245th overall)
Nick Reed, DE, Oregon (7th round, 247th overall)
Cameron Morrah, TE, California (7th round, 248th overall)
*-Injured reserve
**-Waived

Stats & Rankings

St. Louis

Offense
Total: 26th (304.9 yards per game)
Passing: 22nd (185.6 yards per game)
Rushing: 12th (119.3 yards per game)
Scoring: 31st (11.3 points per game)

Defense
Total: 29th (385.1 yards per game)
Passing: 24th (238.7 yards per game)
Rushing: 28th (146.4 yards per game)
Scoring: 29th (27.0 points per game)

Turnover Ratio: t-21st (-4)

Seattle 

Offense
Total: 22nd (325.0 yards per game)
Passing: 13th (240.6 yards per game)
Rushing: 32nd (84.4 yards per game)
Scoring: 22nd (19.6 points per game)

Defense
Total: 20th (347.3 yards per game)
Passing: 23rd (236.8 yards per game)
Rushing: 16th (110.5 yards per game)
Scoring: 21st (23.3 points per game)

Turnover Ratio: t-21st (-4)

Injury Report

St. Louis

OUT: QB Marc Bulger (knee)
Doubtful: T Jason Smith (head)
Questionable: G Richie Incognito (foot), RB Steven Jackson (back), RB Mike Karney (neck)
Probable: LB Chris Chamberlain (concussion)

Seattle

Questionable: DT Red Bryant (knee), RB Julius Jones (chest)
Probable: S Deon Grant (wrist), DE Cory Redding (knee), C Chris Spencer (thumb), DT Craig Terrill (shoulder)

TV/Radio

Just like they did for the season-opener in Seattle, FOX has dispatched Ron Pitts and John Lynch to cover this NFC West match-up. Locally the game will be shown on Q13, with 97.3 FM and 710 ESPN Seattle have the radio broadcast, with Steve Raible on play-by-play, Warren Moon provides the commentary, and Jen Mueller reports from the sidelines.

Vegas Line: Seahawks -3 ½ (o/u 42 ½)  

Keys to the Game

Don't Take Them Lightly – They may be 1-9, and the Seahawks have may won nine straight against them, but the Rams played the New Orleans Saints tight and last week nearly came-from-behind to force overtime against the Arizona Cardinals. In other words, if the Seahawks turn the ball over a couple of times, unlike in Week One, this Rams team could make the ‘Hawks pay.

Get Something Going on the Ground – Seattle's running game ranks 32nd in the NFL, which has to be a source of embarrassment for the coaching staff. Julius Jones is a game-time decision, but even if he can't go, Justin Forsett and Louis Rankin should split 20-25 carries on Sunday.

Pressure Boller – The former first-round pick out of Cal has always had a tendency to hold the ball a bit longer than he ought to, which could give the Seahawks' pass rush the extra beat they've needed to get home. The right-side of the Rams' offensive line has been reshuffled this week, so a big game should be expected from Patrick Kerney.

NorthwestFootball.net Prediction

Let's be honest: If the Seahawks don't come back with a win, some of the heat that is currently on Tim Ruskell will start to fall on first-year head coach Jim Mora and his coaching staff. Seattle is the more talented football team, and unlike St. Louis, will have their starting quarterback healthy for this game. Plus, the Rams' main (only) offensive weapon, Steven Jackson, hasn't practiced all week and might not even play on Sunday.

This one should be a cake-walk, despite the early start time.

Pick: Seahawks 27, Rams 9


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