By Matthew Asher
After an impressive 34-22 beat down of the Arizona Cardinals on Thursday, the Seattle Seahawks have 11 days before their next game against their third NFC West opponent: the 3-4 St. Louis Rams.
While Seattle should have no trouble taking down the Rams, they need to be careful—this game screams “trap game” because of the obvious mismatches both teams have.
On offense, nothing the Rams do is special as all of their statistics rank in the bottom half of the league. The Rams total just 298.7 yards of offense a game, with 70.6 coming on the ground, the third and fourth the least yards in the league respectively. St. Louis’ 22.3 points per game and 228.1 passing yards are better, but still ranked as the 19th and 18th least productive, respectively.
And with franchise quarterback Sam Bradford suffering a torn ACL against Carolina, Seattle’s secondary should be licking their chops. Right now Kellen Clemens is Bradford’s replacement. But since he only completed two of his four pass attempts last week for 19 yards, there’s even a rumor that St. Louis is considering signing Tim Tebow.
Three different Rams have picked up at least 25 receptions. Tavon Austin leads the team with 29 grabs, but has only tallied 198 yards and two touchdowns. Jared Cook has 26 catches and leads the team with 344 yards to go along with two touchdown receptions of his own. Austin Pettis may only have 25 receptions for 251 yards, but he leads the team with four touchdown catches.
With the departure of Steven Jackson this season, the running game for St. Louis has been abysmal at best. Two different Rams have at least 50 rushing attempts, but neither of them has run for 250 yards. Daryl Richardson leads the team with 61 attempts but only 176 yards for an average of 2.9 yards a carry. Zac Stacy has 50 rushing attempts and has totaled 214 yards for a decent 4.3 yards per attempt. So far St. Louis has yet to score a rushing touchdown on the season.
The one bright spot for the Rams is their ability to take care of the ball. Bradford had only thrown four interceptions against 14 touchdowns and as a team, St. Louis is plus-three in the turnover department, ranking them 13th in the league. The problem is that Seattle is currently at plus-seven, only the undefeated Kansas City Chiefs have a better turnover ratio so far this season.
With everyone thinking that this Monday Night game will be a blowout in Seattle’s favor, the ‘Hawks do need to remember that everyone playing in the NFL is a professional athlete. Not saying Seattle can’t decimate this team, they just need to remember that a win and their first 7-1 record in franchise history is not a given. Kickoff is scheduled for 5:40 pm PDT.
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Matthew Asher is a freelance journalist. From an early age, sports have played a major role in his life. He graduated from Emory University with a B.A. in Journalism. After college he spent 2 years working with CNN Sports and still occasionally writes sports articles for several publications both in the United States and Canada. His work can be found on Examiner.com.