National Football League
Preview
St. Louis at Seattle
When: 4:25 PM ET, Sunday, December 29, 2013
Where: CenturyLink Field, Seattle, Washington

The Seattle Seahawks are coming off their first home loss since 2011 as they look to lock up home-field advantage throughout the NFC playoffs when they host the St. Louis Rams on Sunday. Seattle was stunned at home by the Arizona Cardinals last weekend and still needs a victory – or a San Francisco loss – to clinch the NFC West. St. Louis has lost eight consecutive visits to Seattle since posting a playoff win over the Seahawks in the 2004 postseason.

The Rams need a victory to avoid their seventh consecutive losing season and can at least feel good about playing Seattle close during a 14-9 home loss on Oct. 28. The Rams will be without offensive left tackle Jake Long (knee) in the rematch and will again rely on a defense that racked up seven sacks – including three each by Robert Quinn and Chris Long – in the earlier meeting. Seattle cornerback Richard Sherman has an NFL-leading eight interceptions as the star attraction for a unit that leads the NFL in total defense (281.3) and ranks second in scoring defense (14.8).

TV: 4:25 p.m. ET, FOX. LINE: Seahawks -10. O/U: 43.

ABOUT THE RAMS (7-8): Quinn had three sacks in last Sunday’s victory over Tampa Bay and has a franchise-record 18 on the season, bettering the mark of 17 set by Kevin Carter in 1999. He is slightly ahead of Indianapolis Colts standout Robert Mathis (17.5) in the battle for the NFL’s sack crown and has also forced seven fumbles – one behind Mathis for the league lead. Quinn has recorded multiple sack-outings five different times in his third NFL season while staking his claim as one of the league’s top defensive players.

ABOUT THE SEAHAWKS (12-3): The play of second-year quarterback Russell Wilson is a prime reason why the offense has sputtered over the past three weeks. Wilson was just 11-of-27 for a career-low 108 yards against the Cardinals and has the same number of interceptions as touchdowns (three each) during a stretch in which Seattle is averaging just 16.7 points. Offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell is expecting a bounce-back performance from the player with 25 touchdowns against nine interceptions. “He puts forth great effort, he works hard and he communicates with our guys really well,” Bevell said. “So there’s no doubt that he’ll get it done.”

EXTRA POINTS


1. Seattle has won 15 of the last 17 meetings, including the win in St. Louis on Oct. 28.

2. Seahawks RB Marshall Lynch ranks sixth in the NFL with 1,160 rushing yards but had a season-low 23 in the October meeting against the Rams.

3. RB Zac Stacy is 42 yards away from joining Eric Dickerson (1,808 in 1983) and Jerome Bettis (1,429 in 1993) as the only Rams rookies to top 1,000 rushing yards.

PREDICTION:
Seahawks 23, Rams 10
Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W/L Strk PF PA Home Away Grass Turf OT Div Conf
St. Louis 7-8 W2 22.6 22.5 5-3 2-5 1-3 6-5 0-0 1-4 4-7
Seattle 12-3 L1 26.0 14.8 6-1 6-2 3-1 9-2 2-0 3-2 9-2
Last Meeting
St. Louis Seattle
Date Away Home Tot Rus Pas Tot Rus Pas
10/28/13 SEA 14 STL 9 339 200 139 135 44 91
Player Stats
Previous Matchup
Passing Player COMP % YDS TD INT
St. Louis K. Clemens 48.4 158 0 2
Seattle R. Wilson 55.6 139 2 0
Rushing Player CAR YDS AVG TD
St. Louis Z. Stacy 26 134 5.2 0
Seattle M. Lynch 8 23 2.9 0
Receiving Player REC YDS AVG TD
St. Louis C. Givens 4 59 14.8 0
Seattle G. Tate 5 93 18.6 2
Touchdowns Player TD
St. Louis R. Armstrong 0
Seattle G. Tate 2
Season
Passing Player COMP % YDS TD INT
St. Louis S. Bradford 60.7 1687 14 4
Seattle R. Wilson 63.0 3185 25 9
Rushing Player CAR YDS AVG TD
St. Louis Z. Stacy 235 958 4.1 7
Seattle M. Lynch 278 1160 4.2 11
Receiving Player REC YDS AVG TD
St. Louis J. Cook 46 641 13.9 4
Seattle D. Baldwin 50 778 15.6 5
Touchdowns Player TD
St. Louis Z. Stacy 8
Seattle M. Lynch 13