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Originally published Sunday, October 27, 2013 at 7:06 PM

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Seahawks vs. Rams: Keys to the game

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Put ’em away early

The Rams are double-digit underdogs and seemingly reeling with the loss of quarterback Sam Bradford. The Seahawks could make this an easy day if they can put the Rams away early. The first quarter has been Seattle’s lowest-scoring this season, the Seahawks outscoring foes 29-10. Seattle, though, has started quickly in its past two road games (outscoring Indianapolis and Arizona a combined 19-7). And the first quarter has been the worst for the Rams this year, outscored 41-19.

Run, run away


o statistical matchup stands out as glaringly as Seattle’s run offense against St. Louis’ run defense. The Seahawks are second in the NFL in rushing offense at 154.4 yards per game and have had 135 or more in every game since being held to 70 in the opener at Carolina. The Rams, meanwhile, are 30th in the NFL defending the run, allowing 126.4 yards per game and 4.2 yards per attempt. Marshawn Lynch leads the Seahawks with 578 yards on 4.2 per carry. That average is down from 5.0 a year ago. Monday night, though, might offer an opportunity for a big game.

Sack attack


ach team went into the season with big expectations when it came to mounting a pass rush. Seattle spent heavily in free agency to improve its line and the Rams were coming off a season in which they tied for the NFL lead in sacks with 52. Seattle’s has lived up to the hype, recording 23 sacks through seven games, tied for fourth in the NFL. St. Louis’ numbers have dropped — the Rams have 18, which ranks 16th. Still, St. Louis has formidable pass rushers, such as end Robert Quinn, who has seven sacks. And Seattle’s biggest issue lately has been protecting quarterback Russell Wilson. The best way the Seahawks can make this an easy night is pressuring the heck out of Kellen Clemens. And the most logical way the Rams can make it a game is harassing Wilson all over the place.

Bob Condotta

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