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Originally published December 23, 2013 at 2:21 PM | Page modified December 23, 2013 at 5:50 PM

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Opponent Outlook


By the numbers

3-4 Record with Sam Bradford starting at quarterback.

4-4 Record with Kellen Clemens starting at quarterback.

24 Forced fumbles, most in the NFL. St. Louis has returned three for touchdowns, tied for most in the NFL.

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Game time: 1:25 p.m. Sunday, CenturyLink Field.

TV: Ch. 13.

Coach: Jeff Fisher, 155-135-1 overall in 19 years, 14-15-1 in second year with Rams.

Record: 7-8.

Last game: Beat Tampa Bay, 23-13.

The series: Seahawks lead 19-11, including a 14-9 win in St. Louis on Oct. 28 when Seattle held the Rams out of the end zone on the final play. Seattle has won 15 of the past 17, and hasn’t been beaten by the Rams at home since 2004.

The early line: Seahawks by 10.

Key players: St. Louis features one of the more imposing defensive front sevens in the NFL, led by end Robert Quinn, who leads the NFL with 18 sacks, a team record. Quinn got the record Sunday when he had three sacks in the Rams’ win over Tampa Bay, the final sack coming in the last minute. Rookie linebacker Alec Ogletree forced two fumbles and has six forced fumbles this season, third-best in the NFL. Another rookie, running back Zac Stacy, has run for 958 yards. He has rushed for more than 100 in each of the Rams’ past two games, with 104 against Tampa Bay and 133 against New Orleans, each home wins. Former Oregon star Kellen Clemens has been a steadying force since taking over at quarterback for injured Sam Bradford. The Rams are 4-4 in his starts as he has thrown for seven touchdowns with five interceptions. Tight end Jared Cook, Clemens’ favorite target, has 46 catches for 641 yards. The Rams suffered a big loss Sunday when starting left tackle Jake Long suffered a knee injury.

St. Louis’ keys to success: The Rams were considered one of the disappointments of the NFL at midseason, floundering with a 3-6 record and playing without Bradford, lost for the season with a torn ACL. But as they did a year ago, the Rams are finishing strong, having won four of their past six games, including relative routs of Indianapolis (38-8), Chicago (42-21) and New Orleans (27-16). The Rams are at their best when they are pressuring the quarterback. They are tied for third in the NFL in sacks with 49. The offense operates best when the Rams are able to run the ball. They have rushed for 100 or more in each of their past eight games, and 140 or more in five. That streak began with a 200-yard rushing game against the Seahawks on Oct. 28, a contest Seattle held on to win 14-9 despite being outgained 339-135. St. Louis also has proved adept at creating turnovers, holding a plus-10 differential that is tied for fourth-best in the NFL.

Bob Condotta



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