coleryan Posts:14553 Followers:21
On 10/22/2013 06:37 PM in NFL

Seattle Seahawks at St. Louis Rams: Preview and Pick

Seattle Seahawks at St. Louis Rams: Preview and Pick

The Monday night football game featuring the New York Giants against the Minnesota Vikings was a dud and this week’s game may not be much better. The vastly superior Seattle Seahawks go up against the banged up St. Louis Rams without their quarterback. The Seahawks even have more rest since they last played on a Thursday night which is only more reason why this game could be a blowout.

Seattle Seahawks at St. Louis Rams Odds

The odds are in favor of the Seahawks to keep winning as the opening point spread has the birds listed as (-7) point favorites. With news of the injury to the Rams and past poor performance, the early betting money is flowing in on the Seahawks. Over 85 percent of the early money is on the Seahawks causing the line to shift slightly. Instead of the opening line of (-10) the line can now be found at (-10.5) at several of the top rated online sportsbooks.

The Rams will be without quarterback Sam Bradford and whoever takes over under center will be under pressure. The Seahawks recorded seven sacks on Thursday, six of which were with four or fewer pass rushers, their second-most in the last seven seasons. Their most came in last season's Week 3 "Fail Mary" game against the Packers. Whoever takes over may actually be better than Bradford.

Sam Bradford has the 5th-lowest total QBR among qualified quarterbacks since he was drafted 1st overall by the Rams in 2010. His 58.6 completion percentage over that span ranks 28th among 34 qualified quarterbacks. The Rams have little hopes of winning this game.

The latest football betting trends for this game reveal that it could be a very long night for the home team in this game. The Rams are 1-4 against the spread (ATS) in their last 5 games following a straight up loss of more than 14 points, 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games after accumulating less than 90 yards rushing in their previous game and 0-5 ATS in the last five games against the NFC.
The Seahawks are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 games after allowing less than 250 total yards in their previous game, 8-2 ATS in their last 10 games after allowing less than 90 yards rushing in their previous game and 21-7 ATS in their last 28 against the NFC.
The Seahawks are 9-3 ATS in their last 12 meetings and could easily dominate this game on Monday night.

Seattle Seahawks at St. Louis Rams Pick

With plenty of time to go before the start of the regular season, I will wait to release my pick on this game until we get closer to game day.

  • Last 7 Days Record: 6-4-0
coleryan Posts:14553 Followers:21
10/23/2013 01:39 PM

From the time Percy Harvin announced he needed hip surgery, the Seattle Seahawks avoided being overly optimistic about when their new offensive star might get a chance to be back on the field.

More than 2 1/2 months after the labrum in Harvin's hip was repaired, the Seahawks got a glimpse Tuesday of a possible addition to a team that's already leading the NFC with a 6-1 record when the dynamic receiver returned to practice.

It was an extra practice for the Seahawks, coming off a weekend of rest following last Thursday's win over Arizona. But it was a significant day for Harvin.

''It's all day to day. I want to play as soon as possible, but we all want to be smart in this thing,'' Harvin said. ''We put a plan together and we're just going to take it day by day and see how it feels.''

Harvin was limited in his first day catching passes from Russell Wilson since organized team activities back in June. Seattle is remaining cautious about when Harvin will finally see the field. No one has said if he'll play next Monday at St. Louis, but at least for now he hasn't been ruled out either.

If there could be any additional buzz for a team already off to its best start in franchise history, Harvin provided it.

''We're going to go one day at a time,'' coach Pete Carroll said. ''This will be one of those things where I'll probably say thing every time you ask me, so you can keep asking if you want.''

Nearly an entire calendar year has passed since Harvin last played in a game. He didn't play after Week 9 last season when he injured an ankle while playing for Minnesota against Seattle. His offseason trade to the Seahawks - which cost Seattle three draft picks, including its 2013 first-round selection - was a move to bolster an already potent offense.

And then everything was delayed. Harvin was a spectator for the opening days of training camp, and after meeting with a specialist in New York, underwent surgery in early August. The decision to have the surgery was fairly obvious, Harvin said. A bone was impacting the labrum in his hip and causing pain beyond just doing football activities.

But Harvin didn't want his first impression with his teammates being him hobbling around recovering from an injury.

''It was tough for me coming to a new team and I didn't know how everybody would perceive it,'' Harvin said. ''It was tough for me to deal with. I really didn't want to have it but I knew it was something I needed to get done. It was tough being away from the team, being new to the team. They gave me great support and I was able to get through it.''

Harvin said he was originally told the recovery would take six to eight months, meaning he would have missed most, if not all of the season. Harvin is far ahead of that timetable and now is in the process of getting his timing back on the field.

He worked out with Wilson at the team's facility on Monday and the duo were the final two off the practice field Tuesday.

''I haven't had any setbacks. I'm running pretty good, cutting pretty good, doing all the things I was doing previously,'' Harvin said. ''It's just getting in the grind, getting the practices in and getting in the meetings and all of those things and I'll be ready to go.''

  • Last 7 Days Record: 6-4-0
coleryan Posts:14553 Followers:21
10/23/2013 01:41 PM

Seattle Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said the team still has a ways to go before either of its starting offensive tackles can return to the playing field.

Carroll remains hopeful Pro Bowl left tackle Russell Okung, who has a torn ligament in a big toe, can return the first week he's eligible to come off injured reserve -- the Minnesota Vikings game in Seattle on Nov. 17. “We're real encouraged he will make it back then,” Carroll said Tuesday. “Russell has a process of four more weeks he has to get through. He has two weeks to go and then he will have a chance to practice with us.

“After that, which is four weeks from now, he'll have a change to return. He's doing really well with all the rehab stuff he needs to do. We'll be happy to get him back wherever we can get him.”

Carroll said he's is uncertain of when right tackle Breno Giacomini, who had arthroscopic knee surgery on Sept. 30, might return. “Breno is in the process of recovering, too, but we don't have a real clear timeline on that one,” Carroll said. “We had hoped he would make it back a little sooner than it looks like right now. He's a big man and it's taking him some time to get right.”

“It's going to take him a couple of weeks after we get him back on the practice field to get back [in a game], but he's not ready [to practice] yet.”

Giacomini had fluid drained from his knee last week.

  • Last 7 Days Record: 6-4-0
coleryan Posts:14553 Followers:21
10/23/2013 01:41 PM

The St. Louis Rams didn't waste much time bolstering their depth at quarterback, deciding to add two to the mix.

The team confirmed Tuesday afternoon it will bring back Austin Davis, who spent the 2012 season and the 2013 preseason with the team, and bring aboard veteran Brady Quinn. To make room on the active roster, the Rams will release offensive lineman Brandon Washington and place starting quarterback Sam Bradford on injured reserve.

Davis and Quinn will be expected to serve as backups to veteran Kellen Clemens, whom coach Jeff Fisher named the starter on Monday afternoon. The Rams' quarterback shuffle began when Bradford suffered a season-ending knee injury against Carolina on Sunday.

In Davis, the Rams get a young quarterback familiar with their system. The team signed him originally as an undrafted free agent out of Southern Mississippi in 2012. He was active for one game but did not play as a rookie. Clemens beat out Davis for the backup job during training camp and the preseason.

Quinn is in his seventh season and coming off a short stint with the New York Jets in which he didn't take a snap. The former first-round pick of the Cleveland Browns spent three years there before two with Denver and a one with Kansas City.

The Rams had Quinn in for a visit Tuesday and he later agreed to terms on a deal. St. Louis had actually considered signing him as a backup before he joined the Chiefs last season. In his career, Quinn has 3,043 passing yards, 12 touchdowns, 17 interceptions and a rating of 64.4 in 24 games.

  • Last 7 Days Record: 6-4-0
coleryan Posts:14553 Followers:21
10/24/2013 03:31 PM

The Seahawks have looked like the class of the NFC on the way to their best start.

With Sam Bradford lost for the rest of the season, the St. Louis Rams should pose little threat to Seattle's momentum.

The Seahawks, who could see the return of Percy Harvin, seek their 15th win in the last 17 meetings with the Rams when they visit St. Louis on Monday night.

Seattle (6-1) has already matched last season's total for road wins (3) after a 34-22 victory at Arizona last Thursday. The Seahawks haven't won four games away from home since 2006. The single-season franchise record is five, set in 1984 and matched in 2005.

The team's dominant defense is second in the league in total yardage allowed (282.1 per game) while limiting opponents to an average of 16.6 points.

The Seahawks' offense is also rolling, ranking fourth in scoring with 27.3 points per game. Russell Wilson's 97.2 passer rating is seventh-best in the NFL, while Marshawn Lynch's 578 yards on the ground trail only Philadelphia's LeSean McCoy.

The team's lone loss was a 34-28 setback at Indianapolis on Oct. 6.

"It feels like we are still growing," said coach Pete Carroll, who gave his team four days off following Thursday's victory. "We are still a very young team and it feels that way. We have enough firepower in a lot of areas to overcome the things that are going in the wrong direction but we are playing good, solid football."

The Rams (3-4) are expected to give Kellen Clemens his 13th career start under center after Bradford suffered a torn left ACL in a 30-15 loss at Carolina last weekend. Bradford will have surgery in the next 2-3 weeks after the swelling goes down.

The fourth-year starter had thrown 14 touchdowns with four interceptions and his 90.9 passer rating was a career best.

"He was playing very, very well, not only yesterday but was just improving weekly," Fisher said Monday after Bradford went 21 of 30 for 255 yards with a TD and a pick against the Panthers. "The challenge is obvious in this world when you have an impact player go down."

Clemens is familiar with the offensive scheme after serving as Bradford's backup for the last two years. He also worked under offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer during his tenure with the New York Jets.

The eighth-year pro completed 52.7 percent of his passes for 546 yards, two TDs and one interception over three starts in 2011 while Bradford was sidelined with a high ankle sprain.

St. Louis also signed Brady Quinn after he was cut by the Jets on Monday, as well as Austin Davis, who was cut by St. Louis before the opener. Davis was the Rams' No. 3 quarterback last season.

"Somebody's got to play," said Clemens, who has a 62.2 career passer rating in 31 games. "So I'll go out there and do the best job I can and try to help this team win some games."

Clemens faces a defense tied for fourth in the NFL with 23 sacks after it recorded seven against Carson Palmer last week.

Rams rookie Zac Stacy - who has 210 yards on 49 carries in his first three starts - also appears to be in for a challenge with the Seahawks ranking sixth against the run. Arizona ran 18 times for only 30 yards last week.

Harvin hasn't been ruled out from making his Seattle debut after practicing Tuesday for the first time since undergoing hip surgery in August. Carroll remains cautious regarding his status, but Harvin is already far ahead of schedule after it was initially thought he might miss the entire season.

The dynamic receiver, acquired from Minnesota in exchange for three draft picks, including a first-rounder in April, hasn't played since Nov. 4 after an ankle injury ended his 2012 season.

"It's all day-to-day," said Harvin, who caught four passes for 66 yards as a rookie in his only career game versus St. Louis on Oct. 11, 2009. "I want to play as soon as possible, but we all want to be smart in this thing. We put a plan together and we're just going to take it day by day and see how it feels."

While the Seahawks are 14-2 in the series since 2005, they have lost on two of their last three trips to St. Louis, including a 19-13 defeat last year. Wilson was picked off three times, just one of two multi-interception performances in his 23-game career.

  • Last 7 Days Record: 6-4-0
coleryan Posts:14553 Followers:21
10/25/2013 04:35 PM

The St. Louis Rams, an already reeling team suddenly left with a big void at quarterback, reportedly turned to the most desperate of measures this week — attempting to lure Brett Favre out of retirement.

If the reports from ESPN, among others, are to be believed, then Favre might even have had the chance to play against the Seattle Seahawks Monday night in St. Louis in place of Sam Bradford, who was lost for the season with an ACL injury Sunday.

“That would have added more to the story,’’ said Seattle safety Earl Thomas.

Instead, Favre turned down the offer, reportedly telling radio station SportsTalk 570 in Washington, D.C., that “it’s flattering, but there’s no way in hell I’m going to do that.”

So rather than Favre or Bradford, the Seahawks will face St. Louis backup Kellen Clemens, who played at Oregon from 2002 to 2005.

Clemens, 30, has been in the NFL since then, primarily as a backup. But he does have 12 career starts with the New York Jets and the Rams, most recently starting three games for an injured Bradford in 2011.

Bradford was the No. 1 pick in the NFL draft in 2010, and Clemens called him “the franchise quarterback” during a conference call with Seattle reporters Thursday.

“Everybody (on the Rams) knows that they’re going to need to up their game a little bit because I certainly can’t fill those shoes completely,” he said. “But at the same time, everybody has been very supportive of me and understands that there are some strengths that I can bring to this football team, and we’re looking forward to going out there on Monday night and playing against a really good Seahawks football team.”

One who knows Clemens well is Seahawks center Max Unger, who also played at Oregon and was the left tackle for the Ducks in 2005 when Clemens was a senior.

“Super good dude,’’ said Unger of Clemens, who is from Burns, Ore., population of just under 3,000. Clemens briefly considered signing with Washington before committing to Oregon.

Clemens’ biggest advantage is that he is in his seventh season working with Rams offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer, who held the same role with the Jets from 2006 to 2011.

Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said that likely means the Rams’ offense won’t change much from what it looked like under Bradford.

“They’re midstream in their season, and they have a big commitment to their style of play,” Carroll said. “I’m sure they’re not restricted in terms of what the playbook brings him.”

Illustrating the team’s commitment to Bradford, Clemens was the only other quarterback on the roster — including the practice squad — when Bradford was hurt. The Rams this week signed Brady Quinn — who was with the Seahawks through training camp and then recently cut by the Jets — and Austin Davis, who last year was the Rams’ No. 3 quarterback.

But for this week, St. Louis coach Jeff Fisher said the job belongs to Clemens.

“Kellen Clemens is a smart guy and a great teammate, and we’re going to cut him loose,” Fisher said.

ESPN, though, surely would have loved the idea of a Favre return to spice up a game that doesn’t appear like much on paper, with Seattle an 11-point favorite against a 3-4 Rams team that doesn’t have its biggest-name player.

Thomas, too, might have appreciated another shot at Favre, who retired after the 2010 season. Once the topic was broached Thursday, he reminded a reporter that one of his first big plays came against Favre in 2010 when Seattle played at Minnesota in what was the third exhibition game of Thomas’ rookie season. In the second quarter, Thomas picked off a Favre pass and returned it 86 yards for a touchdown.

Thomas remembered feeling a little bit of vindication since he had tried to approach Favre before the game and gotten rebuffed.

“He kind of disrespected me in warmups,” Thomas said, explaining that Favre didn’t look his way when Thomas tried to say hello beforehand. “You respect the game, you try to talk to guys like that. But he kind of big-timed me.”

A little while after the interception, Thomas recalled that Favre approached him and “gave me a pat on the butt, like, ‘good job.’ So I knew I got his attention.”

Ultimately, though, Thomas says his approach these days is that it doesn’t matter much who the quarterback is on the other side.

“I’d have thought the same thought (about Favre) as I think about Clemens,” Thomas said. “I’ve had success against Brett Favre and I’ve had success against every quarterback in this league, so I’m just excited every time I step out there to pad my stats.”

  • Last 7 Days Record: 6-4-0
coleryan Posts:14553 Followers:21
10/25/2013 04:40 PM

The Seattle Seahawks are off to the best start in franchise history, a nice little run which has a good chance to continue on "Monday Night Football" when Pete Carroll's club visits NFC West-rival St. Louis.

The Rams figured to have a tough time matching up with the talented Seahawks under normal circumstances and will now have to do so without starting quarterback Sam Bradford, who will miss the remainder of the season after suffering a torn ACL in the team's 30-15 Week 7 loss at Carolina.

Bradford, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2010 NFL Draft out of Oklahoma, had thrown for 1,687 yards with 14 touchdowns and four interceptions in seven games this season.

"He was playing very, very well, not only yesterday but was just improving weekly," Rams coach Jeff Fisher said. "The challenge is obvious in this world when you have an impact player go down."

Veteran backup Kellen Clemens, who has 12 career NFL starts under his belt, including three for the Rams (all losses) back in 2011, will take over under center for the Rams but the franchise was reportedly considering many other options, including luring the 44-year-old Brett Favre out of retirement.

Favre called the offer flattering but prudently decided to stay on the sidelines.

"It's flattering, but you know there's no way I'm going to do that," the former three-time NFL MVP told ESPN Radio. "I had a great career. I think if anything, the last year that I played (2010 with Minnesota) was an obvious writing on the wall, vision for you if you will. It was time."

The Rams did bring in another former Southern Mississippi QB, however, inking Austin Davis, as well as journeyman Brady Quinn as insurance behind Clemens.

Before leaving with the injury against Carolina, Bradford completed 21 of his 30 pass attempts for 255 yards and a touchdown pass to Zac Stacy. Stacy, meanwhile, had four catches for 34 yards and also gained 53 yards on 17 carries for the Rams.

The Seahawks kept up their winning ways in Week 7 when Russell Wilson threw for 235 yards and three touchdowns to lead Seattle to a 34-22 victory over the Arizona Cardinals back on Oct. 17.

Wilson completed 18-of-29 passes and added 29 rushing yards on eight carries, while Marshawn Lynch racked up 91 yards and a score on 21 totes for the Seahawks, who are 6-1 to start a season for the first time.

"This was a really cool night for our football team," Carroll said. "We wanted to get on the road and get this thing done and continue to feel good about our ability to win on the road."

The road has historically been a tough place for Seattle but the club is slowly turning that around, already matching its win total away from the Pacific Northwest in 2012 (three) and creeping toward the single-season franchise record of five victories in 1984 and 2005.

The Seahawks are 14-2 against the Rams since 2005 but those two losses came over their past three trips to St. Louis, including a 19-13 setback a year ago.

- WHAT TO WATCH FOR

Clemens has appeared in 31 NFL games and started 12, compiling a 4-8 record (0-3 with the Rams) since being taken in the second round out of the University of Oregon by the New York Jets in the 2006 draft.

"I'm definitely different," Clemens said when talking about his growth as a player. "There's a maturity and the experience of being around this league since then."

There better be because Clemens, who last started a game on Nov. 25, 2011 when Bradford suffered another knee injury, will be facing the league's best secondary, a group which fuels the Seahawks second-ranked defense that allows just 282.1 yards per game and 16.6 points per contest.

The Seattle defensive backfield is built around All-Pro cornerback Richard Sherman, who leads the NFL with 15 interceptions since entering the league in 2011 and will be shooting for his third straight game with a pick versus the Rams, along with Pro Bowl safety Earl Thomas, who has an INT in four of his last six games and is currently the only player in the NFL entering Week 8 with 40-plus tackles, four picks and two forced fumbles.

Fisher believes Clemens will be ready.

"He has a real good understanding of what we're doing," Fisher said. "He's been in the system for a long time. He was in the system at New York with (Rams offensive coordinator) Brian Schottenheimer, and he has a real good command of the offense. He's been great in the building, on the practice field with the young guys. He expects a lot from the younger players, and he'll get it from them."

Seattle's offense is no slouch either, ranking fourth in the NFL with 27.3 ppg thanks in large part to Wilson and Lynch, whose 578 rushing yards were second in the league entering the week to Philadelphia's LeSean McCoy.

The Seahawks could also get a boost from the possible return of Percy Harvin, who practiced for the first time since undergoing hip surgery in August.

The dynamic big-play threat, who was acquired from Minnesota in exchange for three draft picks, including a first-round choice in April, hasn't played since Nov. 4 of last season when he injured his ankle, ironically against Seattle.

The Seahawks can probably afford to sit Harvin for another week, though.

"It's all day-to-day," said Harvin. "I want to play as soon as possible, but we all want to be smart in this thing."

  • Last 7 Days Record: 6-4-0
coleryan Posts:14553 Followers:21
10/26/2013 10:41 AM

Five things to watch for in Seahawks vs. Rams:

NO BRADFORD:
Kellen Clemens gets his 13th career start in place of Bradford, out for the season with a torn left ACL. He was the only other quarterback on the roster until this week's additions of Jets castoff Brady Quinn and Austin Davis, who was among the roster cuts before the season opener, so Clemens figures to get a long look. The 30-year-old Clemens, who has a career record of 4-8 as the starter, is more mobile than Bradford and more likely to improvise. "The fort's going to have to be held for quite a while," Clemens said. "l have a lot of faith in my abilities."

Quinn is by far the bigger backup name, but Davis needs less break-in time because he's familiar with the scheme.

HOME AND AWAY:
The Seahawks are much improved on the road at 3-1, after going 3-5 in 2012. They've won five of the last six on the road in the regular season and six of eight counting playoffs — the setbacks in the NFC divisional playoff at Atlanta and this season at Indianapolis. They're not getting blown out on the road, either, with the Colts loss by six points and no setback larger than a touchdown last year. Despite missing both tackles, they've had six straight 100-yard rushing games and will try to keep riding Marshawn Lynch and a defense that's forced at least two turnovers in every game.

HARVIN FACTOR:
Seahawks WR Percy Harvin returned to practice this week from hip surgery that sidelined him more than 2 1/2 months and has a chance to play, although he might be eased back into action. Harvin hasn't played since Week 9 last season when he injured an ankle playing for Minnesota against Seattle. The Seahawks traded three draft picks to get Harvin, including a 2013 first-rounder. "It's crazy how much depth we have here," safety Earl Thomas said.

TOUGH SLEDDING:
The Rams are near the bottom of the NFL in total offense, ranked 30th, and rushing offense, ranked 29th, so Clemens draws a tough assignment. Seattle is coming off its best defensive game of the year, sacking Carson Palmer seven times and holding the Cardinals to 30 yards rushing. The Cardinals scored 22 points, but got a gift touchdown after quarterback Russell Wilson's lost fumble at the Seattle 3, plus a field goal off another turnover in Seahawks territory. Seattle has a plus-7 turnover differential, tied for second best in the NFL.

HIGHS AND LOWS:
The Seahawks are 11-1 since Week 13 in 2012, tied with Denver for the NFL's best record during that span. This will be the Seahawks' second straight prime-time game, and off extra rest after a Thursday night win over Arizona. They've won 14 of the last 16 in the series and are double-digit favorites to keep it going. The Rams beat Seattle 19-13 at home last year and lost by a TD on the road, so they appear to be closing the gap heading into their first Monday night home game since 2006.

  • Last 7 Days Record: 6-4-0