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Four matchups to watch: Seahawks at Rams
A look at the Seahawks’ Week 8 game against the St. Louis Rams at the Edward Jones Dome, including four matchups that could impact the outcome:
When: Monday, 5:40 p.m. PT, Edward Jones Dome, St. Louis
Records: Seahawks 6-1 and first in the NFC West after last week’s 34-22 victory over the Cardinals in Arizona; Rams 3-4 and tied for third in the NFC West with the Cardinals after last week’s 30-15 loss to the Panthers in Carolina
TV: ESPN and KONG 6/16, with Mike Tirico, Jon Gruden and Lisa Salters
Radio: 710 ESPN and 97.3 FM, with Steve Raible, Warren Moon and Jen Mueller
Rest of the West: 49ers (5-2) vs. Jaguars in London; Cardinals (3-4) vs. Falcons in Atlanta
One to watch
Special teams: The Rams got the Seahawks in a big way in St. Louis last season, scoring their only touchdown on a 2-yard pass from holder/punter Johnny Hekker to since-departed Danny Amendola on a fake field goal. Oh, and Greg Zuerlein also kicked field goals from 60, 58 and 48 yards in the Rams’ 19-13 victory. So, the Seahawks owe them at least one. The Seahawks special-teams units have had their moments during the team’s 6-1 start – mostly good, but also a couple of costly foibles. This would be a good time to get even, and even ahead.
Fun to watch
One tough task
Seahawks OTs Paul McQuistan and Michael Bowie vs. Rams DEs Chris Long and Robert Quinn: McQuistan has moved from left guard to replace injured Pro Bowl left tackle Russell Okung the past five games. Bowie, a rookie, has started the past four games on the right side because Breno Giacomini is out with a knee injury. And containing pressure off the edges has been an issue for the offense, and especially Russell Wilson. The Seahawks’ QB has been sacked 12 times in the past four games after getting sacked more than twice just once in the first three games. Quinn leads the NFC with seven sacks, while Long has only 2.5 this season but collected 11.5 last season. The Seahawks cannot allow them to become forceful factors in the game, as was the case against the Cardinals when Wilson fumbled three times while being sacked and lost two of them. The best way to do that is the stay out of obvious passing situations. And the best way to do that? See Matchup Microscope, and feed the Beast.
The Seahawks have the best winning percentage (.692, 18-8) in the history of “Monday Night Football” … The Rams are hosting their first “Monday Night Football” game since Dec. 11, 2006. … The Seahawks lead the series 18-11, but the Rams have won two of the past three games played at the Edward Jones Dome. … Wilson has a five-game winning streak against NFC West opponents, when he has completed 62 percent of his passes (63 of 101) for 946 yards with 10 TD passes and three interceptions for a 113.7 passer rating. … The Seahawks have 19 takeaways to share the NFL lead, are tied for second in the league in turnover differential (plus-7) and have forced at least two turnovers in each of their seven games. … WR Tavon Austin leads the Rams, and all NFL rookies, with 29 receptions. But he’s averaging 6.8 yards per catch. … Hekker is third in the NFL in net punting average (43.1).