It’s hard not to feel a little bit sorry for ESPN and the way their Monday Night Football lineup has turned out to be, as it’s hard to find a more predictable NFL game this season than the Seattle Seahawks facing their division rivals, the St. Louis Rams, who have lost their starting quarterback for the rest of the season.
The 6-1 Seahawks did lose once last year to St. Louis, but this a different season, under different circumstances. Even if the Rams have some promising pieces on their defense and showed some glitters on offense, all that went away when Bradford tore his ACL and all hope of having any sort of respectable finish to the year (3-4 so far) was lost.
The Seahawks are allowing only 16.6 points per game this season, and also are second in the league in total yardage allowed, limiting teams to only 282.1 yards per game. Offense hasn’t been much of a problem as well, with Russell Wilson mostly consistent, having the 7th best passer rating in the league, while Marshawn Lynch is second only to LeSean McCoy in total yards with 578 so far this season, while the team is ranked 4th with 27.3 points per game.
Kellen Clemens will start for the 13th time in his career instead of Bradford after serving as his backup for the last couple of seasons. He has completed 51.8% of his passes during his NFL career which began in 2006, throwing 7 touchdowns to 13 interceptions. Despite being familiar with the offense, there aren’t too many high hopes about his chances to fill in for Bradford successfully.
The problem Clemens, or any other quarterback who’ll play for the Rams this season, is a weak protection they get from their offensive line. The Seahawks are tied for fourth in the NFL with 23 sacks, getting a big statistical boost thanks to a 7-sack game in the win over the Arizona Cardinals. The Rams aren’t that much better when it comes to protecting the quarterback.
Prediction – While Russell Wilson had a terrible time in St. Louis last season, he’s a more mature quarterback this season, and Pete Carroll knows not to press on the pass button too much. The Rams aren’t good enough on defense to make up for the mess they’ll look like without Bradford on offense.