Seattle Seahawks take on Rams team whose one hope is on crutches and painkillers, presumably

Sundays are weird without Seahawks football. Typically I spend a Sunday morning (unless it’s one of the five goddamned Seahawks early starts on the East Coast this season) surviving through a hangover, eating fried food, and mainlining coffee. Last weekend, however, I made it through the early game, the afternoon game, and actually watched the entire Sunday Night, finally finding something compelling enough to satiate my thirst for good football.

That game of course, was the Broncos and Colts, the same Colts that beat the Seahawks. Those Broncos are very good, and those Colts are very good.

The St. Louis Rams, the Seahawks week 8 opponents, are less good. They were less good going into last sunday, and are even less good having lost Sam Bradford to a torn ACL. They were rumored to be interested in Tim Tebow to replace Bradford, and even supposedly made a call to Brett Favre – for whom there apparently isn’t such a thing as enough happy endings to provoke a return.

This may not be the last time we pump this not-compelling narrative. The Seahawks next three opponents: the Buccaneers, Falcons, and Vikings, have a combined three wins on the season. The Buccaneers cut Josh Freeman for being ineffective and generally an asshole. The Vikings picked up Freeman because they have Christian Ponder as an alternative, and are cresting over the peak of Adrian Peterson‘s prime, a summit which often has a steep graded slope on its back half.

The Rams quarterback issues aside, they are the team that absolutely demolished the Houston Texans in Houston two weeks ago. They have a talented, albeit unproductive defense to go with an offense that leaves much to be desired. Before last year when the Seahawks appeared to be choosing between Matt Flynn and Tarvaris Jackson at quarterback, and Alex Smith was the 49ers starter, a decent argument could have been made that the Rams had the most talented quarterback and and best head coach in the NFC West. The Rams had the more luster-covered Bradford and highly-respected Jeff Fisher at those respective helms.

Today things look much different, and it’s hard to imagine a scenario where things look any different that that come Tuesday morning. Albeit a road game, there is no valid reason to believe that the Seahawks should lose Monday’s tilt with the Rams. If anything, there should be a discussion as to whether Percy Harvin should be activated a week earlier than should be necessary for a Seahawks win.

Injuries

Seattle

Breno Giacomini, OT (Knee) – Hasn’t practiced in several weeks. Hard to imagine Giacomini playing without practicing.

Bobby Wagner, MLB (Ankle) – Wagner was limited in Thursday’s practice, but participated in full on Friday. Seems likely to play.

Golden Tate, WR (Shoulder) – Tate’s foot injury against the Cardinals seemed more serious. Tate has participated in full during this week’s practices.

Percy Harvin, WR (Hip) – Not officially on injury report, which is a good sign for his future. Whether or not he plays probably depends on Golden Tate’s health.

Arizona

Benny Cunningham, RB (Ankle) – Cunningham is an NFL football player, and one that hasn’t practice this week. Seems unlikely.

Cortland Finnegan, CB (Thigh) – Finnegan is the only other player listed on the Rams injury report. He’s been limited in practice all week, and has missed the last three weeks. Likely doubtful for this week.

(Sam Bradford is on injured reserve, which is why he’s not on the Rams injury report)

 

Stats (all from Football Outsiders)

(Kellen Clemens, the presumed Rams starter, hasn’t recorded enough pass attempts to qualify for any stats on the Football Outsiders leaderboard, Bradford’s success this year should display what the Rams are losing.)

Quarterback Russell Wilson Sam Bradford (on IR)
DVOA 10.6% 8.2%
DYAR 283 359
QBR 60.5 48.0
RushDVOA 22.8% -75.2%
Running backs Marshawn Lynch Daryl Richardson
DVOA -0.9% -14.6%
DYAR 44 -1
Robert Turbin Isaiah Pead
DVOA -12.7% -21.2%
DYAR -4 -5
Wide Receivers Doug Baldwin Austin Pettis
DVOA 44.7% 2.6%
DYAR 126 51
Golden Tate Chris Givens
DVOA 4.8% -16.7%
DYAR 61 -13
Tight End Zach Miller Lance Kendricks
DVOA 5.1% -1.2%
DYAR 17 15
Team Defense Seattle St. Louis
DVOA -22.3% 8.7%

Position by position this is a veritable sweep for the Seahawks. The one redeeming piece of this Rams team was that Bradford, perceived as an underachiever, had probably actually been better than perception would indicate. Bradford will be watching this game from home, or maybe the sideline, but not from under center.

 

Predictions

The Seahawks will win this game in a fashion not considered spectacular enough considering the presumed arc of the Rams season going forward.

Brett Favre’s name, and the story of the Rams contacting him, will be a constant narrative for the announcers.

So will Tim Tebow’s, this game is on ESPN after all.

Kellen Clemens won’t take all of the Rams snaps at quarterback, not as a result of injury.

Seahawks win 31-13.

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