The eyes of the nation will be upon the Seattle Seahawks and St. Louis Rams when they face off on Monday Night Football in Week 8.
At 6-1 entering this contest, Seattle is tied with New Orleans for the NFC's best record and looks very much like the Super Bowl contender most experts touted before the season began. Indianapolis was able to steal a win at home earlier this season, but the Seahawks are clearly rolling at the midway point of the 2013 campaign.
St. Louis, on the other hand, is currently reeling after getting crushed by the Carolina Panthers in Week 7 and losing quarterback Sam Bradford for the season with a torn ACL, as the Rams noted on Twitter:
An MRI confirmed that #Rams QB Sam Bradford suffered a torn Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL). He will miss the remainder of the 2013 season.— St. Louis Rams (@STLouisRams) October 21, 2013
With a record of 3-4, St. Louis is behind the eightball in the brutal NFC West. In addition to Seattle, the San Francisco 49ers are 5-2 and have already claimed victory over the Rams this season.
A big win at home against the Seahawks on national television would do a lot for the Rams, but Seattle won't go down easy.
When: Monday, Oct. 28 at 8:30 p.m. ET
Where: Edward Jones Dome, St. Louis
Live Stream: NFL Sunday Ticket
Betting Lines (via Covers)
- Over/Under: 42.5 pts.
- Spread: St. Louis (+11)
Seahawks Injury Report (via Seahawks.com)
Rams Injury Report (via StLouisRams.com)
What Can We Expect from Kellen Clemens?
Without Bradford, St. Louis will now turn to veteran quarterback Kellen Clemens, which isn't a comforting thought for Rams fans.
Since entering the NFL as a second-round pick in 2006, Clemens has started just 12 games, compiling a 4-8 record. Over his eight-year career, Clemens has a 51.8-percent completion rate and 2,290 passing yards (6.0 yards per attempt, which is putrid) with seven touchdowns and 13 interceptions.
Those numbers translate to the worst QBR since the start of 2006 for quarterbacks who've played at least 500 snaps, as ESPN Stats & Info pointed out:
Kellen Clemens: Worst Total QBR (20.8) since the start of 2006 (min. 500 plays)— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) October 24, 2013
This is a desperate situation for St. Louis. Clemens could shock everyone by coming out and playing like an All-Pro, but such an outcome is highly unlikely.
It's far more probable that St. Louis' offense will slow down to a crawl with Clemens under center—especially going up against the NFL's No. 3-ranked scoring defense.
The Rams come into this contest featuring the NFL's third-worst run defense, allowing 126.4 yards per game.
Marshawn Lynch has been on the warpath for the Seahawks the past month, averaging 124.8 total yards and a touchdown per game—making fantasy owners happy while impressively leading Seattle's offense.
Which team will win?
Lynch will run rampant over St. Louis' ineffective run defense, controlling the clock and paving the way for Seattle to chew up the Rams and spit them out with stifling defense.
Russell Wilson doesn't lose games for the Seahawks, and he'll once again play efficiently in the passing game while contributing a few big plays with his feet.
Seahawks win, 31-13.
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