Rams defense faces challenge vs. Seahawks
Wednesday, December 26, 2012
ST. LOUIS (AP) — The St. Louis Rams are facing an opponent on a nearly unprecedented scoring binge.
The Seattle Seahawks have averaged 50 points per game in the past three weeks and play host Sunday to the Rams in the regular-season finale.
The 150 points are the most since the Los Angeles Rams of 1950 in a three-game span and this week the Rams must find a way to keep Seattle from continuing to pile up points.
“I don’t think I’ve ever come across a team that’s scored 50 points a game three consecutive weeks, and then faced them in the fourth,” Rams coach Jeff Fisher said. “So, if we hold them to under 50 (points) is that good?”
St. Louis is coming off its fourth victory in five games on the strength of five turnovers at Tampa Bay, including four interceptions. The Rams have 17 on the season, ninth best in the league, but are second worst in fumble recoveries with just four.
Defensive end Chris Long said Wednesday turnovers do not serve as a prerequisite for a victory, adding it would obviously make the task easier against the Seahawks.
He believes the Rams offense can score enough points and the defense can limit Seattle enough for St. Louis to win.
But when someone pointed out the Buccaneers’ offense wasn’t playing as well as the Seahawks, Long said you can’t compare the Seahawks’ recent output to anyone in the league.
“No one is ... on the planet. The best offense on the planet,” he said. “We’re just going to have to prepare the best we can for it and try to slow them down a little bit.”
Seattle coach Pete Carroll had no explanation regarding his team’s recent scoring prowess.
He said no singular event or person’s play turned his team from one that had to scrap for victories — five of its first seven wins were by a touchdown or fewer — into one that outscored its past three opponents 150-30.
He said the difference has been the maturation of his rookie quarterback Russell Wilson, the health of his wide receivers and luck.
“No, I think we’ve been very fortunate,” he said. “But we go into every game hoping we can score a touchdown and then we just try to get another one if we do. I don’t have any big claims. If you want me to make a claim about how we can’t be stopped, I can’t do that because we don’t have a clue about that one.
“We’re just going to try to make a first down and get in the end zone once and try to get there again.”
The Seahawks have also relied on a stingy defense — tops in the league with a 15.5 points per game average — and the second-ranked rushing offense with 161.7 yards a game.
Fisher said the difference between the Seahawks of late September, when the Rams beat them at home 19-13, and now are numerous.
“It’s a much improved team,” he said. “The offense is much more explosive and I think that’s because of the quarterback play.
“You’ve got to get them into third down. You’ve got to win on early downs and win on third downs and get off the field, if possible.”
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