Rams hope to keep it together against Seahawks
Saturday, October 26, 2013
ST. LOUIS (AP) — The endless walk off the field, the jeering from opponents, and the debris thrown his way were part of the deal for St. Louis Rams defensive end Chris Long.
There was no arguing the ejection for throwing a punch last week at Carolina, even if there were numerous others deserving of banishment.
"I lost my cool. You open it up for people to have fun with it," Long said. "That walk, I brought that on myself."
The bottles that got tossed, Long noted, were plastic.
Leaving his team short-handed hurt a lot more.
"It was a bit of a melee in there, it's probably avoidable on both ends," Long said. "But at the same time, I lost my cool. I can't argue with officials."
The Rams will try to keep it together Monday night against the Seahawks (6-1), off to the best start in franchise history.
Perhaps playing for coach Jeff Fisher brings out the feisty site. From 1999-2010, Fisher's Tennessee Titans led the NFL in personal fouls. According to STATS, they were whistled 247 times, two more than the Giants during that time period.
This season they have 14 personal fouls, tied for second most in the NFL, one behind the 49ers. Offensive guard Harvey Dahl drew two in the fourth quarter of Carolina's game, one of them sticking up for quarterback Sam Bradford while the Panthers' Mike Mitchell celebrated the hit.
Fisher thought Bradford was trying to get out of bounds and that Mitchell tried to pull him in, and should have been whistled for taunting. He backed up Dahl, too.
Five things to watch for in Seahawks vs. Rams:
NO BRADFORD: Kellen Clemens gets his 13th career start in place of Bradford, out for the season with a torn left ACL. He was the only other quarterback on the roster until this week's additions of Jets castoff Brady Quinn and Austin Davis, who was among the roster cuts before the season opener, so Clemens figures to get a long look. The 30-year-old Clemens, who has a career record of 4-8 as the starter, is more mobile than Bradford and more likely to improvise. "The fort's going to have to be held for quite a while," Clemens said. "l have a lot of faith in my abilities."
Quinn is by far the bigger backup name, but Davis needs less break-in time because he's familiar with the scheme.
HOME AND AWAY: The Seahawks are much improved on the road at 3-1, after going 3-5 in 2012. They've won five of the last six on the road in the regular season and six of eight counting playoffs — the setbacks in the NFC divisional playoff at Atlanta and this season at Indianapolis. They're not getting blown out on the road, either, with the Colts loss by six points and no setback larger than a touchdown last year. Despite missing both tackles, they've had six straight 100-yard rushing games and will try to keep riding Marshawn Lynch and a defense that's forced at least two turnovers in every game.
HARVIN FACTOR: Seahawks WR Percy Harvin returned to practice this week from hip surgery that sidelined him more than 2 1/2 months and has a chance to play, although he might be eased back into action. Harvin hasn't played since Week 9 last season when he injured an ankle playing for Minnesota against Seattle. The Seahawks traded three draft picks to get Harvin, including a 2013 first-rounder. "It's crazy how much depth we have here," safety Earl Thomas said.
TOUGH SLEDDING: The Rams are near the bottom of the NFL in total offense, ranked 30th, and rushing offense, ranked 29th, so Clemens draws a tough assignment. Seattle is coming off its best defensive game of the year, sacking Carson Palmer seven times and holding the Cardinals to 30 yards rushing. The Cardinals scored 22 points, but got a gift touchdown after quarterback Russell Wilson's lost fumble at the Seattle 3, plus a field goal off another turnover in Seahawks territory. Seattle has a plus-7 turnover differential, tied for second best in the NFL.
HIGHS AND LOWS: The Seahawks are 11-1 since Week 13 in 2012, tied with Denver for the NFL's best record during that span. This will be the Seahawks' second straight prime-time game, and off extra rest after a Thursday night win over Arizona. They've won 14 of the last 16 in the series and are double-digit favorites to keep it going. The Rams beat Seattle 19-13 at home last year and lost by a TD on the road, so they appear to be closing the gap heading into their first Monday night home game since 2006.
"Nobody believes in us. That's fine," Long said. "We believe in ourselves, our coaches believe in us. You can use that to your advantage."
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