- Nick Wagoner, ESPN Staff Writer
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Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch was a non-factor in the first meeting, rushing for just 23 yards on eight carries. Seattle clearly aimed to rectify not only his lack of production but also the small amount of touches he received.
While the Rams slowed Lynch in the early going, he got things rolling a bit as the Seahawks fed him more regularly. He finished with 23 carries for 97 yards and a touchdown.
By no means did Seattle dominate offensively but Lynch's performance was more than enough on a day in which the Rams offense was unable to sustain a drive until the game was out of hand.
A Better Clemens
Rams quarterback Kellen Clemens made his first start in Sam Bradford's place against Seattle way back in Week 8. It was a rough start against the league's best pass defense as Clemens threw for 158 yards with no touchdowns and two interceptions for a QBR of 16.3, the lowest total he's posted in a start this year.
From there, Clemens had his share of positive outings though none of them came against NFC West opponents. To have a chance against Seattle, the Rams needed Clemens to be much better than he was in that first matchup. He wasn't.
With no success in the run game, Clemens was under pressure most of the day and was skittish when he did deliver the ball. When all was said and done, Clemens finished 21-of-30 for 157 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions for a rating of 65.6. Much of that production came on a garbage time touchdown drive.
Against defenses of Seattle's caliber, there has to be an answer when the run game isn't working and, for all his intangibles, Clemens simply isn't the type of quarterback capable of providing it.
Rams defensive end Robert Quinn and Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman are widely regarded as two of the top candidates to land the NFL's Defensive Player of the Year award and each had an opportunity to put the cherry on top of outstanding seasons.
While both players made their share of plays, neither put much of an exclamation point on his season with anything too flashy or gaudy.
Hampered by a lack of pass-rushing opportunities after his team fell behind early, Quinn managed just one sack and finished with 19, second most in the NFL this season behind Indianapolis' Robert Mathis.
Quinn added five tackles, two for loss in unofficial pressbox statistics.
Sherman had a quiet day with two tackles and a pass defended but didn't have many opportunities, as the Rams didn't throw his way much.
A strong case can still be made for both players for the award but neither did anything to definitively clinch it.