Thursday, December 27, 2012
Rams defense faces challenge against Seahawks
(Eds: Updates. With AP Photos.)
ST. LOUIS -- It's the St. Louis Rams' turn to try to figure how to stop an opponent that has been on a nearly unprecedented scoring binge.
The Seattle Seahawks have averaged 50 points per game in the past three weeks, the most points in a three-week span since the 1950 Los Angeles Rams.
"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 noted that turnovers do not serve as a prerequisite for a victory, while 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 that 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 for 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 in points allowed with 15.5 per game -- 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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