Rams LT Wayne Hunter vs. Seahawks DE Chris Clemons: Hunter, who played for the Seahawks in 2003, has a sore knee that limited him in practice on Wednesday and Thursday and then prevented him from practicing on Friday. But as he said Friday, Hunter has to play because starter Rodger Saffold can’t due to the knee injury that forced him to miss last week’s game. All Hunter has to worry about on passing downs is Clemons, who had a career-high four sacks on Monday night and has sacked Rams QB Sam Bradford 6.5 times the past two seasons. Bradford will get the ball out faster than the Packers’ Aaron Rodgers did on Monday night, but Bradford already has been sacked 12 times. The only QB in the league that has been sacked more? Rodgers.
One to watch
The Seahawks’ run defense vs. Rams RB Steven Jackson: Jackson is playing hurt, but then again he has hurt the Seahawks in the past while playing injured. In an ideal world, the Rams would ride Jackson’s powerful legs as far as they can carry them. But the Seahawks are allowing 58.7 rushing yards, which ranks second in the league; and 3.1 yards per carry, which ranks third in the league. Jackson played last week after not practicing all week and ran for 29 yards on 11 carries against the Bears.
Fun to watch
Marshawn Lynch vs. the Rams’ run defense: Seahawks coach Pete Carroll admits he has “a lid” on the passing game as rookie QB Russell Wilson wades into the fourth start of his NFL career. It’s easier to do that when Lynch is running the way he is. Lynch is averaging 101.7 yards per game and 4.2 yards per carry, while the Rams are allowing averages of 120.7 and 4.5. Lynch has 278 rushing yards and a pair of touchdowns in three games against the Rams since joining the Seahawks during the 2010 season.
One tough task
Seahawks LT Russell Okung vs. Rams DE Chris Long: The Seahawks and Okung held the Cowboys’ DeMarcus Ware and the Packers’ Clay Matthews without a sack the past two weeks. That looks even more impressive when you consider that Matthews had six sacks in the Packers’ first two games and Ware has four sacks in the Cowboys’ other two games. Now comes Long, who had two sacks against the Bears last week, giving him 12 in his past 13 games. If Wilson is to make plays in the passing game, Okung has to keep him clean.
The Seahawks are looking for their first 3-1 start since 2007, which also was the last time they finished with a winning record (10-6). … The Seahawks lead the regular-season series 17-10 and have won three in a row and 13 of the past 14. … The Rams’ Danny Amendola is second in the NFL in receptions (25) and first in third-down receptions (nine). … Since 2006, Jackson is averaging a league-best 122.9 total yards per game. … MLB James Laurinaitis leads the Rams with 43 tackles and is the only player in the NFL since 2009 with eight-plus sacks and five-plus interceptions. … LB K.J. Wright (25) and SS Kam Chancellor (24) are the Seahawks’ leading tacklers. … Of the five rookie QBs starting in the league, Wilson is the only one with a winning record after three games.Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times