Seattle Times staff reporter Bob Condotta breaks down this week’s Seahawks opponent.
Game time: 1:25 p.m. Sunday.
TV: Fox (Ch. 13).
2015 record: 6-8, third in the NFC West.
By the numbers
Sacks allowed by the Rams this season, the fewest in the NFL.
Passing yards per attempt for the Rams, the lowest in the NFL (the Seahawks are second at 8.5).
Rams passing touchdowns this season, the same amount Doug Baldwin has caught in the past four weeks.
Coach: Jeff Fisher.
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The series: Seahawks lead it 21-13 overall and have not lost to the Rams in Seattle since 2004. However, the Rams have won two of the past three meetings, both in St. Louis. That includes a 34-31 victory in the season opener Sept. 13.
Early line: Seahawks by 13½.
QB Case Keenum: The 27-year-old from Houston has replaced the benched Nick Foles — who led the Rams to the season-opening win over the Seahawks — and is coming off maybe the best game of his career, hitting 14 of 17 passes for 234 yards and two touchdowns in a 31-23 win over Tampa Bay on Thursday. He is 28 of 39 for 358 yards and two touchdowns in his past two games, both wins. Keenum is 4-9 in his NFL career as a starter, which includes going 0-8 with Houston in 2013.
RB Todd Gurley: A rookie from Georgia, Gurley has been everything the team expected when it took him with the 10th overall pick in the 2015 draft. Gurley did not play in the opener against the Seahawks while still recovering from a knee injury. But since entering the lineup in Week 3, he has 1,023 yards, joining Jerome Bettis and Eric Dickerson as the only players in Rams history to top the 1,000-yard mark as rookies. Gurley also has nine touchdowns and is considered a leading contender for the NFL’s Offensive Rookie of the Year award.
DL Aaron Donald: This season the second-year defensive tackle has enhanced his status as one of the best young players in the NFL. In fact, Donald this week has the highest grade for the season from Pro Football Focus for any player at any position. Donald has 11 sacks, the most for an interior lineman in the NFL, and 16 tackles for a loss. Donald made the key play in the opener against the Seahawks, teaming with Michael Brockers to bring down Marshawn Lynch on a fourth-down play that ended the game in overtime.
P Johnny Hekker: The Bothell High School grad is having another standout year, one good enough to possibly get him to his second Pro Bowl (he made it in 2013). Hekker leads the NFL in punts (85), is second in net punting (44.32) and is among the top four in percentage of punts inside the opponent’s 20- and 5-yard lines.
St. Louis’ keys to success: The Rams, regarded by some as a dark-horse NFC West contender when the season began (and especially after the season-opening win over the Seahawks) are finishing another disappointing season played against the backdrop of the uncertainty over their future in St. Louis. The Rams were eliminated from the playoffs Sunday and are playing only for the hope of winning the last two games to get to 8-8, which would be the team’s first non-losing record since 2006. Gurley’s addition and a good defensive front seven led by Donald had many thinking the Rams might break through this season. But the Rams have been waylaid by a typically tepid passing attack — they are last in the NFL in passing at just 176.5 yards per game. The Rams are 31st overall in total offense at 299.4. Gurley has helped the running game to 122.9 yards per game, seventh in the NFL. But scoring remains an issue — the Rams are 31st in scoring at 17.2 points per game. The Rams have not been great against the run, allowing 118.1 yards per game (23rd in the NFL) and they beat Tampa Bay on Thursday despite allowing more than 500 yards overall for the second time in three weeks (509).
Correction: A previous version of this story incorrectly stated the Rams are in last place in the NFC West. That distinction goes to the 4-10 San Francisco 49ers.