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Rams-Seahawks: Key matchups

Steven Jackson of the St. Louis Rams doesn't have an easy matchup against Seattle this week.
Steven Jackson of the St. Louis Rams doesn't have an easy matchup against Seattle this week.

I just don't have any hyperbole left for this week's game against the Seattle Seahawks. The St. Louis Rams are one win away from the playoffs, one win away from making an amazing worst-to-first turnaround from the 1-15 team of 2009. 

As a little mid-week preview, I thought we'd run down a few of the key matchups for this week's game. Hyperbole-less matchups after the jump.

Rams offensive line vs. Seattle defensive line

For all their troubles on offense, Seattle is still doing a good job against the run. LaGarrett Blount rushed for 164 yards last week, but they held Atlanta and San Francisco, their previous two opponents, to less than 100 total rushing yards. Seattle's defense will be keyed in on two things, stopping Steven Jackson and trying to pressure Sam Bradford. Where the Seattle run defense does a really good job is limiting yardage at the second level. Speedier backs like Jamaal Charles and Darren McFadden have had lots of success. Runs on the outside will be key.

DE Chris Clemons vs. LT Rodger Saffold

Clemons leads the team with 10.5 sacks, but his production has tailed off some lately.  He has three total sacks in his last six games. Nevertheless, he had two sacks against the Rams when these two teams first met back in week 4, and Seattle will be looking to bring lots of pressure to assist a weak secondary.

WR Mike Williams vs CB Ron Bartell

Williams has been a comeback story this season, and might have been even better if Seattle hadn't dealt with QB and protection issues all year. The Rams held him to just 32 yards on 4 catches last time they met. Depending on who starts at QB, Williams will be seeing a lot of the Rams' Bartell.

Rams OLBs vs. Seattle short passing game

If Charlie Whitehurst starts expect the Seahawks to target the short field in the passing game. He didn't throw a single pass for more than 15 yards last week. That could present a matchup problem for the Rams who lack for good coverage from their OLBs.

DE James Hall vs. LT Russell Okung

Hall had 2 sacks the last time these two teams met, and while Hall got the numbers, Chris Long did a lot to break down the Seahawks protection.  The Rams will need the front four to apply pressure in heavy doses this week, regardless of who starts at QB for Seattle. Seattle's offense has really struggled down the stretch, and taking away their passing game would keep points off the board. 

Other matchups we need to talk about?