Six Points: Rams vs. Seahawks

The Seattle Seahawks have already locked up a postseason berth as they go for their sixth consecutive victory against the visiting St. Louis Rams on Sunday. It will be a revenge game for the Seahawks, who dropped a 34-31 overtime decision at St. Louis in the season opener.

Seattle holds down the No. 5 seed in the NFC due to a tiebreaker with Minnesota, but coach Pete Carroll said at Monday's media briefing that his team will not take its foot off the gas pedal. Russell Wilson has 19 touchdown passes versus zero interceptions and the Seahawks are averaging a shade over 34 points during the five-game tear.

The move from Nick Foles to backup quarterback Case Keenum has paid dividends for the Rams, who have won two in a row following a five-game losing streak. St. Louis has amassed 52 points in the two games under new offensive coordinator Rob Boras after managing a total of 54 during the five-game skid.

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Here are three keys to the game for both the Rams and the Seahawks.

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1. Continue to get the tight ends involved

The Seahawks have had ongoing issues covering tight ends, starting in Week 1 when St. Louis' Jared Cook had a season-high 85 yards on five catches. Fellow tight end Lance Kendricks added a pair of receptions for 42 yards and a touchdown in that contest. The duo combined for seven catches and 91 yards in last week's win over Tampa Bay. It's worth noting that Boras was the team's tight ends coach before his recent promotion.

2. Give Aaron Donald some help

Donald leads all defensive tackles in sacks with 11 and has been a constant disruptive force in the opposition's backfield, but the Rams have received little pressure from their edge rushers since Robert Quinn and Chris Long were hurt earlier this season. Cornerbacks Janoris Jenkins and Trumaine Johnson need strong coverage games to allow St. Louis to send a linebacker and/or safety on the blitz to try and cool off Wilson.

3. Test the Legion of Boom

Foles did throw for 297 yards - his season high - in the Week 1 matchup against a secondary that was missing strong safety Kam Chancellor, who may sit out his second straight game with a tailbone injury. Rams rookie running back Todd Gurley also was unavailable in the opener, but quarterback Case Keenum will have to throw against a defense that has permitted only 26 points in the past three games.


1. Bottle up Todd Gurley

As is the case with any St. Louis opponent, slowing Gurley is No. 1 on the checklist. One of three backs in the league to have surpassed 1,000 yards rushing, Gurley was limited to 48 yards on 21 carries against the Buccaneers - the fifth time in six games he has been held to 66 yards or fewer. Seattle is among the league's surest-tackling teams and ranks third against the run (83.9 yards per game).

2. Define roles in the backfield

Running backs Christine Michael and Bryce Brown were each signed last week, but they still managed to produce a combined 127 yards on 25 rushes - although it came against a Cleveland defense ranked 31st in the league. Michael averaged 5.3 yards on his 16 carries but Carroll has not committed to him as the lead back while awaiting the return of starter Marshawn Lynch from last month's abdominal surgery.

3. Ride the wave

Wilson is on the hottest streak in league history, becoming the first quarterback with at least three touchdown passes and no interceptions in five consecutive games. His favorite target in that span has been Doug Baldwin, who joined Hall of Famer Jerry Rice as the only wide receivers with at least 10 touchdown catches in a four-game stretch. Rookie Tyler Lockett has quietly put up 25 catches and five TDs during the five-game run.