Controlling Quinn a key for the Seahawks

RENTON, Wash. ­-- Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson was sacked a season-high seven times in the first game against the St. Louis Rams earlier this season.

Seattle still managed to win it 14-9, but a similar effort by the Seahawks offensive line on Sunday could prove disastrous to Seattle’s hopes of clinching the NFC West title and home-field advantage in the playoffs.

One man Seattle must contain is St. Louis defensive end the Robert Quinn, who leads the NFL with 18 sacks. He had three sacks against Seattle in the first meeting this year, as did defensive end Chris Long.

“He’s been the best one that we’ve faced, by far,” Seattle offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell said of Quinn. “He causes problems with speed rushing off the end. But they also move him inside some now and put him and Long together on the same side, so it’s not where you can take care of them with one on side and one on the other.

“You have to really know where they are and know how you want to use your protection schemes. We have our tackles back from the last time we played them, which we feel will help us a little bit.”

Both starting tackles -- Pro Bowl left tackle Russell Okung and right tackle Breno Giacomini -- were injured and did not play against the Rams on Oct. 28. Okung, who will line up against Quinn most of the time, is nursing a toe injury, but is expected to start Sunday.

Seattle coach Pete Carroll was asked what makes Quinn such an extraordinary pass-rusher.

“It starts with his speed,” Carroll said. “He’s really fast, he’s a tremendous athlete, he has great flexibility and terrific quickness. He’s got the body of a defensive back at 260 pounds and can roar around the edge. He’s a rare athlete for this position. This is the kind of guy you’re looking for with that speed and athleticism. He can do whatever you need him to do.”

The Seahawks hope he doesn’t do too much on Sunday.