ST. LOUIS -- Although he's far from the favorite, Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson is widely regarded as an MVP candidate and a strong one to boot.
Wilson has earned that recognition but his performance in the first Rams-Seahawks game is not one of the reasons. Neither is what he's accomplished in any of his past three games. The combination of the Rams' ability to get after Wilson and his recent struggles would seem to indicate a possible perfect storm for the Rams to see him on Sunday, despite the stakes.
When the Rams and Seahawks met in Week 8, Wilson wasn't necessarily bad as he posted a pair of touchdown passes and no interceptions. But he also wasn't at his best either. The Rams brought the heat with seven sacks, including five when they sent more five or more pass-rushers after Wilson. He was four-of-11 when the Rams blitzed and had a minuscule QBR of 0.6 in such situations.
In fact, you'd be hard pressed to find a team that's given Wilson and the Seahawks more problems since he entered the league last year. In three games, Wilson has 549 passing yards, three touchdowns and three interceptions while the Rams have hammered him for 15 sacks. His QBR in those three meetings is 33.4. In fairness, Wilson had his best performance against the Rams at home to close the 2012 season and this game will be in Seattle. But even in the 2012 finale, the Rams managed to get to him for six sacks.
Making matters worse for Wilson entering this game is that he's not exactly on fire as kickoff approaches. In his past three games, Wilson is completing 55.7 percent of his passes with three touchdowns and three interceptions for a rating of 32.2, numbers almost exactly in line with what he's done against the Rams in his career.
Last week against Arizona, Wilson had one of his worst career performances, posting 108 yards passing and a QBR of 11.5, both career-low marks.
The Rams should have no reason to expect anything less than Wilson's best. Make no mistake, he's still a terrific young player but the Seahawks have yet to show they can slow down the Rams pass rush in the past two seasons. Seattle should have some pieces back on the offensive line but if it doesn't get things figured out quick, it's possible the Rams could put together another dominant performance and spring an upset Sunday afternoon.
A roundup of Wednesday's Rams stories appearing on ESPN.com. … It was a lighter load than usual because of the holiday but we offered a plethora of links from around the web in the morning and, in a Christmas special, we put together a Rams' Christmas list brought to us by you, the fans.
ESPN Seahawks reporter Terry Blount provides the many reasons it will be difficult for the Rams to get a win on Seattle's field, something that hasn't happened often in recent years.
At stltoday.com, Jim Thomas looks at the Rams' improvement on offense in recent weeks.
Jeff Gordon dived into the meaning of this week's game for Seattle.
Turf Show Times put together a cool collection of Christmas gifts Rams fans on Twitter received. Disappointed to see nobody got a throwback Muadianvita Kazadi jersey.