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Rams try to break Seahawks' hex
St. Louis has lost 10 straight games to Seattle
ST. LOUIS -- The locker room following their Week 3 victory -- a win that matched the St. Louis Rams' 2009 season total -- was as energized as any Sam Bradford has ever encountered.
"In this league, every win is earned," Bradford said. "I can definitely see why everybody was happy and excited."
Now, after breaking a 14-game home losing streak with their win over the Redskins, the Ram (1-2) get a chance to end another bad run: 10 straight losses to the Seattle Seahawks (2-1).
"I've been here a long time, so one win is nothing special," veteran cornerback Ron Bartell said. "We're not in this business to win one game. Our goal is to win a lot of games."
It's been a while since that happened. The Rams were 1-15 last year and got their first victory in September since 2006 last week.
To make the task more difficult, they may have to do without running back Steven Jackson, who is nursing a strained groin muscle.
"We've got to move on and have a short memory whether it's a loss or a win," middle linebacker James Laurinaitis said. "You can't look back. They don't care we beat Washington."
The good thing for most Rams players is they're not responsible for much of Seattle's dominant run that began in 2005. It's been so long that Jackson and long snapper Chris Massey are the only players on the roster who have been part of a St. Louis victory over the Seahawks.
"It's a pretty good streak," Bradford said. "I haven't been here. This is a new team, this is a fresh start."
The streak doesn't seem to be on the Seahawks' minds either. There's just a handful of players who have been around for all 10 victories, including quarterback Matt Hasselbeck, cornerback Marcus Trufant, wide receiver Deion Branch and safety Jordan Babineaux.
First-year Seahawks coach Pete Carroll has no opinion.
"As far as the rivalry and the history of it, I really don't dig into that stuff," Carroll said. "It's fun for the fans and all, but it doesn't mean anything to me. It's really what happens this weekend."
But Hasselbeck, who's 8-0 as a starter against the Rams, remembered when the situation was reversed and the Seahawks aspired to St. Louis' achievements in the NFC West.
"They were the team that we needed to beat to really get over the hump," Hasselbeck said. "They lost their coaches and they lost their players. But yeah, forever we've had good games with St. Louis."
Josh Brown has a unique perspective on the streak. He kicked a pair of game-winning field goals to beat the Rams before signing a free-agent deal with St. Louis in 2008 -- and has been booed vociferously in Seattle since.
"In this day and age, it's just about winning," he said. "It doesn't matter who you're playing, it's about production. And that's it."
The Seahawks swept last year's series by 28 and 10 points, but the Seattle streak has seen some tight games -- half were decided by six or fewer points.
So far, special teams have been huge for the Seahawks. Rookie Golden Tate leads the NFL with a 25.3-yard punt return average, and last week Leon Washington became only the 10th player in NFL history to return two kickoffs for touchdown in a 27-20 victory over the Chargers.
"We didn't get to play much in the second half. He kept scoring touchdowns for us, so we sat on the bench," Hasselbeck said. "The effort, the style, the enthusiasm, all that stuff that you see on film about our special teams, that's what I'm looking for from our offense."
The Seahawks' run game should get a boost soon, if not this week, with the return of offensive tackles Chester Pitts and Russel Okung from major injuries. Pitts is coming off microfracture knee surgery in the offseason and Okung, the sixth pick of the draft, had a high ankle sprain in the second preseason game.
Seattle has the fifth-rated defense against the run, allowing only 67.5 yards per game, but was torched for a franchise-record 455 yards passing last week by the Chargers' Philip Rivers. The Seahawks compensated by forcing five turnovers in addition to Washington's record-tying day.
Even if Jackson can't go, the Seahawks no doubt will try to take that element away from the Rams and dare Bradford to throw it. Not that Bradford is worrying about past performances.
"We really can't worry about what happened the week before," Bradford said. "All we can control is what we do."