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Rams defense faces challenge against Seahawks

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Rams defense faces challenge against Seahawks

ST. LOUIS (AP) It's the St. Louis Rams' turn to try to figure how to stop an opponent that has been on a nearly unprecedented scoring binge.

The Seattle Seahawks have averaged 50 points per game in the past three weeks, the most points in a three-week span since the 1950 Los Angeles Rams.

``I don't think I've ever come across a team that's scored 50 points a game three consecutive weeks, and then faced them in the fourth,'' Rams coach Jeff Fisher said. ``So, if we hold them to under 50 (points) is that good?''

St. Louis is coming off its fourth victory in five games on the strength of five turnovers at Tampa Bay, including four interceptions. The Rams have 17 on the season, ninth best in the league, but are second worst in fumble recoveries with just four.

Defensive end Chris Long noted that turnovers do not serve as a prerequisite for a victory, while adding it would obviously make the task easier against the Seahawks.

He believes the Rams' offense can score enough points and the defense can limit Seattle enough for St. Louis to win.

But when someone pointed out that the Buccaneers' offense wasn't playing as well as the Seahawks, Long said you can't compare the Seahawks' recent output to anyone in the league.

``No one is ... on the planet. The best offense on the planet,'' he said. ``We're just going to have to prepare the best we can for it and try to slow them down a little bit.''

Seattle coach Pete Carroll had no explanation for his team's recent scoring prowess.

He said no singular event or person's play turned his team from one that had to scrap for victories - five of its first seven wins were by a touchdown or fewer - into one that outscored its past three opponents 150-30.

He said the difference has been the maturation of his rookie quarterback Russell Wilson, the health of his wide receivers and luck.

``No, I think we've been very fortunate,'' he said. ``But we go into every game hoping we can score a touchdown and then we just try to get another one if we do. I don't have any big claims. If you want me to make a claim about how we can't be stopped, I can't do that because we don't have a clue about that one.

``We're just going to try to make a first down and get in the end zone once and try to get there again.''

The Seahawks have also relied on a stingy defense - tops in the league in points allowed with 15.5 per game - and the second-ranked rushing offense with 161.7 yards a game.

Fisher said the difference between the Seahawks of late September, when the Rams beat them at home 19-13, and now are numerous.

``It's a much improved team,'' he said. ``The offense is much more explosive and I think that's because of the quarterback play.

``You've got to get them into third down. You've got to win on early downs and win on third downs and get off the field, if possible.''

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Online:http://pro32.ap.org/poll andhttp://twitter.com/AP-NFL

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Steelers will require fans to wear a mask at Heinz Field, should they be allowed

Steelers will require fans to wear a mask at Heinz Field, should they be allowed

If fans are permitted to attend Pittsburgh Steelers home games this fall, there's one item they can't forget: a mask.

Steelers' director of communication, Burt Lauten, explained the decision to require fans to wear a mask in a statement on Tuesday.

"Our goal is to still have fans at Heinz Field this year with the understanding that social distancing, as well as all fans being required to wear masks, will play a role in the capacity to ensure a safe atmosphere," Lauten said, via ESPN. "We will continue to work with the NFL and public health officials to finalize plans for fans to attend our home games."

Pittsburgh was one of the first franchises to alter its ticketing plans this season, as they decided in May to trim half of their individual game ticket sales due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

The news comes just hours after their AFC North rival, the Baltimore Ravens, announced that M&T Bank Stadium will be capped at less than 14,000 fans this fall, should fans be allowed to attend games.

RELATED: NFL PROPOSED PAY CUT FOR PLAYERS

In June, The Athletic reported that the NFL will not place a limit on capacity at games, allowing each individual team to make the decision themselves.

"Attendance will be a state-by-state, county-by-county thing," an anonymous NFL source told The Athletic. "It will not be a one size fits all."

Additionally, the NFL has said that the first 6-8 rows of lower bowl sections, including field-level suites, will be blocked off this fall to help slow the spread of the virus. Those sections will be covered with tarps, which teams can use to sell advertising, similarly to what the Premier League in England has done.

With training camp still a few weeks away, there are a lot of virus-related questions the NFL must answer beforehand.

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Howard is a finalist for 2021 five-star defensive end Korey Foreman

Howard is a finalist for 2021 five-star defensive end Korey Foreman

The Howard University football program has moved a step closer to landing perhaps its highest-ranked recruit in years, if not ever.

Five-star defensive end Korey Foreman trimmed his college choice to seven on Wednesday evening, and the Howard Bison were on the list. The other six schools were Southern California (USC), LSU, Alabama, Oregon, Clemson, and Georgia.

In Foreman's tweet, he explained why Howard, a historically Black college (HBCU), was included in his list.

"I am a young black man that is happy and proud of my race," he wrote. "The Black Lives Matter movement is and forever will be powerful and definitely never forgotten. These are the schools I will now be focusing on the most. Set the standard and .. be different."

The news comes just a week after the Howard basketball program landed five-star Makur Maker, who chose the Bison over Division I schools UCLA, Kentucky and Memphis. Maker was the highest-ranked recruit Howard basketball has landed in its history. Mikey Williams, a top-five basketball recruit in the 2023 class, has already hinted about potentially playing at an HBCU as well.

Foreman, a 6-foot-4, 235-pound defensive end, is projected to commit to USC, according to 247Sports. Foreman is ranked the No. 2 overall prospect on 247Sports recruiting rankings for the 2021 class.

However, if the last few weeks are any indication, Howard can't be ruled out.

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