With their regular season series ending tied one win apiece, the Los Angeles Rams and Seattle Seahawks meet during the NFL’s Super Wild Card Weekend in a do-or-die rubber playoff match today (4.40pm ET Saturday; TV: Live on Fox).
Who wins this third clash? Read on for USA Betting’s picks and LA Rams at Seattle Seahawks predictions. It’s not often that two teams find themselves meeting three times in one season but that is exactly the case here.
With the NFL’s expanded postseason format this year, the NFC West-winning Seahawks drew the Rams for a rare divisional playoff showdown. During the regular season, the Rams and Seahawks met twice, one in Seattle and the other in LA. Their first meeting took place in November in Los Angeles where the Rams bested their opponents by a touchdown’s margin. The win allowed the Rams temporarily to seize control of the NFC West, which fluctuated leaders among three of the division’s top teams. Toward the end of the season, in late December, the Seahawks got their win back at home, as they defeated the Rams by a 20-9 final score. The win secured that it would be Seattle and not LA or the Arizona Cardinals that would claim the NFC West title this season. Will the third time be the charm for LA? Or will Seattle keep their hot streak going as they look for two victories in a row?
Bring on the Birds
Rams’ all pro pass-rusher Aaron Donald isn’t one to keep his opinions to himself. As if this game needed more fuel added to the fire, Donald proclaimed in some early media coverage that the Rams got exactly what they wanted when they drew the Seahawks in round one. Whether Donald and his teammates meant that, the comment was certainly enough to catch Seattle’s attention. Not that the Seahawks needed a reason other than advancing in the playoffs, but the comments helped stoke a fire. Now, both teams are more motivated than ever to best their divisional rivals in the postseason.
The Rams may regret waking a sleeping giant however as the Seahawks have been playing some great football this season. At 12-4, Seattle showed moments of greatness where they looked like they could even finish as the NFL’s top team. That is largely because of the performance of Russell Wilson and one of the league’s top receivers in DK Metcalf.
Wilson and Metcalf finished second only to Aaron Rodgers and Davante Adams as the top duo this season. Metcalf was a reliable pass catcher who always seemed to come up when his number was called. When Seattle needed a big play, the young receiver delivered. The Wilson-Metcalf connection was lethal but not impenetrable as the Rams showed in their week 10 meeting. Coming off a bye, LA outplayed Seattle as Rams’ QB Jared Goff threw for over 300 while Wilson was held to under 250 with no touchdowns and two interceptions. It was his worst passing performance of the season. Metcalf also had a bad day, catching just two passes for 28 yards.
If anyone can shake the Seahawks up, it’s Donald and the Rams. Their defensive scheme was just enough to get under Seattle’s skin and cause the team to make uncharacteristic mistakes. However, like all good teams, the Seahawks adapted prior to the teams’ meeting in week 16. Metcalf led the team in receiving and Wilson added two touchdowns, one through the air and the other on the ground. Donald couldn’t get the better of his QB rival, allowing Seattle somewhat of an easy victory.
Will Goff be at 100 Percent?
So what happens in game three? The biggest thing to watch for is which quarterback will be under center for LA for this pivotal contest. Goff, who missed a few games recently due to a thumb injury, may or may not play in the contest. Even if he does, we don’t know how much it will affect Goff’s game coming off the surgery as the injured thumb was on his throwing hand. Prior to the injury, Goff was playing some of the best football of his career. If he’s at 100 percent today, the Rams will be able to run the offense that brought them success and nearly a divisional title this season.
Should Goff be at less than 100 percent however, that could create issues for the Rams. Because as good as Donald and that defensive line are, if LA can’t control time of possession, the defense will get fatigued dealing with Wilson’s unique skillset. With downfield threats in Metcalf and Tyler Lockett already somewhat of a nightmare to defend, the Rams will need to hold the clock the majority of the game to assist their secondary. Donald can play a role in this if he gets to the quarterback like he’s known to do, causing pressure and quick 1-2-3 and punt possessions. The biggest thing is going to be how much Goff can keep the offense on the field which will be predicated on how well his thumb holds up throughout the game.
Our Preview’s LA Rams vs Seattle Seahawks Predictions Verdict with Betting Picks Advice
The Seahawks and Rams are no strangers to each other. These teams bring the classic animosity of a divisional rivalry to the table in what should be a pretty grinded out postseason opener. No doubt, these teams want to win and advance and if they get to eliminate the other in the process, it’s merely the cherry on top of the sundae.
The Seahawks’ defense is far from its legion of boom days but this year’s unit has been firing on all cylinders lately. At times, it has been reminiscent of that group, which helped Seattle win the Super Bowl and have several memorable playoff runs over the last decade. That defense, plus Wilson’s overall performance, will be the difference maker here. At home, Wilson will be the best QB on the field and will lead his team to one win in what they hope is a series of them en route to another championship title. So our Rams vs Seahawks predictions are:
- Bet the Seahawks -3pts points on the spread @ best odds of -110 with Bookmaker or Bovada
- Go under on the total points of 42 @ -105 with Bovada.
Marilee writes on NFL, MLB & tennis for USA Betting. Another area of her sporting journalistic expertise is pro wrestling. A native of Philadelphia and a big Eagles fan, she has been a sports writer for many major websites including Bleacher Report and Rant Sports. She started her journalistic career early, as sports editor for her college newspaper.