NFC West division rivals meet in the Wild Card round Saturday when the Seahawks host the Rams. Kickoff in Seattle is scheduled for 4:40 p.m. Eastern.
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The Rams locked in their playoff spot with an 18-7 win at home vs. the Cardinals. Seattle ended the regular season by beating San Francisco, 26-23.
Who: Los Angeles Rams (10-6) at Seattle Seahawks (12-4).
Time: 4:40 p.m. Eastern.
Where: Lumen Field, Seattle (67,000).
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Latest line: Seahakws -3.5.
Announcers: Joe Buck, Troy Aikman, Erin Andrews and Tom Rinaldi.
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Check out some of what Tim Booth of the Associated Press wrote about the upcoming third matchup of the season between the two rivals.
In the immediate aftermath of clinching a return to the playoffs, Aaron Donald made perfectly clear he was thrilled to be getting his wish.
The Los Angeles Rams defensive star wanted another shot at Russell Wilson and the Seattle Seahawks.
“They got the division, and they were happy about that. And now they have to see us again, a third time,” Donald said. “When you’re playing a team that you see twice a year, you’ve kind of got a feel for each other. They know what you’re going to do, we know what they are going to do. It’s pretty much man on man, and the best team should win. So there’s no better way than that to start it off.”
For the second time in three weeks, the Rams and Seahawks will clash on Saturday, this time in the opening round of the NFC playoffs. It’s a matchup overflowing with familiarity and a history of close games not decided until the fourth quarter.
But there is uncertainty this time around. The Rams (10-6) have not said whether starting quarterback Jared Goff or backup John Wolford will be under center to face the Seahawks.
Goff injured his thumb in the second half of Seattle’s 20-9 win over the Rams in Week 16. Surgery to repair the injury left Goff a spectator last Sunday while Wolford directed an 18-7 win over Arizona to clinch the Rams’ postseason berth.
And now? It’s been a smoke screen of gamesmanship by Rams coach Sean McVay about which of his quarterbacks — or both, potentially — will be trying to solve a Seahawks defense that held Los Angeles to less than 10 points for only the sixth time in McVay’s tenure less than 14 days ago.
“You talk to Jared and then you’d kind of just take it a day at a time,” McVay said. “I know that he’s in the mindset and the mentality of trying to prepare himself to get ready to play a game.”
Seattle (12-4) will be hosting a playoff game for the first time since January 2017, the last time the Seahawks claimed the NFC West title. They were carried to the division title not by an otherworldly season from Russell Wilson, although he was very good. But it was Seattle’s defense making a 180-degree flip from the beginning of the season that led the Seahawks’ late charge.
Seattle allowed just 16 points per game over the final eight games, the best in the league. The Seahawks had 37 of their 46 sacks for the season over the final 10 games.
If Seattle is going to make a run in the postseason, Wilson will play his role. But how long the Seahawks stay around will be determined by Jamal Adams, Bobby Wagner and others.
“We’ve got to make it our mission to do the same thing,” Seattle linebacker K.J. Wright said. “We had a great game against them two weeks ago and so we’ve got to make it our mission to repeat that and have another successful game.”