Los Angeles Rams at Seattle Seahawks NFL Wild Card Pick – January 9

Los Angeles Rams (10-6) at Seattle Seahawks (12-4)

  • Time: 1:40PM PST | 3:40PM CST | 4:40PM EST
  • Location: Lumen Field, Seattle, WA
  • TV: FOX

Seahawks Have a Small Series Lead

The Seahawks own a 25-21 series lead, but the Rams have won five of the last seven games. The teams have had only one playoff meeting and that one went to Los Angeles, 27-20, in 2005.

Vs. The Spread

The Rams:

  • The total is UNDER in 11 of the last 13 games
  • The total is UNDER in four of LA’s last six road games
  • Are 3-13 in the last 16 games in Seattle

The Seahawks:

  • Are 4-8 ATS in their last 12 outings
  • Total is UNDER in 7 of the lat 8 games
  • Total is UNDER in 6 of their last 7 vs. NFC

Seahawks and Rams Split Season Series

The two teams split the season series at 1-1 as both teams took home victories in a pair of defensive games. The Rams won the first game, 23-16, as Jared Goff passed for 302 yards, but Malcolm Brown rushed for two touchdowns and Darrell Henderson had one. Seattle was struggling at this point in the season as it was the last loss in a streak that saw the Seahawks lose three out of four games.

Two weeks ago in Seattle, the Seahawks won the NFC West championship with a 20-9 win as Russell Wilson ran for one touchdown and he threw for another as tight end Jacob Hollister hauled in a 13-yard touchdown reception with 2:51 remaining. Seattle’s defense held the Rams to 292 total yards as they held the Rams on downs on two of their four drives in the second half.

On the Injury Front

Rams quarterback Jared Goff is still listed as questionable for Saturday’s game and it stands to reason that he will be in the lineup if at all possible as the Rams have to find away to generate offense following the two games vs. Seattle. Wide receiver Cooper Kupp has been activated from the covid list and left tackle Andrew Whitworth is off injured reserve and ready to roll after an MCL injury in Week 10.

Safety Jamal Adams says he is playing for the Seahawks this week as he has battled through a myriad of injuries this season and missed a month due to an injured groin. Coach Pete Carroll says he is likely a game time decision which means Adams likely is good to his word. Both running backs Chris Carson and Carlos Hyde have battled injuries all season and look ready to go although both have been limited in practice at certain times this week. Defensive tackle Jarran Reed and linebacker Shaquill Griffin are both listed as questionable.

Teams Spread Money Line Total Points
Rams +3 (-105) +150 O 42 (-110)
Seahawks -3 (-115) -170 U 42 (-110)

When the Rams Have the Ball

Los Angeles Rams LogoRams coach Sean McVay has probably had Starbucks on speed dial in sitting up nights this week while trying to find ways to get the offense untracked against the resurgent Seattle defense. Goff’s injury is of course major and becomes insurmountable if backup John Wolford has to come into the game and try to march the Rams toward the second round although he had 287 yards from scrimmage last week in his first career start. The Rams were the only team with two players with 90-plus catches each in Robert Woods (90) and Kupp (92).

Seattle’s defense has found itself in the past five games as it has given up 14.6 points per game while giving up only 278.4 total yards per contest.

The impetus is healthiness among the ranks as the pass rush has accounted for 18 sacks as part of that is a five-sack performance in the win over the Rams two weeks ago. In addition, Seattle has held opponents below 100 yards rushing in five of the last seven games.

Even with the injuries, Adams had a stellar season as he recorded 9.5 sacks, the most by a defensive back since 1985. Don’t forget the contributions by a pair of linebackers in K.J. Wright and Bobby Wagner. Wright has five or more tackles in 13 of his 14 career playoff games while Wagner has averaged 9.1 tackles per game in 15 post season appearances.

When the Seahawks Have the Ball

Seattle Seahawks LogoWhen Carson is healthy and running the football, the Seahawks are extremely tough to beat as we have seen throughout his career in the Emerald City. This allows Wilson to play-action and also allows talented wide receivers in D.K. Metcalf and Tyler Lockett to have an extra second with which to run their stylized routes.

Wilson has been magnificent with 40 touchdown passes and his fourth season where he has passed for over 4,000 yards (4,212). Metcalf had a career-high 1,303 receiving yards which set the Seahawks franchise record, while Lockett had a career-high and Seattle record of 100 receptions. Hyde has a rushing touchdown in five of his last six games vs. the Rams.

Los Angeles boast the No. 1 defense in the NFL (281 total yards) which starts with the top rushing defense in the NFL which allows only 91 yards per contest.

How is this for an irony? The Rams, like the Seahawks, have held five of their past seven opponents, under 100 yards rushing.

Defensive discipline and containment are a must against Wilson, as with any prolific dual-threat quarterback. Aaron Donald was second in the NFL with 13.5 sacks while linebacker Leonard Floyd posted 10.5. Jalen Ramsey and Darious Williams have to come up big in coverage on Metcalf and Lockett although David Moore had a career high six touchdown catches. The Rams could also get linebacker Micah Kiser back as he missed seven games with injuries.

Winner: Seahawks (-3) 23, Rams 13
Over-Under: Take UNDER 42

The Bets
Seattle Seahawks -3
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Kenneth Cross / Author

Kenneth Cross is a new entry to The Sports Geek staff as he has 25 years of experience in print, broadcast, and internet sports journalism. Cross is a lover of all sports, but college basketball is his passion. He estimates that he has seen around 1,500 college basketball games - live and in-person - and hopes that grows this season. If you listen to Radio, you have likely heard him on Sundays covering the Carolina Panthers for some 20 years. Now in Tampa Bay, he works as a national radio correspondent.