Sunday’s battle between the Rams and Seahawks will be for the NFC West division lead. Los Angeles currently holds the top spot, but a loss this weekend will drop them into a tie with Seattle who would have swept the Rams on the season. That means, with 2 games left, Seattle would control their destiny. If the Rams win, then they have a 2 game cushion with 2 remaining. The victor will be sitting pretty, while the loser will be in a huge battle to get one of the NFC Wild Card spots. Kickoff inside CenturyLink Field is at 4:05 PM ET.
Over the last 10 games between these divisional foes, the Seahawks have a slight advantage with a 6-4 record. During that span, Seattle has gone 4-1 at home against the Rams. The Seahawks have also won the last 2 games, including the Week 5 battle in Los Angeles.
The Rams (9-4) are 5-1 on the road this season and come into this matchup 2-2 over their last 4 games. Last weekend they lost to the Eagles 43-35. This weekend, they head up to Seattle in a game that will really test their limits. This could be a statement game for the Rams if they were to win on the road in one of the toughest places to play at.
Seattle (8-5) is only 4-2 at home this year, which is a bit of a surprise considering how dominant they have been over the last few years at CenturyLink. The Seahawks come into this matchup losing a tough game on the road against Jacksonville, which turned into an ugly encounter at the end of the game. Despite losing 2 out of their last 4 games, Seattle could take the NFC West lead with a win this weekend.
The spread opened with Seattle favored by 1 point. Currently, it’s up to 2 points in favor of the Seahawks. The Over/Under opened at 48 points and has come down slightly to 47.5 total points.
The Rams will get back their top receiver Robert Woods this weekend and he will definitely help to make an already explosive offense even more dangerous. In their Week 5 encounter, the Rams gained 134 more yards than the Seahawks, but weren’t able to put up more than 10 points on the scoreboard despite having chances to win at the end of the game. However, since then, Seattle has lost some key contributors on defense that made an impact in that game and this season: Avril, Chancellor, and Sherman.
The Rams are the more talented and healthy team heading into this matchup, but they lack one thing that Seattle has a lot of – experience. Seattle has made the playoffs the last 5 years. During that span, they’ve posted a 12-3 record at home during the months of December and January, and a 20-6 overall record during those months. To further this point, the Rams only have 3 starters out of 22 that have ever been to the Playoffs.
The keys to this game are simple: Rams need to get Gurley the ball and Wilson needs to work his magic for the Seahawks. These two things are so obvious that you have to expect both teams are preparing for it. But, just because both teams know this, that doesn’t mean they will be able to stop it.
Gurley is 2nd in the NFL with 1,637 total yards from scrimmage. He also leads the league with 13 total touchdowns. When the Rams get him 20 touches or more, they are 7-0 this season. In their loss last weekend to the Eagles, Gurley only had 16 touches. In their Week 5 matchup, Gurley only had 16 touches which led to 50 total yards and no touchdowns.
For the Seahawks, it’s all about Russell Wilson. Since their Week 5 matchup, where Russell played poorly, Wilson has stepped up his game and is now a contender for the NFL MVP award. He has 32 of the Seahawks’ 33 touchdowns on the season and leads the team in rushing yards with 482. He’s also set an NFL record with 17 touchdown passes during the 4th quarter of games this season. He’s the driving force behind Seattle right now, and they will need him to continue this success for the team to make the playoffs this year.
When it’s all said and done, I like Seattle at home where they are 17-6 over the last 3 years. The edge in experience is too great to overlook. Additionally, Mike Davis has provided the offense with a steady rushing attack so that Wilson doesn’t have to do it all. Defensively, they’re not as good as they were in their first matchup against the Rams, but they’re still good enough to keep the game close and contain Todd Gurley. In the end, I like Wilson’s 4th quarter success this season as he will outplay Rams QB Jared Goff when the game counts the most. Look for Seattle to win 23-20 on another 4th quarter TD pass from Wilson.
The Rams are 2-8 ATS in their last 10 road games at Seattle, 5-10 ATS in their last 15 games against teams with a winning record, and 3-6 ATS over their last 9 games during the last 4 weeks of the regular season. Seattle is 4-2 ATS over the last 6 games where the total points was between 45.5 and 49 points.