Seahawks have eyes on playoffs, but Rams hoping to play spoiler

Playing at Lumen Field for the first time since being unceremoniously released by the Seattle Seahawks in the offseason, Los Angeles Rams linebacker Bobby Wagner is hoping for a chance to keep his former team out of the postseason.

“Being in a position to spoil their playoff hopes is always a good position to be in,” Wagner said this week. “It’s something worth playing for. It’s going to be fun to get back out there and be in front of those fans where I spent so much time. It should be a fun game.”

Should you be betting on Geno Smith and the Seahawks at home against the Rams?

Should you be betting on Geno Smith and the Seahawks at home against the Rams?

FOX betting analyst Sammy P breaks down the Week 18 matchup between the Los Angeles Rams and Seattle Seahawks.

Selected in the second round of the 2012 draft by Seattle, Wagner spent his first 10 seasons with the Seahawks, earning eight Pro Bowl invitations and helping them win the Super Bowl following the 2013 season.

The Utah State product finished with seven tackles, two sacks and an interception in his first matchup against his former team earlier this season, a 27-23 loss for the Rams.

Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll expects fans to welcome Wagner with open arms Sunday (4:25 p.m. on FOX).

“They’re going to be great,” Carroll told reporters this week. “They love him. I think they’re going to welcome him back. I think that’s what’s going to happen. Then if he makes an innings or something, maybe they don’t give him as much love.”

At 8-8, the Seahawks need a win over the Rams along with a Detroit Lions loss or a Green Bay Packers tie at Lambeau Field to reach the postseason in the NFC playoffs as the No. 7 seed .

The 5-11 Rams have lost the most games in league history as the defending Super Bowl champions, but are looking to end things on a positive note after a humbling season.

Match to watch: Rams RB Cam Akers in front of the Seahawks defensive front

The Florida State product is playing his best football of the season, with 348 rushing yards and four touchdowns in the last four games, two of them wins for the Rams.

Akers had 60 yards on 17 carries in a previous matchup against Seattle, helping the Rams to 171 rushing yards against Seattle’s much-maligned defense in Week 13.

“He’s always been a tough runner,” Seahawks defensive coordinator Clint Hurtt said of Akers this week. “He’s got great contact balance, incredible leg drive. He does a great job of lowering his pickup level when contact comes. He’s a very talented runner, that’s what I’d say about him.”

Seattle’s defense continues to be one of the points of the week for this potential playoff team. The Seahawks allow 150.5 yards per contest, No. 30 in the NFL. Seattle has allowed eight different players to rush for over 100 yards against them this season.

Key Stats: The Seahawks are averaging just 15.3 points per game over the past three weeks, tied for fifth-worst in the league. Seattle had averaged 26.3 points per game through the first 14 weeks of the NFL season, which was No. 6 in the league.

Prediction: The Rams have won four of their last five games against Seattle. However, with a postseason berth on the line, the Seahawks should have some urgency with more to play for this weekend.

A Seahawks win would be a nice way to finish a storybook comeback season from quarterback Geno Smith, who leads the league in completion percentage (70.2 percent) and has surprisingly carried Seattle’s offense in the absence of Russell Wilson, who is now struggling in Denver.

Seahawks 28, Rams 20

Branches of Los Angeles


Seattle Seahawks


Eric D. Williams has reported on the NFL for more than a decade, covering the Los Angeles Rams for Sports Illustrated, the Los Angeles Chargers for ESPN and the Seattle Seahawks for the Tacoma News Tribune. Follow him on Twitter at @eric_d_williams.

FOX Sports Top Stories:

FOLLOW Follow your favorites to personalize your FOX Sports experience

Branches of Los Angeles

Seattle Seahawks

Geno Smith

Get more from the National Football League Follow your favorites for information on games, news and more

Source link

Leave a Comment