The Los Angeles Rams (9-5, 4-3 away) and Seattle Seahawks (10-4, 6-1 home) tangle in an NFC West showdown on Sunday afternoon as part of the NFL’s Week 16 slate. The Rams were victorious, 23-16, when the two teams met up six weeks ago in Week 10.
Kickoff is set for 4:25 pm EST inside Lumen Field in Seattle. Seattle is a narrow 1.5-point favorite in the divisional rematch, according to oddsmakers.
What to Know – Los Angeles Rams
The Rams suffered one of the worst losses of the season last Sunday, falling to the winless New York Jets at home. A win against the Seahawks moves the Rams into a tie for the top spot in the NFC West standings.
Los Angeles never got into a rhythm offensively against a pesky Jets defense. Quarterback Jared Goff threw for 209 yards with a pair of touchdown tosses and one interception. On the year, the fifth-year gunslinger has thrown for 3,718 yards and 20 touchdowns with two games to play.
One of the positives offensively for the Rams is the recent emergence of rookie Cam Akers as the primary rusher out of the backfield. Akers carried the rock 15 times for 63 yards last week after setting season-highs in carries (29) and yards (171) the previous week, though he’s not expected to play in this one.
In the passing game, tight end Tyler Higbee (four catches, 67 yards, one touchdown) and wide receiver Robert Woods (six catches, 56 yards, one touchdown) led the Rams on Sunday. Goff has spread the ball around this season, with five targets securing at least 37 receptions or more.
What to Know – Seattle Seahawks
The Seahawks roll into the final two weeks of play having won four of their last five contests behind a rejuvenated defense that is surrendering 14.6 points per game over the last five weeks. Downing the Rams would lock up the NFC West division for the Seahawks and keep an outside shot at the top seed in the NFC alive.
Russell Wilson threw for a season-low 121 yards, one touchdown, and one interception in the victory over the Washington Football Team last Sunday after throwing four touchdowns against the Jets a week earlier. Wilson is second in the NFL with 37 touchdown passes this season, three shy of league leader Aaron Rodgers.
Chris Carson (15 carries, 63 yards), Carlos Hyde (two carries, 55 yards, one touchdown) and Wilson (six carries, 52 yards) created a three-headed rushing attack against a Washington defense that has been playing as one of the best in the league in recent weeks.
Wideouts DK Metcalf (five receptions, 43 yards) and Tyler Lockett (four receptions, 34 yards) padded their season totals, but it was backup tight end Jacob Hollister that found the end zone against Washington.
The Pick Is In
The Rams played uncharacteristically poorly against the Jets and will need to shift their focus to the Seahawks and a huge divisional battle with playoff seeding implications on the line. Seattle is one of the hottest teams now that it has settled in on the defense side of the ball.
These two teams played a close contest early on in the season, with the Rams defense clapping down on Seattle’s offense. Expect another close matchup, but the final score reversed in the rematch.
The Pick: Seattle -1.5