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Rams-Seahawks: Though dormant, the rivalry continues on amid L.A. turmoil

The rivalry between the two may be one of the youngest, but it is quickly becoming one of the most intense in the NFL.

NFL: Seattle Seahawks at Los Angeles Rams Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Rams’ “run it back” season has officially turned into a disaster following a 26-10 loss against the Kansas City Chiefs, their fifth straight loss since returning from the bye week. Without much to play for other than pride, L.A. will appear in a NFC West showdown against the Seattle Seahawks in Week 13.

Seattle is coming off an overtime loss to the Los Vegas Raiders and was just knocked out of first place in the division by the San Francisco 49ers. The Rams may not be playing for playoff contention, but knocking off one of their most hated rivals might be enough to win back a few fans.

Let’s take a deeper look into one of the league’s best rivalries.

All-time record: Seattle leads series 25-24

The Rams-Seahawks rivalry would not really begin until the 2002 season, when the Seahawks were moved into the NFC West due to league expansion and realignment that year. The then St. Louis Rams were near the end of the “Greatest Show on Turf” legacy but above average with Marc Bulger at the helm while the Seahawks were struggling to get over the .500 mark.

The two teams would split the matchup that year and the next, but in 2004 the Rams would go 2-0 against their newest rival and also knock them out of the playoffs in their first postseason matchup that year. It was the last win they would have against their NFC West counterpart for four years.

As the Rams entered a rebuilding stage, Seattle began its reign as one of the top competitors in the league. They finished first in the division four years in a row from 2004 to 2007 and again in 2010. In 2013, they won their first Super Bowl as a franchise during their “Legion of Boom” era against the Peyton Manning-led Denver Broncos, but lost to Tom Brady in 2014 in one of the craziest endings in Super Bowl history. Meanwhile, the Rams would be consistently at the bottom of the division, cycling through quarterbacks and accepting mediocrity under Jeff Fisher from 2012 through 2017. St. Louis found the occasional win against Seattle, sweeping them in 2015, but could never find consistency against a team many announcers called the Rams’ “big brother.”

Following yet another abysmal season in Fisher’s final year as a head coach, the same year that the Rams moved back to LA, fortune would change with the hiring of Sean McVay as the team’s newest head coach. The “boy genius” took the league by storm when he turned the worst offense into the best offense in a single season and vaulted LA into the first place in the division. For the first time since 2005 the Rams were competitive in the NFC West and the rivalry suddenly became more heated than ever before.

Since becoming the head coach for LA, McVay holds a 8-3 record over Pete Carroll’s unit, including a playoff win against them in 2021 whereafter Jalen Ramsey made sure to send a message to the NFC West champions.

The 2022 season also add new richness to the rivalry after LA snagged longtime Seahawk and Super Bowl champion Bobby Wagner in free agency. Sunday’s game will be his first time lining up against the team he spent nine years with and is sure to be an emotional matchup for not only this season, but for many to come.

The roles of the teams seem to have swapped once again as the Rams have struggled this season and the Seahawks have looked formidable with Geno Smith at the helm heading into a Week 13 showdown that could tip the scales of NFC West power once again. The teams’ first matchup this season with one another truly puts this season in perspective as the reigning Super Bowl Champions fight for respectability against a team many thought would be in last place in the division but is now fighting for first place.

The Seahawks are 6-5 and one game out of first place in the division, while the Rams are 3-8 and searching for answers. But LA has dominated the series since Aaron Donald and Sean McVay became a duo in 2017 and the Rams have won eight of the last 10 meetings. Can the Rams pull it off again and get back in the win column or is this Geno Smith’s year?

The rivalry is dormant, but it certainly isn’t dead.