The final week of the regular season is finally upon us as the Los Angeles Rams get set to take on the Seattle Seahawks in a NFC West Division matchup. The Seahawks will be looking to punch in their playoff ticket with a victory over their divisional rival while LA looks to play post season spoiler.
DraftKings Sportsbook have the Seahawks pegged as 6.5-point favorites in this one but anything can happen in a division showdown. Can Baker Mayfield put together one last upset, or will Geno Smith lead his team to a surprising playoff appearance? Let’s break it down.
Seattle secured the first matchup between the two teams in Week 13 with a dramatic 27-24 victory. Despite dealing with a multitude of injuries and running an offense with John Wolford at the helm, Los Angeles held a lead deep into the fourth quarter until Smith found DK Metcalf on a eight yard pass in the end zone for the eventual game winning score. With just 36 seconds left on the clock it only took 16 for Wolford to get intercepted by Cody Barton. Though they may have not gotten a win, Bobby Wagner played an outstanding game in his first matchup against his former team.
Bobby Wagner to the Seahawks sideline after his interception: “I’m Him.” pic.twitter.com/XmcDTZQm7e— Dugar, Michael-Shawn (@MikeDugar) December 7, 2022
He finished with an interception, two sacks, three tackles-for-loss, and a combined seven tackles. He will be looking to put together something similar for his first time back at Lumen Field.
The Rams are again without the majority of their top-tier talent but do have a secret weapon in Mayfield that they did not have last time around. The former first overall pick from the 2018 NFL Draft has every reason to play hard on Sunday as he continues to attempt to prove his doubters wrong. Against the Los Angeles Chargers he went 11 of 19 for 132 yards and could not find the end zone and lost a fumble, but his performance can be predicated on a porous offensive line and stout Charger defense.
Cam Akers, on the other hand, is putting together some impressive tape in the last quarter of the season. He finished with an average of 6.5 yards per carry on 19 carries that was good for 123 yards on the ground. The Seahawks will have to find a way to slow down the third year back and may be equipped to do so after holding the New York Jets to under 100 yards rushing just this last week.
The Seahawks may have a heavy advantage with a running game that can be absolutely devastating. Against New York the team finished with 198 yards total rushing with 133 of them coming from rookie running back Kenneth Walker.
That could spell danger for a Rams unit that just allowed Austin Ekeler to run all over them for an average of 12.2 yards per carry (yes, you are reading that correctly) on 10 carries for 122 yards. Jalen Ramsey will likely be following DK Metcalf for most of the match leaving Seattle’s other weapon in Tyler Lockett to be guarded by their younger players. It will be interesting to see if Cobie Durant will be able to hold his own against the speedy receiver.
Los Angeles has truly nothing left to play for and yet it feels like this may be the most important game of the season for them. Wagner is coming back to the stadium that defined his career in front of fans that have adorned his jersey and chanted his name. Mayfield has one last chance to put together a performance worthy of a first overall pick and find a starting QB position next season. Sure, Pete Carrol and his players are looking to make it past the regular season and earn an opportunity at the Lombardi, but that might make the a victory for LA taste that much sweeter. My money is on the Rams to not only cover the spread, but also walk away with the victory.
Who are you betting on this weekend? Let’s discuss!