This is it folks, the nightmare “Run It Back” campaign for the defending champion LA Rams is coming to a close this Sunday. Following a plethora of injuries and poor play, the 5-11 Rams will look to close out the year on a high note, and head into an offseason where some changes will be made.
Nevertheless, there is something to play for in the final game, as the Rams will have a shot to play spoiler to their division rival Seattle Seahawks, with a shot to knock them out of the playoffs. On the other side, Seattle will be playing for their postseason lives, as with a win and a Green Bay loss they will clinch the final spot in the NFC side of the playoff bracket and DraftKings Sportsbook lists the Seahawks as 5.5-point favorites on the day before the game.
With all of that being considered, fans should be treated to an entertaining season finale between the familiar foes, with some motivation for both squads.
Here are 3 reasons as to why the Rams will end a tough year with a win, along with 3 reasons they will finish the 2022-2023 season with a 5-12 record.
3 REASONS THE RAMS WILL WIN
1) BOBBY WAGNER SECOND CRACK AT REVENGE
Back in week 13, the Rams hosted the Seattle Seahawks at SoFi stadium in their first of two games scheduled against one another, as Bobby Wagner faced his former team for the first time.
The Rams lost that game 27-23 on a last second touchdown pass from Geno Smith to DK Metcalf, a game where the Rams played with some serious passion amidst a lost season for the squad. Bobby Wagner played perhaps his best game of the year, racking up 7 tackles, 2 sacks, 3 tackles for loss, and an interception.
Wagner was all over the field that day, making his presence felt for all four quarters against his former squad. This time around, Wagner will head to Seattle for the first time since his departure, a place where he is sure to get a warm reception in his return to Lumen Field.
Wagner will be playing with a ton of motivation once again, as a chance to end the Seahawks season will definitely be the driving force for another masterclass performance from the future hall-of-fame linebacker.
When the Rams win on Sunday, expect another absurd performance from the man who has been the best player on the team this season.
2) BAKER MAYFIELD IS MUCH BETTER THAN JOHN WOLFORD
Last time around, the Rams were narrowly defeated by the Seahawks, even though the Rams were at a severe disadvantage at the quarterback position.
John Wolford was the starting quarterback for the Rams in that game, a game in which he posted a horrible 24.3 QBR, 2 interceptions, and a QB rating of just 43.4. Despite the performance of their quarterback, LA was just one stop away from winning the game, which bodes well for the Rams this time around.
Although not as good as the true starter Matthew Stafford, now-starting quarterback Baker Mayfield has been a solid late season add to an offense that looked like the worst in the league prior to his arrival.
The Rams were able to run the ball effectively last time out against a poor Seattle run defense, doing so without a true threat at the QB position to push the ball downfield. This time, they have a QB that can do that, opening up the chance for the Rams offense to have a great day to close the year out.
When the Rams defeat the Seahawks, expect Baker Mayfield to make a big difference in the second game between the teams.
3) CAM AKERS IS ROLLING
Earlier in the season, it was unclear whether or not Cam Akers would be on the roster at this time of year, as trade rumors were swirling around the young running back amidst some differences between himself and head coach Sean McVay.
Now, Akers has made it clear that he is the Rams running back moving forward, going on an absolute tear through the final weeks of the season. Since week 13, Akers has rushed for 408 yards and 6 touchdowns, all while averaging a whopping 4.9 yards per carry during that span. For context, in weeks 1-12 Akers rushed for just 274 yards and 1 touchdown, a ridiculous turnaround for the young man out of Florida State.
When the Rams close out the year on a high note, expect Cam Akers to put up another big game en route to a victory.
3 REASONS THE RAMS MAY LOSE
1) SEATTLE CAN GIVE THEMSELVES A SHOT AT THE POSTSEASON
Even though the Rams can play spoiler to their division rival, Seattle will have much more to play for. With a win against the Rams, the Seahawks will just need the Detroit Lions to defeat the Green Bay Packers on Sunday Night Football in order to punch their ticket into the postseason. However, if Seattle loses to the Rams, they will be instantaneously eliminated from playoff contention and their season will be over.
With all of that being considered, it is fair to assume that the Seahawks will do everything they can to win on Sunday, with trick-plays and things of that nature all on the table in order to give themselves the best chance to win the game.
If the Rams lose on Sunday, expect the motivation that the Seahawks have to be the deciding factor in the ballgame.
2) KENNETH WALKER IS NOW HEALTHY
Even though Seahawks rookie RB Kenneth Walker entered the first game against the Rams healthy, his stint in that game was extremely short-lived.
On the first offensive snap of the game for Seattle back in week 13 Walker broke loose for a 30-yard scamper, which seemed to be a the beginning of a big game for the uber-talented rookie out of Michigan State. However, Walker pulled up on the run and injured himself, a play that resulted in Walker getting just two more carries in the contest before he was shut down for the day.
This time around, the Rams will most likely have to deal with Kenneth Walker for the entirety of the game, a tough out for a defense that gave up an uncharacteristic 192 yards on the ground to the Chargers just a week ago.
If the Rams drop their 12th game of the season this week, expect Kenneth Walker to have a big day for the Seahawks.
3) SEAHAWKS DEFENSE RANKED 6TH IN TAKEWAYS, RAMS GET CARELESS
In the long history of the National Football League, there has been an almost surefire way to determine who wins or loses a game without looking at the final score.
Turnover differential almost always determines who wins a game, as every possession in a football game is vital, and any points put on the board by the defense increases the odds of winning substantially.
The Seahawks have done a great job of getting takeaways all season long with the 6th most takeaways in the NFL this season, a catalyst behind the surprising season that they have had thus far.
If the Rams lose, expect for turnovers to be the difference in the contest.