It’s always a battle of the heavyweights when the Seattle Seahawks and Los Angeles Rams face off.
On Saturday at Lumen Field in the Wild Card Round, it will be no different. The two NFC West rivals will meet for a third time this season and second time in the last two weeks after Seattle (12-4) locked up the third seed in the NFL Playoffs with a 26-23 victory over the San Francisco 49ers.
The Rams (10-6) edged the Cardinals 18-7 on Sunday to earn the sixth seed and one of the NFC’s final Wild Card spots.
Rams star defender Aaron Donald is personally looking forward to the upcoming matchup between the NFC West foes.
“That’s what we wanted. That’s exactly what we wanted,” Donald said in his walk-off interview.
It was one Sunday ago in Week 16 that the Seahawks came away with a 20-9 victory over the Rams at Lumen Field. During the two teams’ first meeting in Week 10, Seattle fell 23-16 at SoFi Stadium.
This is just the second time ever the Rams and Seahawks will meet in the playoffs. The other occasion came during the 2004 season when the Rams, then 8-8, took down the Seahawks (9-7) in the Wild Card Round.
So how do the Seahawks approach a Rams squad they beat just seven days ago?
“It’s just another divisional game,” Seahawks linebacker Bobby Wagner said. “I’m pretty sure we’ve had games where we play Arizona two times in three weeks or San Fran two times in three weeks, so it won’t be any different. Obviously, they are going to have a different quarterback so we’re going to have to watch film on him. But we understand what they bring in, we understand the stakes and we’ll be ready.”
Rams coach Sean McVay is still unsure whether Jared Goff will be ready to return in the first-round of the playoffs. Goff broke and dislocated his thumb, which required surgery, and his availability for Wild Card Weekend remains uncertain.
The Seahawks are preparing to face John Wolford, who completed 22 of 38 passes for 231 yards and an interception in his NFL debut vs. Arizona. He also had 56 rushing yards, the most by a Rams quarterback in 21 years, according to Rams PR.
Whether Seattle sees Wolford or Goff, the Seahawks will be prepared to battle all four quarters, as evidenced on Sunday.
“I’m really fired up that we continue to be a finishing club… it’s in the blood around here,” Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said. “And I’m really proud of that. Finishing strong is always something that we love and here we go. Here comes playoff time. The start to this finish begins this next time.”