The unstoppable force meets the immovable object.
That’s what NFL observers will get to see on Saturday, when the Los Angeles Rams travel to the Pacific Northwest to face the Seattle Seahawks in the opening round the NFC Wild Card this weekend.
The Rams finished the season with the No. 1 defense in the league in points allowed (18.5 per game), total yards allowed (282 yards per game) and passing yards allowed (191).
Los Angeles was second in the league in sacks with 52.
In the only time the two teams met in the postseason, the Rams emerged victorious, a 27-20 win in the NFC Wild Card round after the 2004 season in Seattle.
“It’s going to be an exciting one,” Rams cornerback Troy Hill said about the matchup. I’ve been playing them twice a year for the last five years, so it’s always an exciting game. Even when we were at our worst when Jeff Fisher was here, it was always an exciting game. So, it’s going to be fun one.”
The Rams face a Seattle offense led by Pro Bowl quarterback Russell Wilson. The Seahawks averaged 29 points a contest this season, No. 7 in the NFL. Wilson was in the MVP conversation the first half of the seasons before dropping off statistically the second half of the year.
Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald said after his team’s win over the Arizona Cardinals last week, clinching a postseason berth, that his team wanted to face Seattle for a third time this season.
“That’s what we wanted,” Donald told ESPN’s Lindsey Thiry. “That’s exactly what we wanted.”
Be careful what you ask for Aaron. The Rams have done well against Wilson, sacking him a combined 11 times and holding the Seahawks to an average of 18 points a contest during the regular season. L.A. split those games, winning at SoFi Stadium 23-16 in Week 10 but losing 20-9 in Week 16 at Lumen Field.
Sean McVay’s Rams now travel to Lumen Field again, where Wilson is a 5-0 in postseason play. The Seahawks currently have a 10-game winning streak at home in the playoffs.
Wilson’s 9-6 overall in the postseason, leading the Seahawks to a Super Bowl win after the 2013 season. He’s completed 62 percent of his passes for 3,612 yards, with 23 touchdowns and 11 interceptions in the playoffs, posting a 96.7 passer rating.
“I think all that matters in the playoffs is, do you win the game or not,” Wilson told reporters over the weekend after Seattle defeated NFC West rival San Francisco to finish the year 12-4. “Whatever it is, that’s what we really care about in this locker room is winning the game.”
While the Rams have played Wilson well this season, they will likely have their hands full on Saturday.
“You always have to be aware of where he’s at,” Rams defensive lineman Morgan Fox said about Wilson. “He’s a weapon. He’s a great quarterback. He can make plays with his feet. He makes plays with his arm with incredible throws. He manages the game really well, and you just have to attack him. Hopefully, you can contain him and play a tougher game than he wants to play.”