LA Rams game day primer: NFL Playoffs round one

Mandatory Credit: Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports /
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LA Rams game day
(Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) /

Who starts at Rams QB?

The LA Rams have a big decision for this first playoff game. Should the Rams start post-surgery Jared Goff if he says he is ready? Or should the Rams keep backup quarterback John Wolford under center, giving Goff another week to recuperate, while giving the Seahawks defense a complicated offense to plan for. While the sensible default answer is to start Goff, there are reasons why John Wolford makes sense under center for this one.

Whoever starts will find the Seahawks defense has improved over time.  The Seahawks added DL Carlos Dunlap, who has been a huge addition for their defense. Meanwhile, Seattle has used safety Jamal Adams as a  hybrid defensive back/linebacker to great success. So sucessful that he leads the Seahawks defense with 9.5 quarterback sacks. Two sacks came in his first encounter with the Rams this season. In the rematch, DL Jarran Reed recorded a pair of sacks.

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Rams defense can get to Wilson

The Rams have not been held at bay in these games. In fact, the Rams have had tremendous success at bringing Russell Wilson down, recording 11 sacks against Seattle in just two games. The star so far has been veteran outside linebacker Leonard Floyd, who has five sacks on Wilson himself.  But in both games, the key to the Rams staunch defense was the ability to shut down the potent Seahawks rushing attack.

Once Seattle’s offense is forced to pass, the Rams were able to chase down Wilson and for the most part keep their dangerous receivers relatively quiet. In two games so far, Russell Wilson has completed 42 of 69 passes for 473 yards, one touchdown, and two interceptions.  That’s a pretty quiet performance from a quarterback many touted for the NFL MVP award.