LA Rams: 4 bold predictions for Wild Card game vs. Seahawks

Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports /

As the LA Rams take the field today, here are five bold predictions for the Wild Card game vs. Seahawks

The LA Rams are set, and the first playoff game in two years is about to start. And yet, there is an uncontainable level of excitement and anxiety before this game. Yes, the Rams were beaten by the Seahawks in their last visit to Seattle by a score of 20-9.  Yes, the Rams offense has not exactly been a juggernaut. Rather, it’s been on a setting of self-destructing recently. But these are the playoffs, after all.

The LA Rams have had the better of the Seattle Seahawks since Sean McVay has taken charge. In eight regular-season games, the Rams hold a 5-3 advantage. But throw everything out the window, as this is a new team, a new season, and a new game.  And with the reset button pressed for this one, we must now count on the LA Rams players to win on the road once more as an underdog, a role they’ve done well at this season. So how will the Rams pull off the upset? Well, we have four bold predictions to help enlighten how that happens.

IV: Rams rush for over 150 yards

The Seattle Seahawks have been stingy of late on defense. But so were the New England Patriots when the Rams faced them earlier in the season. In that game, the Rams fired off of the line of scrimmage with a fired-up offensive line, two tight ends, and a whole lotta running back Cam Akers.  Akers alone put up 171 yards in that game.

Now imagine the carnage if that same offensive mindset surrounds the rushing ability of mobile quarterback John Wolford? If the Seahawks rush Wolford, he gashes their defense for a series of scrambles and first downs. If they play away from the line of scrimmage, he gashes their defense through open lanes. And if they sell out with zero coverage blitzes, he can throw it to the open receiver.   When the dust settles, the LA Rams will have a good day on the ground.

III: Rams will score the first touchdown

The LA Rams have been shut out a bit on offense in the past two games. But they will draw first blood in this one.  The offense has practiced red zone all week, and the key to it all is to synch up the offensive line with quarterback John Wolford’s cadence. The focus has been on getting the ball into the end zone.

The Rams will check that box in the first half in this one. Throughout this season, the Rams have been the cool calm cerebral sort of team that has out planned and outcoached their opponent. They will go a different route in this one, as the Rams will dominate the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball.  With a power running game, the Rams will keep Wilson on the sidelines and will eventually punch the ball across to take an early lead.

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II: Wilson throws at least one interception

Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson cleaned up the passing game in the second meeting and led the Seahawks to a victory to clinch the NFC West. But in doing so, he once more failed to dominate the game as the Seahawks have grown accustomed to. That left two games where Wilson played sub-par.

Of course, in this game, the Seahawks will try to help out their quarterback by committing to a rushing attack. But can that work when the Rams can anticipate it? After all, there may be an occasional rush or two for a decent gain, but the Seahawks will grow impatient. In a blow for blow contest, they haven’t the horses or talent to win. So they’ll eventually take to the air, and that will lead to a mistake. The Rams secondary may not be a headliner, but the unit is one of the best in the NFL. They can pick off a Russell Wilson pass in this one and will.

I: Donald dominates

So far, the Seattle Seahawks have done a good job of containing Aaron Donald. But how long can they keep that up? In two games, Donald has recorded two tackles and just one sack.  But as we stated in the beginning, that was then and this is now. Donald is capable at any point in the game of creating havoc. He is singularly capable of devastation so massive that he can change the momentum of a game. Whether that is a strip-sack, a forced fumble, or a stop on fourth down and short, Donald is always there.

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The Rams will scheme Donald to dominance today. Stunting, lining him up at various positions on the defensive line, and even lining him up in a two-point linebacker stance are all possibilities. All the Rams need to do today is ignite Aaron Donald, and he will do the rest.  This is about riding the stars who got you to this point, so you can look for a multi-sack day out of Aaron Donald.  So what will the final score be?

36. Prediction. 24. 51. 13

There you have it. I expect the LA Rams to win this one on the road. Perhaps that is my boldest prediction of all.