The Seattle Seahawks have controlled their division for the past few seasons. Other than 2015 when the Arizona Cardinals stole the division at 13-3, the Seahawks have carried the West every year since 2013, winning Super Bowl XLVIII while losing Super Bowl XLIX in the process.
Now, there’s a new sheriff in town, and his name is the Los Angeles Rams. Sitting at 9-4, the Rams hold a fading one-game lead over the 8-5. However, their matchup this weekend gives the team a chance to distance themselves from their division rivals and move closer to that sweet, sweet first-round bye (especially now with Carson Wentz out for the season).
But first, they have to win the game.
“We must win the game,” said wide receiver Robert Woods. “We know it’s Seattle. We know there’s a lot on the table. But other than that, we must win this game. We go in prepping to win. There’s always a lot at the table when you’re trying to win—no matter if it’s Seattle, Philadelphia, whoever’s lined up. We’re going in like it’s all we’ve got and it’s our last game left.”
Of course, that’s easier said than done against a team like Seattle, especially since the Rams have already lost to the Seahawks once this season, dropping their Week Five meeting 16-10. The team has done some growing since then, however, and head coach Sean McVay is confident that his guys will be ready to compete.
“I think what it is, is it’s a great opportunity for us, and that’s the way that we look at it,” said McVay. “The goal is to see if we can kind of maintain our division lead. We’re up one right, and they’re saying the same thing as far as they’re down one, and if they get a chance to come away with a win now they’ll have the head-to-head. It’s going to be a great atmosphere, a great environment and I know our guys are excited to be able to compete against a great football team, and we can’t wait to get along.”
Russell Wilson was asked how he would describe the Seahawks defense has improved since their Week 5 victory against the Rams.
“It’s been impressive just to see how far we have really come and grown since the last time we played them,” Wilson said.
“We know if we do win this one, how big that is for the rest of the season going forward,” quarterback Jared Goff said.
The Rams and Seahawks could very likely find themselves meeting again in the playoffs, so this game will have broad reaching implications moving forward. And you know the Rams don’t want to be traveling to Seattle in the postseason.