The Seattle Seahawks take on the Los Angeles Rams on Saturday, Jan. 9 in the NFL Playoffs Wild Card Round. The two NFC rivals are familiar foes, and the Seahawks (12-4) and Rams (10-6) split their 2020 season series.
The lower scoring games were led by each teams defense. The Rams won 23-16 in Week 10 and the Seahawks got payback with a Week 16 home win, 20-9. Seattle's improved defense came up big on a key fourth down goal line stand to help secure the win and NFC West division title.
Seahawks Defensive Turnaround
Seahawks defensive coordinator Ken Norton was catching heat into early November when the Seattle defense was allowing 30 points per game. Seattle was last in the NFL in yards allowed per game and was on pace to give up the most passing yards in league history.
Fast forward to the second half of the season and the Seahawks defensive turnaround has included 34 sacks over an eight game stretch from Week 8 through 15 after registering just 9 sacks through their first seven games. The Seattle defense allowed the third-fewest points per game from Week 9 to 17, including just 13.7 per game over their last six, going 5-1 in that stretch.
Quarterback Russell Wilson carried the team and offense through the first half of the season as the early NFL Most Valuable Player frontrunner. Facing the Rams No. 1 ranked scoring defense (18.5 PPG) and top-ranked total defense (282 yards per game) will be a tough challenge in the Seahawks opening playoff game. But Seattle's defense has now come around to become the needed force for the Seahawks Super Bowl run.
The playoffs start Saturday and Seattle is a 4-point favorite over Los Angeles at FanDuel Sportsbook. The combination of the Rams top-rated defense and uncertainty of its starting quarterback, along with the Seahawks much improved defense has the total set at a Seahawks season-low 42.5 points.
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