Rams Earn Wild Card Victory, Advance to Divisional Round

Rams Win 30-20 Against Rival Seahawks


Photo courtesy of Brevin Townsell, via TheRams.com

With Seattle backed up to their own 10 yard line, quarterback Russell Wilson (3) gets taken down by Aaron Donald (99) for a nine yard loss. In three games versus the Seahawks this season, the Rams have sacked Wilson 16 times. In fifteen games against Wilson, Donald has 15 sacks. The Rams advance to the Divisional Round with their 30-20 victory over the Seahawks.

Thanks to a dominant defensive performance, the L.A. Rams reduced Seattle’s playoff berth to a one-and-done deal. Here’s what we learned from Lumen Field on Super Wild Card Weekend:

Rams Defense Smothers Seahawks

Much like all season, the Rams defense dominated. The first ranked unit pummeled Russell Wilson, sacking him five times. L.A. limited the Seahawks’ number one scoring offense to just 20 points and 278 total yards of offense. Aaron Donald did Aaron Donald things, seemingly blasting through the Seahawks offensive line every play. He and fellow quarterback hunter Leonard Floyd each sacked Wilson twice. Up 6-3 in the second quarter and with their offense struggling, the defense came up with a pick-six off a botched WR screen. Wilson tried to hit DK Metcalf on the short pass, but Darious Williams sniffed out the play and took the interception 42 yards to the house, putting Rams up for good. One thing that had Rams fans holding their breath: seeing Aaron Donald injured. Donald, while forcing an incomplete pass, brought Wilson down awkwardly on his own ribs in the third quarter (10:04). He missed the rest of the game, but he was later seen on the sidelines moving around and chatting with teammates. Losing Donald for any amount of time would hurt, but the Rams defense showed it can hold up without him (they only allowed a single touchdown during his absence). 

Goff to the Rescue

John Wolford started the game for the Rams, but Jared Goff led them to victory. Wolford was injured during the second offensive series in the first quarter. He scrambled and got hit by Seahawks safety Jamal Adams as he was sliding, taking him out of the game with a head/neck injury. From then on, Goff led the way. 12 days removed from thumb surgery and playing with pins in that digit, Goff led a run-heavy offense. He didn’t put up dazzling stats (nine of 19 passing with 155 yards) but it was just enough to keep the offense moving. His 44 yard pass to Cooper Kupp set up a field goal that gave his team a lead that they wouldn’t relinquish the rest of the game. 

Rams Rookie Shines in Playoff Debut

If it wasn’t already obvious the previous weeks, Cam Akers is the official heir apparent to Todd Gurley. Akers powered the offense, contributing 176 of the team’s 333 total yards of offense. He did it all; he ran for 131 yards and contributed 45 yards receiving. Up 13-10 in the second quarter and facing 3rd&9, Goff found Akers on a short pass, which he turned into a 44 yard gain and set up his eventual five yard touchdown run. His 176 scrimmage yards are the second most by a rookie in his playoff debut in NFL history, behind Billy Cannon’s 178 in the 1961 AFL championship game. 

Rams Undefeated in Wild Card Against Seattle

With the win, the Rams snap Seattle’s 10 game winning streak at home in the playoffs. They hadn’t lost at home in the playoffs since 2004, when they lost 27-20 against the then St. Louis Rams, led by QB Marc Bulger and an aging Marshall Faulk at running back. The Rams are now 2-0 all-time against the Seahawks in the playoffs, with both wins taking place in the Wild Card Round. 

Los Angeles advances to the Divisional Round, but they won’t know their next opponent until later today. Their next opponent will be decided based on the outcome of the Saints/Bears game today at 1:40 p.m. PST. If the Saints win, Los Angeles plays Green Bay; if the Bears win, the Rams travel to Tampa By and face Tom Brady. The Divisional Round games will take place January 16 and 17. Times are yet to be determined.

UPDATE: With New Orleans’ 21-9 victory over Chicago, the Rams will travel to Lambeau Field and take on the Packers. Kickoff will take place this coming Saturday at 1:35 p.m. PST on FOX.