The Seattle Seahawks can lurch closer to an NFC West title and avenge one of their most confounding defeats in a puzzling season when they host the Los Angeles Rams on Thursday Night Football.
The Rams (4-9) won their first home game in LA since 1994 when they beat Seattle 6-3 in September. But with the Seahawks (8-4-1) in control of the division, about all that’s at stake for Jeff Fisher’s third-place team is pride.
Both teams are coming off of ugly losses. Russell Wilson threw five interceptions in a 38-10 loss at snowy Green Bay on Sunday that cemented Seattle’s reputation as a bad road team.
Atlanta beat the Rams 42-14 on Sunday, prompting Los Angeles running back Todd Gurley to say his team looked as if it were running “a middle school offense out there.”
The Rams turned the ball over five times and lost for the eighth time in nine games and ensured the franchise’s 10th straight losing season.
The Seahawks are still likely to reach the playoffs, but they need to sort out their own issues before they get there and face tougher competition.
They hadn’t allowed more than 25 points this season before Sunday, but being without safety Earl Thomas appeared to hurt them.
Meanwhile, the offensive line gave up three sacks of Wilson and mostly struggled to block for rushers. Even so, Seattle is probably not as bad as it looked on Sunday, playing away from home and in the snow.
The Rams may not be the ones to test them, but not being able to get past them will send a serious negative signal from a team that has the NFC West all but wrapped up.
Players to watch:
Los Angeles QB Jared Goff. An uninspiring performance against Atlanta damaged the credibility of the rookie for whom Los Angeles traded up to draft.
Los Angeles DL Aaron Donald. Has seven sacks this season and is part of a sneaky-strong Rams front seven that could fluster Wilson.
Seattle LB Bobby Wagner. The NFL’s tackling leader is a bright spot on a Seahawks defense that suddenly seems shaky after losing Thomas for the season.
Seattle QB Russell Wilson. His five INTs were a career worst, though circumstances made it look worse than his performance was. The Rams are a fine tomato-can opponent against whom one of the NFL’s top QBs can rebound.