Rams (9-4) VS. Seahawks (5-8)
When: Tuesday, 4 p.m.
Where: Sophie Stadium, Inglewood
TV/Radio: Ch. 1 1; 710 AM, 93.1 FM, 1330 AM (Spanish)
Line: by rams 7
Notable Injury Designation: Rams: RB Jake Funk (hamstring) is expected to activate from injured reserve; Players on Monday’s COVID-19 reserve list included starters TE Tyler Higby, RT Rob Havenstein, OLB Von Miller and S Jordan Fuller. Seahawks: No injury designation; The players on Monday’s COVID list included RB Alex Collins, WR Tyler Lockett, RT Brandon Schell, Day Carey Haider and CB DJ Reed.
what’s at stake? The Rams try to extend a two-game winning streak, inches closer to securing a playoff spot and turn up the heat on Arizona in the NFC West race. The Rams can’t secure a playoff berth even if they win Tuesday night. They could also draw with Arizona at 10-4, although the Cardinals will still be in first place due to the tiebreaker.
who’s better? The Rams won 26–17 in October, 30–20 in Seattle and in the playoffs in January, and were ahead in the standings all season. The question is how much the Seahawks have improved since quarterback Russell Wilson’s recovery. And how things change with the COVID-19 issues affecting both teams.
Matchups to watch: Rams CB Jalen Ramsey vs Seahawks WR DK Metcalf. Ramsey’s return sets up another of his weekly meetings with dangerous receivers after being one of five Rams to miss a win in Arizona because of COVID-19. Metcalf had 98 yards and two touchdowns against the Rams in October, and he went big with the prospect of being outside the locket.
If Ram wins… If WR Odell Beckham Jr. and Van Jefferson, who have touchdowns in three straight games, continue to make up for some of the Rams’ loss from an injury to Robert Woods. If the defense, against No. 6 (84.8) in passer rating, the Seahawks Wilson, No. 3 (103.7) in passer rating, is behind Packers Aaron Rodgers (10.4) and Rams Matthew Stafford (108.4). If the Rams, who lead 9-0 when they win or tie a turnover fight, do so against the Seattle team tied for the fewest giveaways in the league.
Fantasy Selection: Beckham. The Seahawks’ defensive stats (number 27 per dropback allowed in the net passing yard, No. 1 per attempt in the running yard) invite Stafford to pass. Beckham looks like he’s coming into a 100-yard game, something he started in each of the two games against Seattle when he was with the New York Giants and Cleveland Browns.
Prediction: Rams 30, Seahawks 21. The Rams had 29 players on Friday’s COVID-19 reserve list, but at most they would be missing four starters on kickoff (assuming no further cases emerged). Against Arizona they were the same starters, and they survived that crisis and then some. It’s that time of year when you start thinking, “Who has more to play for?”, and the answer is Ram.