SEAHAWKS’ NEXT OPPONENT
LOS ANGELES RAMS (9-4)
1:05 p.m. Sunday, CenturyLink Field, Ch. 13
Line: Seahawks by 2.
Against the Seahawks: The Rams trail the regular-season series 23-15. They have lost two in a row after beating the Seahawks three straight times, and four times and five games. Los Angeles lost at home to Seattle 16-10 on Oct. 8, when the Rams entered with the league’s highest-scoring offense. The Rams lost in their last visit to CenturyLink Field 24-3 on Dec. 15, 2016. Then-rookie quarterback Jared Goff made his fifth career start that night.
What to know: The Rams are coming off a 43-35 home loss to the Philadelphia Eagles, seven days after the Eagles (11-2) lost 24-10 at Seattle. The loss to Philadelphia blew Los Angeles’ chance to all but end the NFC West race. Now the winner of Sunday’s game is likely to win the division over the final two regular-season games after this one. … L.A. is second in the league scoring points (30.5 per game). The Seahawks and Vikings (in a 24-7 Minnesota win Nov. 19) are the only teams to hold the Rams to under 20 points this season. … The Rams are 14th in rushing and ninth in passing. … This time last year Goff was in the middle of going 0-7 to finish his 2016 rookie season, with seven interceptions and five touchdown passes. This season he is 9-4 and fifth among active passers with a rating of 99.2. He has 22 touchdowns and just six interceptions. … Goff is tied with Drew Brees for the NFL lead averaging 8 yards per pass attempt. … Rookie Cooper Kupp, the Rams’ third-round draft pick from Yakima and Eastern Washington, leads NFL rookies in most receiving statistics. He leads the Rams with 783 yards receiving on 56 catches. He has three touchdowns. It was a fourth Kupp didn’t get, a Goff dart off his hands as Kupp was diving in the end zone late in the game Oct. 8, that kept the Rams from rallying past the Seahawks. … Robert Woods has been the big-play wide receiver, averaging 15 yards per catch on 47 receptions. He’s missed the last three games with a shoulder injury but the Rams expect him to be back playing Sunday. … Todd Gurley is third in the NFL in rushing with 1,035 yards and is coming off a 96-yard day on only 13 carries against the Eagles. Coach Todd McVay says he needs to hand the ball to Gurley more and stick with him, to make the offense more balanced than the Rams have been in recent games. … With linebacker Bobby Wagner and K.J. Wright leading the way, the Seahawks have held Gurley to an average of 53.8 yards rushing and 6.2 yards receiving, with just one touchdown, in four meetings. Those are his lowest numbers by far against any team he’s played more than once in his three-year career. In 38 games against everyone besides Seattle, Gurley has 28 total touchdowns and is averaging 74 yards rushing and 28.6 yards receiving per game. Wagner (hamstring) and Wright (concussion) are iffy to play Sunday. ...
... The Rams’ offense has punted 19 fewer times than Seattle’s, 49 times in 12 games. … Last week’s loss was the third time this season Los Angeles has allowed at least 30 points. For the season the Rams are 12th in the league in scoring defense (20.4 points per game). They are 28th against the run—but Seahawks running backs gained just 39 yards on 19 carries against them on Oct. 8. New Seattle lead back Mike Davis was on the practice squad back then. … Then Rams are ranked 11th in the league against the pass. … L.A. has 40 sacks in 12 games, third in the NFL. Its 173 quarterback pressures are second in the league. That’s no surprise, given all the trouble Aaron Donald, Robert Quinn and the Rams’ defensive front have given Seattle recently. L.A. is tied with Carolina for most sacks in the NFC, and third most in the NFL behind Jacksonville and Pittsburgh. … Donald has eight sacks, playing more this season as an end in new coordinator Wade Phillips’ 3-4 defense than Donald’s previous years as a tackle. The Seahawks rave about the athletic, dangerous Donald. He has four sacks in seven career games against Seattle, as a tackle in the Rams’ previous 4-3. … Donald had two sacks two games ago in the Rams’ win over Arizona. … Quinn had one of three sacks of Russell Wilson the last time these teams met. The Rams hit Wilson 11 times on Oct. 8. … The Rams are second in the conference with 15 interceptions, one behind the Eagles. That’s a large reason L.A. has a turnover margin of plus 5. The Rams’ interceptions have often come in the middle: inside linebacker Mark Barron and free safety Lamarcus Joyner have three interceptions each to share the team lead. … This will be the second consecutive week the Rams have taken Wednesday off from practicing. McVay says it is to rest the players this late in the season.
Quotable: "However you want to cut it, I’ve got to get him going, give him more opportunities with the way he was running it, and have a better feel for the flow of the game. That was something that I didn’t think I did very well (last weekend)." – McVay to reporters in California, on Gurley needing to get more carries than the 13 he got against the Eagles.