The Los Angeles Rams will learn Sunday who their next opponent will be, one day after holding the Seattle Seahawks to their third-lowest offensive output in their 16 postseason games since drafting Russell Wilson in 2012 in a 30-20 upset in a wild-card round game at Seattle.
The victory over the third-seeded NFC West champions Saturday advanced the sixth-seeded Rams to next weekend’s divisional round of the NFL playoffs.
Their opponent will be determined by the result of Sunday’s Chicago Bears-New Orleans Saints game. If the second-seeded Saints defeat the seventh-seeded Bears, the Rams would be the lowest-seeded team remaining in the NFC and play at Green Bay, which received a bye as the NFC’s top-seeded team. If Chicago upsets New Orleans, the Rams would face fifth-seeded Tampa Bay, a 31-23 winner over the Washington Football Team on Saturday night. The Rams defeated the Buccaneers, 27-24, Nov. 23.
The Rams’ league-leading defense limited Seattle to 278 yards and sacked Wilson five times, matching their second-highest total in a playoff game.
Cornerback Darious Williams intercepted a screen pass thrown by Wilson and returned the ball 42 yards for a touchdown, giving the Rams a 13-3 lead six minutes, 40 seconds before halftime.
Cam Akers became the first Rams rookie to run for over 100 yards in postseason game, running for 131 yards on 28 carries. He ended the Rams’ nine- quarter streak without an offensive touchdown when he ran 5 yards for a score 1:57 before halftime, increasing L.A.’s lead to 20-10.
Akers accounted for 69 yards on the five-play, 75-yard drive that also included a 5-yard encroachment penalty against Seattle. On the two plays preceding the touchdown, Akers turned a short pass from Goff into a 44-yard gain, then ran 20 yards to Seattle’s 10-yard line.
John Wolford made his second consecutive start at quarterback, but left the game on the Rams’ second possession when he suffered a neck injury that caused him to be taken to a hospital. Wolford was able to return to Lumen Field in time to join his teammates celebrating in the locker room.
“He must be good because he was in the locker room smiling, looking good,” Rams coach Sean McVay said. “I think it was really just a stinger. But we’re hopeful. He definitely seemed good. He was just in the locker room so nothing too serious. We wanted to be as cautious as we could with something like that when you injure your neck. It looks like it’s trending in the positive direction.”
McVay said he was “really mad at myself for calling that stupid play that left him susceptible to getting injured.”
Jared Goff replaced Wolford, completing nine of 19 passes for 155 yards, including a 15-yard touchdown to Robert Woods with 4:46 to play that gave the Rams a 30-13 lead. Goff was playing for the first time since undergoing surgery Dec. 28 to repair a fracture in his right thumb suffered in a 20-9 loss at Seattle a day earlier.
Matt Gay kicked 40-, 39- and 36-yard field goals for the Rams, who outgained the Seahawks, 333-278 in yards, and led 16-11 in first downs and 33:39-26:21 in time of possession.
Wilson completed 11 of 27 passes for 174 yards, including a 51-yard touchdown pass to DK Metcalf on the possession following the interception and 12-yard touchdown pass to Metcalf with 2:28 to play.
Wilson also ran for 50 yards on four carries. Jason Myers kicked a 50-yard field goal for the Seahawks with 10:29 left in the second quarter and a 52-yarder four plays after D.J. Reed returned Gay’s kick to open the second half 58 yards to the Rams’ 41-yard line.