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Friday Round-Up: Picks and Predictions For Wild Card Matchup Against The Los Angeles Rams

Local and national media members make their picks for Saturday’s Wild Card playoff game against the Rams.

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Happy Blue Friday, 12s! Here's a look at what's out there today, January 8, about your Seattle Seahawks.

Picks And Predictions For Wild Card Matchup Against The Rams

It's finally playoff time, and the Seahawks get to battle with the division rival Los Angeles Rams for the third time this season. The teams split the previous two meetings, with the Rams earning a 23-16 victory in Inglewood back in Week 10, and the Seahawks grabbing a 20-9 win at home in Week 16. Kickoff for this weekend is set for Saturday at 1:40 p.m. PT at Lumen Field. The game will air live on FOX, with 710 ESPN Seattle, KIRO Radio 97.3 FM and Westwood One on the call for radio.

Here's what some local and national media members are predicting:

ESPN’s Brady Henderson and Lindsey Thiry both expect the Seahawks to advance. Henderson has the Hawks winning 21-18, but he's watching for some key injuries to be a factor: "Injuries could play a big role in this one. Rams coach Sean McVay has been tight-lipped about whether quarterback Jared Goff and his surgically repaired thumb will start Saturday. Seahawks safety Jamal Adams, meanwhile, said unequivocally that he'll be on the field for his first career playoff game. Adams' status had been in question because of a shoulder injury. Will either or both of them suit up, and how will their injuries play a part?"

Thiry has Seattle winning 20-17 and also pointed to Goff's broken thumb as a concern: "Rams No. 2 quarterback John Wolford will break the Rams' two-game streak without an offensive touchdown. Yes, Wolford. McVay won't declare a starter before kickoff, but expect Goff to give it a try. But with Goff less than two weeks removed from thumb surgery, Wolford could very well need to step in at some point."

NFL.com’s Gregg Rosenthal likes the Rams by a score of 20-19 in a close, defensive matchup: "I think the Rams are the most likely underdog to win this week because they have the best defense in a defensive matchup. Aaron Donald has 16 pressures in two games against the Seahawks this season and Jalen Ramsey has helped limit DK Metcalf's impact. This game is bound to be ugly, low-scoring and close in the fourth quarter. McVay has a 5-3 record against Pete Carroll and winning on the road with a backup quarterback would get the crown back as the NFC West's best coach and certainly the best division's best defense."

Benjamin Hoffman of the New York Times is going with the Seahawks based on Goff’s potentially limited status. "Be it Wolford or a limited version of Goff, the Rams should be underdogs against the Seahawks (12-4). Seattle's offense was never in question — Russell Wilson is a threat to throw a touchdown pass to Tyler Lockett or D.K. Metcalf on almost every play — but after a brutal start to the season, the Seahawks' defense improved considerably. The only solace for Los Angeles is that Seattle may be without safety Jamal Adams and defensive tackle Jarran Reed, which would significantly weaken the Seahawks' pass rush … Pick: Seahawks."

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The New York Post’s Steve Serby predicts the Seahawks to pull out the win at home: "Seattle coach Pete Carroll's defense needs safety Jamal Adams (shoulder) and defensive tackle Jarran Reed (oblique), who recorded two sacks in a 20-9 Week 16 win. When in doubt, let Russell Wilson cook against the No. 3 run defense, but if he again avoids throwing to DK Metcalf against Jalen Ramsey, he'll need to hook up with Tyler Lockett. The Seahawks offensive line is back together for the first time since Week 14 to confront Aaron Donald. Prediction: Seahawks 24, Rams 17. Russell Wilson finds a way."

CBS Sports’ Pete Prisco expects a close game as well, but likes the Hawks to come out on top, 20-18: "These two split their games in the regular season, with each winning at home. Seattle beat the Rams two weeks ago in a game where Jared Goff hurt his thumb. The Rams had chances in that matchup, even with Goff banged up. The Rams defense always seems to give Russell Wilson problems -- that will be the case here. But Seattle's defense has picked up its play in a big way. That will make for big problems for the Rams offense, no matter who starts at quarterback. Seattle will win a low-scoring game."

The Seattle Times sports crew all have the Seahawks getting the win over their division rival. Bob Condotta likes the Hawks by a score of 20-13: "For all the angst about the Seahawks, they DID go 12-4 this season, better than all but three other teams. The Rams have possibly the league's best defense, so this probably won't be easy on the heart. But the bet here is that it's similar to the game two weeks ago. Seattle — and Wilson, who also despite inconsistencies threw for more TDs than anyone other than Aaron Rodgers — will find a way late to survive and advance."

Vinnie Iyer of Sporting News has the Rams over the Seahawks in his Upset of the Week: "The Rams expect to have Jared Goff and Cooper Kupp back for the rubber match after the Week 16 loss at Seattle cost them the NFC West title and forced them to have this matchup on the road. But the Seahawks don't have the same home-field advantage, and also their defense has played better of late, the Rams are the ones with the dominant, big-play unit led by Aaron Donald and Jalen Ramsey. The Seahawks' running game will be contained and Russell Wilson won't see much open downfield for D.K. Metcalf and Tyler Lockett. The Rams will mix up personnel, running the ball well and spreading it around in the intermediate passing game to Kupp, Woods and the tight ends. Pick: Rams win 20-17."

Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio and Michael David Smith are each going with the Seahawks. "Russell Wilson is getting too deep into his career to blow a shot at enhancing his legacy on a team that quite possibly will be led by John Wolford," Florio said in picking the Hawks 24-21. Smith likes Seattle by a score of 16-13: "The Rams' defense should play well against Russell Wilson, but I'm not sure I can trust the Rams' offense, regardless of whether Jared Goff or John Wolford is at quarterback. I like Seattle to win a close, low-scoring game."

Homegating Recipe Of The Week Presented By Safeway – Hot Hummus Pita Flatbread

These hummus-slathered pita flatbreads are a healthy alternative to pizza and other greasy snacks. They're topped with shredded chicken and veggies like peppers and onions, then baked to perfection. Click here for a full list of ingredients and instructions.

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Recipe of the Week - Hot Hummus Pita Flatbread

Pass on the pizza and try the Hot Hummus Pita Flatbread. Smother a hummus-slathered pita in veggies like tomatoes, onions and peppers, then add shredded chicken and bake. Top with cucumbers and herbs. Yum!

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Social Post Of The Day

Rasheem Green receives a shoutout from his alma mater of USC for his impressive Week 17 performance:

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