Around the NFL  


Woods: Rams facing 'Hawks like 'it's our last game left'


The Los Angeles Rams can technically still win the NFC West without beating the Seattle Seahawks this weekend.

They'd rather not face that scenario, however.

Rams wideout Robert Woods explained it best to the team's official website this week, calling Sunday afternoon's tilt with the Seahawks a game L.A. cannot afford to lose.

"We must win the game," Woods said. "We know it's Seattle. We know there's a lot on the table. But other than that, we must win this game. We go in prepping to win. There's always a lot at the table when you're trying to win -- no matter if it's Seattle, Philadelphia, whoever's lined up. We're going in like it's all we've got and it's our last game left."

Usually "must-win game" cliches are tossed around for fringe teams fighting for last chances to get into the big dance. But the 9-4 Rams are far from that situation. They currently sit in the No. 3 seed in the NFC playoff picture, and with a win over the 8-5 Seahawks, have a real shot at a first-round bye. Even with a loss, the Rams remain not just firmly in the race for the West crown with two weeks remaining, but also squarely in the wild-card picture.

So what's really the big deal Sunday?

The Rams haven't won the division since 2003, and they've stared up at the Seahawks more often than not in the 13 seasons since. A victory over Seattle would not just change both those facts, but it would also help a young team figure out where it truly stands in the race to the Super Bowl.

Perhaps that's why the Rams feel Sunday in Seattle is a game they cannot afford to lose.

"I think what it is, is it's a great opportunity for us and that's the way that we look at it," coach Sean McVay said. "The goal is to see if we can kind of maintain our division lead. We're up one [game] right and they're saying the same thing as far as they're down one [game] and if they get a chance to come away with a win now they'll have the head-to-head. It's going to be a great atmosphere, a great environment and I know our guys are excited to be able to compete against a great football team and we can't wait to get going."