The Los Angeles Rams’ Week 18 matchup with the Seattle Seahawks doesn’t really mean much for the Rams. The team isn’t making the playoffs, and they don’t have their first-round pick so the idea of helping their draft position with a loss is gone as well. But for linebacker Bobby Wagner, a chance to spoil the playoff hopes of his former team is more than enough motivation.
Wagner, of course, spent 10 seasons with the Seahawks where he helped them win a Super Bowl, was an eight-time Pro Bowler and six-time First Team All-Pro while leading the NFL in tackles twice.
But this will be Wagner’s first trip back to Seattle as a member of the Rams and while Wagner admitted he will be emotional, the idea of spoiling the Seahawks playoff chances is his focus according to Cameron DaSilva of USA Today:
“It’s a lot of emotions, man, to be honest, but like I said last time I played them, I’m a master of my emotions,” Wagner said of the chance to play spoiler. “But it’s going into a stadium I’ve been thousands of times, played hundreds of times, and to be in a position to spoil their playoff hopes is always a good position, something worth playing for. It will be fun to go back there, be back in front of those fans that I spend so much time (around) and it should be a fun game.”
The Seahawks are in a battle for the seventh and final playoff spot in the NFC with the Detroit Lions and Green Bay Packers, who play each other in the final regular season game on Sunday night. The Seahawks need to win and for the Lions to defeat the Packers to secure their playoff spot.
But Wagner is looking to end those hopes before they can begin. This is about more than a game for the Rams linebacker as he feels like the Seahawks organization gave up on him, which is why his emotions were high in the previous meeting and the same will be the case on Sunday:
“Again, I think there was a reason for that and I think it’s different,” he said when asked about his passion in the Week 13 game. “I’m pretty sure you played your family before in basketball, golf or whatever. When you play your friend or like that person you met over there, y’all playing, y’all might talk a little trash, it is what it is, but when you’re playing your family member that knows your deepest, darkest secrets and knows exactly what to say to you to make you feel a certain type of way and also you’re playing the organization that you feel gave up on you, so it was warranted to be honest. And then again, I’m playing against people I know how to push their buttons too, so I know exactly what to say to them to make them mad and I did that.”
The Rams haven’t had much to be excited about this season as seemingly everything that could go wrong has gone wrong. But this is an opportunity to ruin the hopes of a fierce rival and things are even deeper for Wagner so he will be going all out on Sunday to take Seattle down.