TNF Pick: Los Angeles Rams vs. Seattle Seahawks Analysis & Predictions
Los Angeles Rams (3-1 SU, 3-1 ATS) vs. Seattle Seahawks (3-1 SU, 2-2 ATS)
NFL Week 5
Date/Time: Thursday, October 3, 2019 at 8:20PM EDT
Where: CenturyLink Stadium, Seattle, Washington
Point Spread: LAR pk/SEA pk (BetNow)
Over/Under Total: 49
The Los Angeles Rams face the Seattle Seahawks on Thursday Night Football in a big NFC West battle at CenturyLink Field. Both teams are coming off the short week, with very different results. While the Seahawks were scoring a fairly-routine 27-10 win over Arizona on the road, the Rams saw Tampa come into the Coliseum and put up a ton of points in a 55-40 loss. They hope things normalize, but coming up to Seattle on the short week isn’t great medicine for teams looking to right the ship. Who can come out on the sunny side of things on TNF?
How These Teams Match Up
Going back to past results can provide a faulty compass on how things will look now. But when dealing with divisional teams where a lot of the same pieces are in place, though, it can offer some insight. And the one takeaway from last season’s two meetings is that the Seahawks match up quite well. They did lose both games from last season, but with a 33-31 loss at home and a 36-31 loss in Los Angeles, the Seahawks had a lot of success on offense. Russell Wilson threw three TDs with no interceptions in each game, while they thrived in the run-game with Chris Carson, Wilson, and Rashaad Penny all having big games on the ground. Then again, Rams’ quarterback Jared Goff was over 300 yards in both battles, with receivers like Brandin Cooks having good games. Both defenses struggled. How will it look this season?
What Happened to the Rams?
Granted, a 55-40 game wasn’t what was expected last week in LA. But looking back on seasons, even ones involving really good teams, there are going to be results that are way out-of-whack. While one should keep their eyes peeled, it’s hardly a cause to start sounding alarms. A lot of teams would like to be 3-1, and it’s still maintaining a pace that would end up with a 12-4 record and getting to stay home for the wild-card with a home game in the divisional round. Still, with Jameis Winston having a massive game through the air and Ronald Jones breaking loose some big runs, the Rams’ defense has a lot to work on in the short week against an offense that they didn’t thrive against last season. Still, even with their porous performance, they showed their playmaking ability with a defensive score, with Marcus Peters returning a pick to the end zone.
Still a Lot the Rams Do Right
While their defense didn’t shine last week or in either game against Seattle last season, that’s not what they used to get to where they are. There is still offense-galore on this sideline and look for it to manifest again on Thursday. It is of little consolation for Goff after the loss and four turnovers, but he did throw for 517 yards with Robert Woods and Cooper Kupp both running wild. The run game didn’t get going since they were playing from behind immediately, but Gurley has done well against this Seattle defense in the past. Gurley, though, hasn’t looked like Gurley for a number of games going back to last season. But it was an uncharacteristic mistake-prone game on Sunday and look for this offense to be pining to be more precise. LA losing last week may offer Seattle some promise, but it might have been better for the Seahawks if the Rams had just won, as they will be coming into this even hungrier than under typical conditions.
Seattle Flexing Its Defense?
Early this season, the Seattle defense wasn’t looking like it had picked up the momentum from last season, doing well against the run, but exploitable in spots against the pass. And they are not making a lot of plays. Granted, the Cardinals’ offense is a young one that is going to have some off-days, but we saw the Seahawks defense playing closer to its best on Sunday. That line can be a real monster. They’re thick and effective in the middle and look to do a better job against Todd Gurley this go-around. They are starting to bring the heat, and on Sunday, Mychal Kendricks had two sacks, with Raheem Green and Ziggy Ansah getting one each. And getting Jadaveon Clowney paid off big this past week when he took an interception for a TD to give them a 10-0 lead.
Gauging the Seattle Offense in This Spot
Seattle’s offense has good days and so-so days. Even against Arizona with their defense scoring, the 20-point output by the offense was pretty pedestrian. When you compare them to the Rams’ aerial attack, there is little likeness, with the Rams having three guys who would be the Seahawks’ number-one receiver. Wilson is a weapon, as is their running-game with Chris Carson, and Rashaad Penny. Weapons like Tyler Lockett, DK Metcalf, and the Seahawks’ aerial crew will need to perform here to keep pace with the high-octane Rams’ offensive machine. And they better be careful when doing it. While the Rams’ defense can be exploited, any mistakes will also be pounced upon.
Take the Road Favorite
I think Seattle is catching the Rams at the wrong time. Seeing them get spanked and having 55 put on them four days ago might suggest otherwise, but I look for an irritated Rams team to surface on Thursday Night Football. They don’t want to lose again and be in reparations-mode instead of putting together their championship case. I don’t see Seattle having done anything earth-shattering to significantly reduce the Rams’ aerial flair that they illustrated in this very matchup twice in ’18. I see the Rams running the ball a little bit, helping open up the pass and just generally having Seattle on their heels. The Rams will do enough to get the win and cover at CenturyLink.
Loot’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: I’m betting on the Los Angeles Rams in a pick-‘em. Make the Rams a massive +20 underdog by inserting them into a 20 point mega teaser found at 5Dimes Sportsbook!
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