NFL Week 17 Preview: St. Louis Rams at Seattle Seahawks
St. Louis Rams at Seattle Seahawks
Sunday, December 30, 2012, 4:25 pm Eastern, TV: Fox, NFL Sunday Ticket
CenturyLink Field – Seattle, Washington
Opening Line: Seattle -9 1/2
Current Line: Seattle -11
Opening Total: 40 1/2
Current Total: 42 1/2
Opening Money Line: Seahawks -625 / Rams +500
Current Money Line: Seahawks -615 / Rams +490
The Seattle Seahawks have won 6 of their last 7 games and 4 in a row to move to 10-5. Seattle, coached by Pete Carroll, has defeated their last 3 opponents by a combined score of 150-30, including a 42-13 whipping of the San Francisco 49ers last week. The Seahawks are a half game behind the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC West. Seattle will win the division if the Seahawks beat the St. Louis Rams Sunday and the 49ers lose to the Arizona Cardinals. Seattle can actually move up to the 2 seed if both San Francisco and Green Bay both lose and the Seahawks win. The Seahawks have already clinched a playoff spot and will go on the road to whomever wins the NFC East between the Dallas Cowboys and Washington Redskins if none of the previous things happen. The Seahawks are 11-4 ATS and the total is 8-7 this season.
The Rams are 7-7-1 this season under coach Jeff Fisher. St. Louis has won 4 of their last 5 games including 28-13 at the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last week. The Rams are playing their best football of the year, but it was a little too late to make a serious run at the playoffs. However, St. Louis can still finish over .500 with a win against Seattle. The Rams are 10-5 ATS and the total is 8-7 this year.
Seattle leads the series against St. Louis 15-7 since 2001. The Rams won in St. Louis early in the season 19-13. The win snapped a three game winning streak for Seattle in the series. Seattle couldn’t overcome 3 Russell Wilson interceptions in the loss. St. Louis kicker Greg Zuerlein kicked 4 field goals including a franchise record 60 yarder.
The Rams average 328.9 yards per game including 219.9 passing yards and 109 rushing yards. St. Louis is being outscored 22-19 this year. The Rams are 19th or worse in all offensive categories. The Rams are even in turnovers. St. Louis has forced 46 sacks and allowed 35 this season. The Rams are 77/220 on third and fourth down conversions. On defense, the Rams are giving up 341.3 yards per game, including 226.2 passing yards and 115.1 rushing yards. The Rams are #15 in total defense and against the pass. St. Louis has 5 defensive touchdowns this season.
Quarterback Sam Bradford has completed 59.5% of his passes for 3,450 yards with 20 touchd0wns and 12 interceptions, along with 36 carries for 121 yards with a touchdown. He has been sacked 35 times this season. Running back Steven Jackson has 246 carries, 990 yards with 4 touchdowns, along with 31 catches for 276 yards. Jackson is probable with a foot injury. Daryl Richardson has 96 carries for 475 yards, along with 22 catches for 149 yards.
Receiver Danny Amendola has 59 catches, 639 yards and 3 touchdowns. Brandon Gibson has 48 catches, 646 yards and 5 touchdowns. Chris Givens has 40 catches, 644 yards, and 3 touchdowns. Tight end Lance Kendricks has 39 catches, 486 yards and 4 touchdowns. Austin Pettis has 27 catches, 237 yards and 3 touchdowns. Eight Rams’ players are listed as questionable or out Sunday including 4 defensive players and 3 offensive linemen.
Seattle is averaging 349.9 yards per game on offense, including 188.1 passing and 161.7 rushing yards. The Seahawks are #27 in passing and #2 in rushing. Seattle is outscoring teams 26-16 this season. The Seahawks are +12 in turnovers this season. The Seahawks have forced 36 sacks and allowed 27 this season. Seattle is 86/205 on third and fourth down conversions. On defense, the Seahawks are allowing 304.5 yards per game, including 104.7 rushing and 199.9 passing yards. Seattle is in the top 5 in total defense, against the pass, and points allowed, and #11 in rushing defense. Seattle leads the league in points allowed. The Seahawks have 7 defensive/special teams touchdowns this season including 3 blocked kicks returned for touchdowns.
Rookie quarterback Russell Wilson has completed 63.4% of his passes for 2,868 yards with 25 touchdowns and 10 interceptions, along with 84 carries for 431 yards and 3 touchdowns. He has been sacked 27 times this season. Running back Marshawn Lynch has 297 carries, 1,490 yards and 11 touchdowns, along with 21 catches for 182 yards and a touchdown. He is probable with a back injury. Robert Turbin and Leon Washington will also get some carries. Washington has a rushing touchdown and a kickoff return for a touchdown.
Receiver Sydney Rice has 50 catches, 748 yards and 7 touchdowns. Rice is probable with a knee injury. Golden Tate has 42 catches, 583 yards and 7 touchdowns. He is probable with an illness. Tight end Zach Miller has 35 catches, 378 yards and 3 touchdowns. Doug Baldwin, Robert Turbin, and Anthony McCoy will also get some catches. McCoy and Baldwin each have 3 touchdowns. McCoy is probable with a back injury. Sixteen Seahawks are on the injury report including 8 defensive players.
St. Louis is 6-0 ATS against NFC West teams, 5-0 in road games, 5-1 after rushing for less than 90 yards, 4-1 after a straight up win, overall, and against NFC teams, 6-2 against teams with winning records, 10-4 after a straight up win of more than 14 points, 7-3 after allowing 350 yards or more, 21-46-1 in road games against teams with winning home records, and 1-6 on fieldturf. Four of the last five games in this series have gone under the total. The underdog is 4-1 ATS in the last 5.
Seattle is 4-0 ATS in December, and against NFC teams, 6-1 after a straight up win, and after rushing for more than 150 yards, 5-1 after allowing less than 90 rushing yards, 4-1 after a cover, 18-6 at home against teams with losing road records, 22-8 on fieldturf, 20-8-1 overall, 41-19-2 at home, 9-21 after allowing less than 15 points, 5-15-1 after scoring more than 30 points, and 7-24-1 after a straight up win of more than 14 points. The home team is 4-1 ATS in the last 5 in this series. The Seahawks are 9-2 ATS in the last 11 against the rams including 5-0 in Seattle.
Seattle has one of the best home field advantages in the league if not the best. CenturyLink Field is louder than the Metrodome, the Superdome or the Georgia Dome or any of the other indoor stadiums in the league. I don’t know if the crowd will be as fired up as they were for the 49ers game last week, but it will still be pretty loud. The Rams area decent team, but Seattle is just playing way too well for St. Louis to pull off the upset. The Seahawks win and cover.
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