Seattle Seahawks at Los Angeles Rams
Sunday, September 18, 2016, 4:05 pm Eastern, TV: Fox, NFL Sunday Ticket
Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum – Los Angeles, California
Opening Line: Seattle -6 1/2
Current Line: Seattle -6 (-120)
Opening Total: 40 1/2
Current Total: 37 1/2
Opening Money Line: Seahawks -305 / Rams +240
Current Money line: Seahawks -265 / Rams +225
For the first time since 1994, there will be an NFL regular season game in Los Angeles Sunday. The Los Angeles Rams moved back from St. Louis in the offseason and host the Seattle Seahawks in the home opener at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.
Seattle leads the series 21-15 against Los Angeles. The Rams won both meetings last year including 34-31 in overtime in St. Louis and 23-17 in Seattle.
The Rams did not get off to a good start as they were dominated Monday night at the San Francisco 49ers in a 28-0 shutout. LA is coached by Jeff Fisher, and despite not having a winning record in any season since becoming the coach in 2012, he was reportedly offered a three year contract extension this week. The Rams were 2.5 point favorites against the 49ers and the total was 43.
The Seahawks did not look much better last Sunday against the Miami Dolphins. However, the Seahawks did manage to escape with a 12-10 win, much to the relief of people across the country who took the Seahawks in eliminator pools. Seattle was a 10.5 point favorite and the total was 43.5. The Seahawks are coached by Pete Carroll.
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Seattle entered the season as a Super Bowl contender. They still might be but they didn’t look very good against the Dolphins. Seattle kicked a field goal in the first quarter. The Dolphins would tie it up midway through the second. Seattle took a 6-3 lead into halftime with a 38 yard field goal as time expired. The Dolphins would take a 10-6 lead on an 86 yard drive in the fourth with 4:08 left. The Seahawks drove down the field and regained the lead on a two yard touchdown pass from QB Russell Wilson to receiver Doug Baldwin. Wilson had suffered an ankle injury earlier in the game but returned. He is listed as probable against the Rams. The drive lasted 14 plays and went 75 yards. The Seahawks went for two but failed to convert. Miami took over with 31 seconds but they lost 17 yards on three plays as the Seahawks survived.
Seattle had 352 total yards on offense including 240 passing and 112 rushing yards. Miami had 214 total yards including 150 passing and 64 rushing yards. The Dolphins had 4 penalties for 40 yards and the Seahawks had 8 for 69 yards. Seattle had the only two turnovers of the game. The Seahawks had possession for 34:32 to 25:28. Seattle was 5/16 on third down conversions and 2/3 on fourth. Miami was 3/14 on third downs and 0/1 on fourth down.
Despite the injury Wilson took every snap for the Seahawks. He passed for 258 yards on 27/43 completions with a touchdown and an interception, and had 4 carries for 16 yards. He was sacked three times and also lost a fumble.
Running back Christine Michael had 15 carries for 66 yards and had 2 catches for 5 yards. Thomas Rawls had 12 carries for 32 yards, plus 3 catches for 26 yards. Running back C.J. Prosise is probable with a hand injury.
Baldwin had 9 catches for 92 yards and a touchdown. Receiver Jermaine Kearse had 5 catches for 57 yards. Tight end Luke Wilson had 2 catches for 26 yards. Tight end Jimmy Graham is probable with an ankle injury after making one catch last week.
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It is easy to overreact after one week in the NFL, but the Rams were the worst looking team in week one. They were even worse than the lowly Cleveland Browns who were widely projected to be the worst team in the league. The Rams had 185 total yards and just 10 first downs. San Francisco had first half rushing touchdowns from Carlos Hyde and Shaun Draughn to take a 14-0 lead into halftime. The 49ers added two fourth quarter touchdowns to make the final 28-0. The most interesting part of the game might have been San Francisco quarterback Colin Kaepernick entering the game to a mixture of cheers and boos to mop up with two minutes left after his much publicized protests during the national anthem.
The Rams had 120 passing yards and 65 rushing yards. The 49ers had 320 total yards including 170 passing and 150 rushing yards. LA was 3/15 on third down conversions and 1/2 on fourth. San Francisco was 8/17 on third down and 1/2 on fourth. The Rams had 10 penalties for 102 yards, and the 49ers had 2 for 10. Los Angeles had 2 turnovers to 1 for San Francisco. The 49ers had possession for 32:10 to 27:50.
LA quarterback Case Keenum had an awful game last week. He completed 17/35 of his passes for 120 yards with 2 interceptions and rushed for 10 yards on three carries. The Rams traded up to draft Jared Goff with the first pick in the NFL draft in April. He was listed as the third string quarterback and didn’t even dress. Goff will be the back-up Sunday, but the rumblings to start Goff will get louder and louder if Keenum continues to struggle.
Running back Todd Gurley also struggled with 17 carries for 47 yards. Receiver Kenny Britt had 4 catches for 67 yards. Brian Quick had 3 catches for 23 yards. Lance Kendricks and Tavon Austin will also get some catches. Receivers Pharoh Cooper and Nelson Spruce are both out. Five defensive players are listed on the injury report including 3 defensive backs.
Seattle is 8-3 ATS against teams with losing records, 7-3-1 against NFC West teams, 2-6 after allowing less than 250 total yards, 2-7 in week two, 1-4 overall, 0-4 after a straight up win, and 0-3-1 after scoring less than 15 points. The under is 9-3 in this series recently.
Los Angeles is 19-42 ATS after accumulating less than 250 total yards, 10-23 after passing for less than 150 yards, 14-36-1 in September, 1-3-1 after failing to cover, 1-4-1 after a straight up loss, 1-4 against teams with winning records and on grass. The home team is 5-1 ATS in this series and the underdog is 9-3. The Rams are 6-2 ATS against the Seahawks recently including 4-0 at home.
Both teams played poorly last week, but Seattle is 1-0. Los Angeles has to improve drastically on both sides of the ball. It will be a fired up crowd at the Coliseum. Still, I like the Seahawks to win a close low scoring game.