NFL THURS. NITE PREVIEW: RAMS @ SEAHAWKS (10-3-19)!

RAMS TRAVEL TO FACE SEAHAWKS OFF WORST LOSS AND ON SHORT WEEK!

RAMS @ SEAHAWKS (-1 1/2) ~ TOTAL (49 1/2)

The Rams will need to forget last week’s debacle vs. the Bucs on their Home field and do it fast as they now travel to face quite possibly the best Prime Time TV teams we’ve seen in the past few decades.

The Seahawks are an incredible (17-2) at Home on Prime Time TV, (8-1) on Thursday Night Game of the Week, and (26-5-1) overall on Prime Time TV. This clearly proves this team knows the whole world is watching and they have stepped up their game playing their best Football in these spots.

The Rams won at Cleveland a few weeks ago on Thursday night, and so they are already prepare to take the show on the Road, on a short week as well. This is the first time this year the Rams are the Underdog, which is even more strange due to the fact that they beat the Seahawks both times last year, when they were 9 and 7 1/2 point Favorites. They won both, but they were both high scoring shoot outs, winning 36-31 and  36-31. Seattle comes in to this game (0-2) ATS at Home so far in this short season. 

Seattle is not one of the better overall groups of players this season, but as long as they have #3, QB Russell Wilson, they will be in most every game they play. Wilson has 8 TD passes and still has yet to throw his first Interception of the 2019 season. He’s doing it with an average O.L. and not taking unnecessary chances and he’s got a new favorite TE target and he’s loving him like he did for years with TE Graham. The new favorite target of Wilson is TE Will Dissly, who was supposed to be a blocking TE type, but he’s been the most important weapon opposite stud WR Tyler Lockett. He has 13 catches and 2 TD’s and 119 total receiving yards the past two weeks. This Hawks Offense is averaging 26 points per game and has a very solid Pass/Run yards ratio: (266 pass yards per game) (111 rush yards per game). The one weakness for this Offense is the Offensive Line is really average at best, and this week they may be down two OL starters, due to injury. That could turn ugly vs. Rams Defense coming off an embarrassing loss last week to Tampa Bay where they allowed 41 points. The Rams “D” did hold the Bucs run game to only (2.5) yards per carry and only 28 total rush yards, but they got torched thru the air by Bucs QB J. Winston for 490 yards. Ouch!

The Rams Goff last week actually outdid Winston, passing for 517 yards, throwing it 68x, the third most in team history. He threw 3 costly picks and fumbled for a TD late too, so really the big pass stats were a mirage as he was awful when pressured and this is something other teams may now try ahead as he simply does not look comfortable when Defenses just come full steam at him from all angles. Sometimes stats will Lie, and for Goff in most ways they have. Goff having the same amount of Interceptions as TD’s is alarming and his QBR (39.5) is 26th in NFL, definitely not where a guy making a zillion dollar contract should be when we have double digit number of Backup’s now starting.

The real problem this years Rams club has faces is very, very slow starts, causing the team to get away from worked so well last year, giving stud RB Gurley the ball 21x average per game. That number is down to only 15 and the flow early has been flat out terrible. They have only scored 6 first quarter points. Two lousy FG’s and no TD’s in the first quarter so far in 2019. This not going to end well if this happens in Seattle. The Rams Offense has fared much better in the second half, scoring 78 points and that folks is tops in the NFL. The reason they can score at the high of a number is they have a solid HC who can adjust on the fly but also because the Offense has so many weapons. You can NOT though throw the ball 60+ times and have that lead to long term success. The Rams won letting Gurley run it early and often, and then when the opposing Defense starts loading the box, Goff then uses his speedy weapons to catch balls short, to the sidelines and deep, just totally frustrating the opposition. 

KEYS TO WINNING THIS GAME: For Seattle they must control clock running the ball, especially if it turns out they are short two OL starters. The problem is they are rushing it for only 4.0 yards per carry, and really the reason the Seahawks have moved ball is Russell Wilson’s Houdini escaping the pocket (like 10x a game) and making incredible big plays on the scrambles. Nobody better in the NFL on broken plays than Wilson is. The good news for Seattle is young stud RB Penny will return after missing a few games. They also must continue to get their Defense to come up big by applying pressure on Goff and making sacks. Adding DE Clowney has really boosted this Pass rush and 10 sacks so far clearly shows they are better this year than last year in the Department.

For the Rams, you fully expect a more focused Defense for this game, although they did allow 30+ points both games last year to Seattle. Goff simply has to avoid this bad turnover bug so far. Rams HC McVay has endured only one 2 game losing skid as the Head Ball Coach here. He knows Gurley must get the ball more. He knows he needs to get the ball out of Goff’s hands quicker, possibly adding more screen passes this week to offset a hard charging Seattle Defensive front. 

Neither Defense is allowing 100 yards per game so it’s likely the QB who makes just a few bigger plays and avoids turnovers wins here. 

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