Week 5 kicks off with one of the games of the week between the Rams and the Seahawks. This one is especially fascinating as it’s in Seattle. Questions about Jared Goff have been swirling all season, with many fearing that his recent extension will end up being an albatross around Sean McVay’s neck. Obviously, all divisional games hold great importance, but Seattle, a team struggling to find consistency, could catch LA in the standings with a win tonight, as well as hold the tiebreaker for the time being.
Los Angeles is looking to bounce back from a severely disappointing loss at home to Tampa Bay that saw Goff throw three picks. The defense surrendered 48 points as well. Because they were playing from behind the entire game, the Rams didn’t even get the chance to feed Todd Gurley, who only finished with 5 carries all game. This was obviously a really concerning game for Rams fans. Some of the issues people talk about that seem to be masked by McVay’s brilliance reared their ugly head for 60 straight minutes. The secondary got completely torched by a mediocre QB in Jameis, the pass rush was only somewhat effective, and Goff was a complete disaster. As a whole on the season, the Rams have looked every bit the part of contender, but one could argue they haven’t been truly tested either. On the surface, the defense seems fine, ranking top 10 in YPP, but we have to remember that two of their three wins have come against hurt QBs. They’re allowing 64% of red zone entries to be converted into TDs and are in the bottom quarter of the league in 3rd down conversion rate. Now they have to go to Seattle on a short week to take on a much better QB and a better defense as well.
Seattle has had an easy schedule to start the year – not Patriots easy – but still pretty soft. This will be their first chance to take on a legitimate contender at full strength. After failing miserably against New Orleans sans Brees, they’ll get another chance to prove their worth against the Rams. Seattle has also had a bizarre year so far, falling behind big in both home contests before scratching out a win against dogshit Cincy and beating Pittsburgh with Big Ben hurt. Seattle’s offense has been decent throughout, with their YPP in the top ten in the league, however strength of schedule must be taken into account – not everyone gets to play Arizona. On the flip side, there are questions about the defense still adjusting to new personnel, having recently traded for all-world DE Jadaveon Clowney. Seattle is firmly in the middle of the pack thus far, allowing 5.5 YPP thus far. The silver lining is that they are top 10 in both red zone conversion rate and 3rd down conversion rate, measures that one could assume would only improve in the friendly confines of CenturyLink Field.
We got a little back on Monday night, with one of the easiest cashes we’ll get all season with Pittsburgh -3. Not sure what the market saw from Cincinnati that made them think they were a legitimate NFL team, but we cash and move on. This is certainly a tough game to gauge, Thursday nights are always the wackiest. Overall, I think #RoadGoff is very much a thing, and I think the Rams will struggle to move the ball all night.
- Seattle -1.5 -105
- Under 49 -105
- 7-7 -0.85x