We got a huge game for Thursday Night football as we get a clash of NFC powers with the Sean McVay's Los Angeles club travelling north to play Seattle. Both teams are coming off tough divisional battles. Seattle squeaked out a 28-21 win on the road against San Francisco. Seattle got themselves out of an early 7-0 hole with a touchdown right before the half. Russell Wilson struggled early failing to get a first down in their first five possessions. Seattle got help from their special teams causing a turnover on the kickoff.
Meanwhile, LA got blasted at home against Arizona. After forcing a three and out on the first Cardinals offensive drive, the Cardinals would score on seven of its next eight possessions for long scoring drives of 87, 75, 70, 64, and 94 yards. Matthew Stafford had his worst game in Los Anglees to date, throwing untimely interceptions and missed several wide-open touchdowns.
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Los Angeles at Seattle
Spread: LA (-2)
So who has the edge in this matchup:
Los Angeles enters this game 27th in in total defense (396.8 ypg) and 25th against the pass (273.3 ypg), which almost seems unbelievable since they finished first in both those categories last season. They also rank 20th overall in defensive DVOA and have also been vulnerable against the run 22nd in DVOA.
LA seems to be missing DC Brandon Staley who is now in the same building, but instead Justin Herbert and the other team in Los Angeles.
However, LA's style of defense, has helped them matchup against Seattle’s offense. They play two high safeties 12-15 yards deep. We saw the last two weeks how Minnesota and San Francisco disrupted Seattle’s offensive efficiency. Seattle has relied on the big play the last few years. Jalen Ramsey is a perfect matchup against D.K. Metcalf. Because of it, Wilson has a 37.9 passer rating on passes to Metcalf with Ramsey as the defender. Ramsey has played in the slot most of the year, but expect the All-Pro corner to take away Metcalf in this one.
Defensively for Seattle, I don’t see them having an answer for Los Angeles’s offense. LA ranks second in offensive DVOA and sixth in points per game. Seattle is allowing a 61 percent success rate on early passing downs and rank 27th overall in passing DVOA. While Seattle is typically a stout run defense unit, they aren’t doing that well either allowing opposing running backs to gain 4.4 yards per carry. I think this could be the breakout day for Robert Woods who will be matched up against Tre Flowers or Sidney Jones. Combined, the two rotating corners have allowed an 84 percent completion percentage to opposing receivers. Robert Woods lines up on the left at the X receiver spot. He should get a lot of action here. I just don’t see how Seattle stops this offense.
Trends wise Wilson is 25-10-1 as an underdog. But I think the matchup favors LA here. McVay has had Pete Carroll’s number winning six out of nine against him. We get the Rams in a bounce back spot. LA should sustain long drives and quiet the Seattle crowd. The Rams defense is due for positive regression. The inefficiency of the Seattle offense won’t allow them to sustain long drives and the Rams secondary will take away the big play.
Let’s lock in LA -2 here.
The pick: LA (-2)
D.K Metcalf under 74.5 receiving yards:
Metcalf went under this number four out of his last six times against this LA defense. McVay and his staff will make an adjustment moving Ramsey out of the slot, and he will follow Metcalf. I think Darious Williams is a fine matchup for Metcalf as well.
Robert Woods over 61.5 receiving yards:
Woods hasn’t hit this number all year, but with Seattle potentially focusing on Cupp, Woods will have a lot of room to work. Comebacks, diggs, and curls are Woods' forte; those will be open against Seattle’s 3 deep scheme. Woods will line up against Flowers and Jones so we see a lot of upside hitting Woods here.
Russell Wilson over 23.5 rushing yards:
If receivers are open deep, Wilson will have to scramble. The Rams are vulnerable against the run, but Seattle running back Chris Carson is banged up. Wilson’s legs will be vitale in Seattle’s quest to move the chains and get first downs. This number is far too low.
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