NFL players don’t like competing in these quick turnaround Thursday night games because their bodies aren’t fully recovered from Sunday. However, here’s guessing members of the Los Angeles Rams and Seattle Seahawks can’t wait to get on the field in the Pacific Northwest this Thursday. Both come off horrible losses and would like forget about them as soon as possible. Seattle is the biggest favourite of Week 15 on Sports Interaction NFL odds.
Los Angeles Rams vs. Seattle Seahawks
Point spread: Seahawks -14.5
Date: Thursday, Dec. 15, 8:30 p.m. ET
Location: CenturyLink Field, Seattle
Los Angeles Rams
The Rams (4-9) are playing out the string and on a four-game losing streak — and they will have a new head coach for this one. On Sunday, the Rams were embarrassed 42-14 at home Atlanta, and it really wasn’t that close as the Falcons put in all their reserves when leading 42-0 after three quarters. The L.A. Memorial Coliseum was half-empty for the game because the fans are tired of watching this inept offensive team. The Rams have scored five offensive touchdowns this year at home, or one fewer than Atlanta had on Sunday.
Los Angeles had five turnovers vs. the Falcons, and afterward star running back Todd Gurley said his team was running what “looked like a middle school offense.” The Rams rank last in points per game (14.9), yards per game (286.2), yards per play (4.7) and first downs per game (16.2). They didn’t even score a touchdown in two of their wins this year.
On Monday, the Rams fired head coach Jeff Fisher even though news came out a week or so ago that he had gotten a two-year extension early in the regular season. But this was the right move. Since Fisher arrived in 2012, the Rams have been no better than 7-8-1 and his 45 losses since ’12 are the second-most of any NFL head coach in that span behind the 47 of Jacksonville’s Gus Bradley (who is a goner after the season). The Rams might have done Fisher a favour of sorts as he has 165 career losses, tying him with Dan Reeves for the NFL record. There’s no chance Fisher gets an NFL head-coaching job again so at least he won’t own that mark by himself.
One early rumor has the Rams making a run at Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh because ownership needs to make a splash in Hollywood before the team moves into a new stadium in 2019. But it’s not likely Harbaugh would leave his alma mater after two years. The team’s interim head coach will be special teams coordinator John Fassel, the son of former long-time NFL coach Jim Fassel.
L.A. is 4-8-1 against the spread this season and 3-4 ATS on the road.
The Seahawks (8-4-1) played one of their worst games of the Pete Carroll era on Sunday, getting blasted 38-10 in Green Bay. Russell Wilson was picked off a career-high five times, although two weren’t his fault. Seattle’s worst loss since Wilson was drafted in the third round of the 2012 draft had been by just 10 points.
It was a season high in points allowed for one of the NFL’s best defenses. Aaron Rodgers posted a 150.3 passer rating against that defense, the highest number by an opposing QB vs. the Seahawks since Carroll became Seattle’s coach. The Seahawks clearly missed Pro Bowl safety Earl Thomas, who was lost to a season-ending broken leg in Week 13’s win over Carolina. He’s the heart-and-soul of that defense and the tremendous Legion of Boom secondary. Since that group game together in 2011, the Seahawks had allowed a passer rating greater than 125 just twice before Sunday.
The loss dropped Seattle from the No. 2 to No. 3 seed in the NFC as things stand, behind Dallas (11-2) and Detroit (9-4). Of course only the top two seeds get a first-round bye. The Seahawks can clinch the NFC West with a win here or Arizona loss on Sunday.
Seattle is 7-6 ATS this season and 4-2 ATS at home.
Rams vs. Seahawks Prediction
Sometimes a team, regardless of sport, gives a rival problems almost every game even if they aren’t close to the same talent-wise. That has been the case in this series as the Rams have won the past three meetings. L.A. took a 9-3 home decision in Week 2 thanks to three Greg Zuerlein field goals. Alec Ogletree recovered a fumble by Seattle’s Christine Michael at the Los Angeles 29 with 57 seconds left in the game to clinch it.
I have zero doubt the Seahawks win this game, but perhaps the Rams get a boost with the coaching change. And I’ll generally take more than two touchdowns in any NFL matchup. So take Los Angeles here and the under.