Los Angeles Rams (9-4) at Seattle Seahawks (8-5)
The Seahawks have perennially had one of the top defenses in the league over the past several seasons, but they’ve had a season from hell injury wise on that side of the ball. They lost top edge rusher Cliff Avril for the season early in the year with a neck injury. Then both #1 cornerback Richard Sherman and Pro-Bowl safety Kam Chancellor had their season cut short by injuries to their achilles and neck respectively. And then last week, in a huge game on the road in Jacksonville, they lost two their stud linebackers, Bobby Wagner and KJ Wright, with a hamstring injury and a concussion respectively.
Despite that, the Seahawks actually won the first down battle in a close road loss in Jacksonville, against a legitimately good Jaguars team. The Rams won in Jacksonville this year, but needed two return touchdowns in a game in which they lost the first down battle badly. The Seahawks also beat the Eagles at home in Seattle when Carson Wentz was healthy, something only one other team has done this season. The Rams, meanwhile, lost to the Eagles at home last week, despite Wentz going down for the season with a torn ACL late in the 3rd quarter.
The Seahawks’ offense has gotten better with Mike Davis at running back and Duane Brown at left tackle and their defense has continued to play well thanks to strong play from newcomers like Bradley McDougald, Shaq Griffin, and Byron Maxwell. I wish the Seahawks were getting KJ Wright back this week, but Bobby Wagner could return from his hamstring injury, as he’s been called a gametime decision. Even with their injury situation, I still feel like the Seahawks are a little bit better than the Rams and should be at least 3 point favorites here at home. There’s not enough here for me to bet Seattle -2 with confidence, given that Wright will be out and Wagner will be uncertain, but the Seahawks are the smarter choice for pick ‘em purposes.
Seattle Seahawks 24 Los Angeles Rams 20
Pick against the spread: Seattle -2