Seahawks Look to Right The Ship
Any way you look at it, the 2013 regular season has been a success for the Seattle Seahawks. However, a loss last week – their first on home turf in two years — has left the team with a little work to do before the playoffs begin.
The Seahawks host the St. Louis Rams Sunday — an emerging team that played them tough in their first meeting of the year. With the way that Seattle has been playing, a 10-point spread seems a little rich.
Let’s take a look.
St. Louis (7-8) at Seattle (12-3)
When: 4:25 PM ET, Sunday, December 29, 2013
Where: CenturyLink Field, Seattle, Washington
Seahawks vs. Rams Betting Lines from Bovada
St. Louis Rams +10 -107 Ov 43 -110
Seattle Seahawks -10 -113 Un 43 -110
The St. Louis Rams played a good game against Seattle earlier this year only to drop a 17-10 decision on home turf. That game featured backup QB Kellen Clemens — who has been OIK since Sam Bradford went down with injury — an emerging Zac Stacy — who has since cemented himself as a quality NFL running back — and Tavon Austin — who was still underutilized and frankly unflattering.
Since that time, the Rams have refused to go away. Clemens has completed 75 percent of his passes in the last two games with two touchdowns, and the running game has averaged a staggering 155.6 yards the last month. Tavon Austin has also arrived as one of the more dangerous playmakers in the game.
Suddenly the Rams are formidable, and with Washington’s first round pick next season they could be a force for years to come.
In the first meeting, Clemens had a difficult time passing, completing just 158 yards and two interceptions. Expect that kind of performance again this week. But Zac Stacy ran for 134 yards on 26 carries – expect Stacy to be a busy man Sunday.
On defense the Rams have been very good – seventh against the run and one of the better pass rushing units in the game. Robert Quinn has 18 sacks and has dominated every team that he has played thus far.
The Seahawks have some issues as they close out the regular season. The offense in particular has come back down to earth, averaging 16.7 points in their last three games after scoring 36 points per game in their previous three. Russell Wilson has been sacked 10 times in the last three games, and he is averaging just 176 yards through the air after averaging 235 passing through the first 12 games. Marshawn Lynch has just three 100-yard rushing games this year after 10 last year – Lynch had just 23 yards on 8 carries in the first meeting of the season.
There was no way that Seattle was going to be able to maintain their incredible offensive pace, but there is reason for concern in the Pacific Northwest as the postseason sets in.
Defensively Seattle is just fine. They have a staggering nine interceptions the last two weeks, and they remain No. 1 by a mile against the pass. Seattle’s Achilles’ Heel has been penalties and run defense, and now they play a disciplined Rams squad that ran with relative ease in the first meeting.
Dave B’s Free Betting Prediction:
A Few Trends To Consider:
• Under is 19-6-1 in STL last 26 games in December.
• STL are 11-4 ATS vs. a team with a winning record.
• STL are 9-4 ATS in their last 13 games in Week 17.
• SEA are 7-2 ATS in their last 9 games in December.
• SEA are 21-8 ATS in their last 29 games overall.
• SEA are 26-10 ATS in their last 36 vs. NFC.
• STL are 4-9 ATS in their last 13 meetings.
Seattle should win Sunday’s game, but it likely won’t be easy. The Rams are a tough, smash-mouth team – they type of physical squad that presents problems to the NFC’s best team.
Add in the fact that home field may already be locked up by the time these teams take to the field and this games smells like a close encounter.
Seattle wins, but the Rams make it a game.