NFL Picks - Seahawks vs. Rams Week 2 Predictions & Pick

Mark Lathrop

Wednesday, September 14, 2016 8:22 PM UTC

Wednesday, Sep. 14, 2016 8:22 PM UTC

Our NFL handicapper tries his best not to overreact to how bad the Rams looked in Week 1, but all indications are that L.A.'s fortunes won't improve in Week 2 against the Seahawks.

Seattle Seahawks vs Los Angeles Rams
As I sit here and watch an ugly Los Angeles Rams performance on Monday Night Football, I am SO tempted to just look at the power rankings of their next opponent from the mainstream media, the Seattle Seahawks, and deem the Rams toast, lay the juice on Seattle, and move on with my day. But I simply can’t publish “Hawks Win” repeated 300 times and keep my audience here, so let’s discuss this matchup a little further. After all, this is the first regular season NFL game in Los Angeles in 22 years.

If the Rams played an ugly game as expected, which I did, the Hawks level of offensive ineptitude matched that ugliness for the first 3 quarter of their game against the Dolphins. However, there were some really high spots for Seattle on offense that we can still talk about. For one, Doug Baldwin put an exclamation mark on his offseason 4 year/$46,000,000 contract extension by catching 9 passes for 92 yards, including the game-winner on the final drive in the 4th quarter. It was the most passes that a Seahawk receiver had caught since 2012 and well past the game O/U number of 5 for receptions posted at Bovada. Russell Wilson completed 27 receptions, again well over the 20 available for his prop bet, and spread the ball around to 9 different receivers.

I really believe that the outcome of this game would not have been so close if it were not for Russell Wilson getting his ankle rolled up on in the 2nd quarter. Wilson was very tentative after the injury until he felt comfortable with the pain in the 4th quarter, a fact that head coach, Pete Carroll brought up in the post-game press conference. The offense was clutch in that quarter and Wilson scrambled a bit, so all should be good in Week 2 as long as there isn’t a bounty put on his head by L.A.

On defense, the Seahawks were back to their normal selves and the secondary play was excellent on the other side of Richard Sherman. These players, Jeremy Lane and DeShawn Shead, get picked on a lot so a bad game is very noticeable, but they were solid here. In fact, Shead was the top rated Pro Football Focus cornerback of Week 1.

The Rams offense will have to face this defense in Week 2 after getting absolutely nothing going against the Santa Clara 49ers in Week 1. Shut out after being listed as 3-point road favorites, the Rams offense only put up 65 rushing yards and 120 passing yards in the game on Monday night, and converted an awful 20% of their 3rd downs. The 49er defense is a step down in class from the Seahawks, so don’t expect things to improve much with Case Keenum under center. 

The Rams defense made the 49er running game look awesome, as cutback lanes were plentiful. That is the kind of running that Christine Michael and Thomas Rawls feast on. With Russell Wilson a little hobbled, expect a heavy dose if the Rams defensive line can’t get their act together. On the other hand, the fact that the Rams could not record one sack with their personnel appears to be a coaching issue. The front seven was ineffective and made to look a fool by no other than Blaine Gabbert on multiple occasions.


Final Analysis
I’d say I’m overreacting to how bad the Rams looked in Week 1 when picking the Seahawks, but I really like the fact that Seattle lost to the Rams twice last year for the motivation factor. They will not overlook this team and should be seeking revenge for them taking away playoff home field advantage last year. Look for Pete Carroll to be feeling good in his USC stomping grounds as well. The Seahawks win this one going away, and I’m taking one of the early lines available at BetOnline -3.5 as my Week 2 NFL Pick.         


Free NFL Picks: Seahawks
Best Line Offered: at BetOnline
2016 NFL Record: 3-1, +1.90 Units

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