The 7-8 Saint Louis Rams will visit the 6-9 Seattle Seahawks this Sunday January 2nd, 2011 at Qwest Field, on a winner takes all matchup for playoff survival and supremacy of the NFC West.
The Rams are -1 point road favorites with a total of 43 for this one.
Surprisingly, the Seahawks’ hopes to win the division are still intact despite losing 38-15 to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last week, which was the seventh loss in nine games. They would become the first team in NFL history to earn a playoff spot with a losing record if they defeat the St. Louis Rams at home next Sunday.
“I don’t know if we all understand it, but it’s ridiculous the opportunity we still have. It’s huge,” quarterback Matt Hasselbeck said. “We should be saying ‘Thank you, thank you, thank you,’ because it’s amazing.
“There’s teams that are having pretty good seasons and they are out of the playoffs and don’t get a chance. For us to still have that opportunity, as poorly as we’ve played at times, as poorly as we performed tonight, is a huge opportunity.”
Matt Hasselbeck left the game with a hip injury after giving the Seahawks a 7-0 lead on a 1 yard run in which he got into the end zone untouched. The 12th-year veteran bent over for a moment after, started to walk off the field and then stopped again before sitting down in the end zone. He will have a MRI on Monday for what is being called an “odd” muscle pull in his left hip, and Carroll said it’s unlikely Hasselbeck will practice this week. His status for week 17 is still unknown.
The Seahawks defense was terrible as well, allowing five TDs to Josh Freeman and a 164 yard rushing day for LeGarrette Blount.
“I’m concerned with what that looked like tonight, yeah. I’m concerned about that. That didn’t look like the kind of play that would have warranted this situation and this opportunity. We need to leave this here in Tampa, get home and put a week together and do something different
Meanwhile, rookie quarterback Sam Bradford got out of a three-game streak of no touchdown passes and five interceptions, breaking Peyton Manning’s rookie record for completions in a 25-17 victory over the San Francisco 49ers. He was 28/37 throwing for 292 and a touchdown.
“I guess it’s pretty cool,” Bradford said of the record. “I’m all fired up about the win. If you don’t get excited for a game like this, you’re probably in the wrong business.”
These two teams met in St. Louis on October 3rd for week four, on a game where the Rams played excellent defense holding the Seahawks to only a field goal and winning the game 20-3. Sam Bradford threw for 289, two touchdowns and an interception, as the Rams ended a 10-game losing streak against Seattle.
Bradford has the Rams offense ranking 19th overall in the passing game, averaging 208 yards per game and scoring 18 passing touchdowns this season versus 14 interceptions. The Seahawks defense ranks 29th against the pass, allowing an average of 257 yards per game and surrendering 31 passing touchdowns this season. Only the Cowboys and Texans have allowed more passing touchdowns than Seattle, both tied at 32.
The Steven Jackson led Rams running attack ranks 23rd in this category. They average 102 rushing yards per game and have scored 9 touchdowns on the ground on 2011. The Seahawks defense ranks 22nd stopping the run, conceding 123 yards per game and allowing 13 rushing touchdowns this year.
Whether Matt Hasselbeck starts or not his numbers have been mediocre this year. He has thrown for 3001 yards, 12 touchdowns and 17 interceptions, ranking the Seahawks offense 18th in the passing category. The Rams defense ranks 20th against the pass, allowing 225 yards per game as average and surrendering 20 touchdowns this year.
The possible presence of Charlie Whitehurst at quarterback will lead to believe that Seattle will likely try to run the ball more against the Rams 15th ranked rush defense, which allows 111 yards per game on average, but has allowed a very low 7 rushing touchdowns. This is a worrying sign for Seattle’s running game, which ranks dead last in the league, averaging just 85 yards per game.
Let’s take a look at some stats provided by BOOKMAKER.COM
The total has gone UNDER in 12 of St. Louis’s last 18 games
St. Louis is 7-16 SU in its last 23 games
St. Louis is 3-17 SU in its last 20 games on the road
The total has gone UNDER in 10 of St. Louis’s last 15 games on the road
St. Louis is 1-10 SU in its last 11 games when playing Seattle
St. Louis is 1-6 ATS in its last 7 games when playing Seattle
St. Louis is 1-4 ATS in its last 5 games when playing on the road against Seattle
The total has gone UNDER in 4 of St. Louis’s last 6 games when playing on the road against Seattle
St. Louis is 0-5 SU in its last 5 games when playing on the road against Seattle
The total has gone OVER in 5 of Seattle’s last 5 games
Seattle is 1-5 SU in its last 6 games
Seattle is 1-5 ATS in its last 6 games
The total has gone OVER in 5 of Seattle’s last 6 games at home
Seattle is 10-1 SU in its last 11 games when playing St. Louis
The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Seattle’s last 6 games when playing at home against St. Louis
Seattle is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games when playing at home against St. Louis
While Seattle might be motivated about their chances to advance to the playoffs their offensive limitations might come at a great cost on this one. Defensively they do not represent an unbeatable obstacle to the Rams, which are the better team right now. We like St. Louis to win the NFC West.
St. Louis Rams vs. Seattle Seahawks
When: Sunday January 2nd, 2011, 8:20 PM ET
Pick: Rams -1
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