The 2015 season is finally upon us, and with it the first opportunity to not only root for a Seattle Seahawks victory that counts in the standings, but also a chance to fatten up the wallet with an investment plan that you collect immediately instead of waiting til age 59.5! It’s so much better than that finicky old stock market.
Per the oddsmakers at the MGM Mirage sportsbook in Las Vegas, the current line on Sunday’s game is Seattle -3.5 with an over/under total of 41. These are the numbers we’ll use for the purposes of this discussion, which of course is for entertainment purposes only for most of us, since the ONLY way one can legally wager on this game is, of course, in person, in Vegas. Right? Right.
First, the line itself. Week 1 features a lot of road favorites, including the Seahawks. This is understandable, considering they are coming off back-to-back Super Bowl appearances and traded for one of the premier red zone threats in the NFL, Jimmy Graham, in the offseason.
Meanwhile, the Rams are that team everyone recognizes as having immense talent peppered throughout its roster, but just hasn’t been able to translate that talent into more wins than losses. After trading for Nick Foles in the offseason, do the Rams now have what it takes to vie for a division title? Can they make a statement by defeating the Seahawks in the most dimly lit and depressing venue in the NFL?
Look no further than the line of scrimmage for clues as to how this game will play out. Everyone is talking about the discrepancy in talent between Seattle’s beleaguered offensive line and St. Louis’ vaunted defensive front. Unfortunately, everyone is right. The Rams’ D-line is awesome – in my opinion, the best in football. Seattles O-line in my view, is one of the worst in the league.
Marshawn Lynch will find it difficult to rack up yards in this game. I expect far less than 100, and look for new addition Fred Jackson to be counted on to help protect the quaterback often. Russell Wilson will at times be running for his life from guys like Robert Quinn and Aaron Donald, with sprinkles of terror from Chris Long, Michael Brockers, and Nick Fairley added to the mix. It will be difficult for the Seahawks to string together long drives in this game, but it may not take long drives to win it.
There will be opportunities for big plays when the Rams blitz, and since the defensive coordinator over there is Dirty Gregg Williams, count on a lot of blitzes and cheap shots. Sometimes that blitz will get home and wreck a drive. Other times, it will allow Russell Wilson to do that voodoo that he do and make big plays behind the coverage. I expect this to be a quieter game for Graham than most, but keep an eye out for Lil’ Lightning Tyler Lockett. He could provide the explosive plays from the WR position that make the difference in this game’s outcome.
What isn’t being talked about enough is the fact that the talented and deep Seattle D-line may have just as big an advantage over St Louis’ O-line as their counterparts. The Rams’ O-line is about as ineffective as Seattle’s, and is possibly worse. They will be starting two rookies, a second-year left tackle struggling to effectively pass protect, a below-average center, and a right guard that’s banged up.
Aug 29, 2015; San Diego, CA, USA; San Diego Chargers defensive back Jimmy Wilson (27) looks across the line at Seattle Seahawks during the first quarter at Qualcomm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports
Guys like Michael Bennett, Cliff Avril, and rookie Frank Clark should be regularly having positional meetings at the quarterback in this game, with Brandon Mebane and “Tuba” Rubin helping keep the Rams in long down and distance situations by stuffing the run, along with Bobby Wagner and crew behind them.
With Tre Mason and Todd Gurley unlikely to suit up, people named Benny Cunningham and Isaiah Pead will be relied upon to run the ball effectively to keep the defense honest and deterred from pinning their ears back and attacking Foles from all directions. They will fail.
The Seahawks will dominate the LOS on defense, will ferociously thwart progress at the linebacker level and will put the clamps on Ram wide receivers on the back end. St Louis, too, will find it difficult to string long drives together and Foles’ tendency to turn the ball over at really bad times may just seal his team’s fate.
The difference in this game will be the proverbial big-time players making enough big-time plays to win. The expectation here is for Russell Wilson to find a way to get it done using his legs and his arm just enough to get his team a lead that the defense will successfully protect. However, it won’t be easy, it won’t be pretty, and the scoreboard operator won’t have to work very hard, as each defense has a distinct advantage over the opposing offense.
Prediction: Seattle 20, St Louis 10.
Using 100 dollars credits per week, I will keep a running total of this hopefully high-yield investment portfolio. This week, I like the UNDER (41) the most, along with Seattle -3.5. The credits will be divided as such:
UNDER 41, 70 credits
Seattle -3.5, 30 credits
So, if you happen to be in Vegas and inside one of their many gorgeous sportsbooks, use the preceding information to strengthen your retirement nest egg in the most fun way possible – by cheering on a Seahawks victory of at least 4 points!
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