Thursday, December 15, 2016

NFL Picks, Week 15 - Thursday Night Edition


The majority of the country (in terms of map coverage, not necessarily number of households) will see 
Pittsburgh at Cincinnati (CBS, 1 PM)
Detroit at New York Giants  (FOX, 1:00 PM) 
New England at Denver (CBS, 4:25PM)

The entire country will see 
Los Angeles at Seattle (NBC, 8:30 *Thursday*)
Miami at New York Jets (NFLN, 8:30 *Saturday*)
Tampa Bay at Dallas (NBC, 8:30)
Carolina at Washington (ESPN, 8:30 *Monday*)

Los Angeles (+15.5) over SEATTLE

Jeff Fisher was fired as head coach of the Rams on Monday, and I'm still not sure how I feel about it as a Seahawks fan. On the one hand, I'm disappointed, as Fisher was clearly holding that team back, especially offensively. He led the Rams to a 7-8-1 record in his first season (2012) and then never bettered it. Their offense took a step backwards every single year. 

On the other hand, I'm relieved. Fisher's teams did one thing well in his tenure, and that was get up for every Seahawks game on their schedule. Fisher arrived in then-St. Louis the same year Russell Wilson was drafted, and the Rams are the only team Wilson has a losing record against. To put it another way, Seattle is 50-17-1 (.743) against the not-Rams NFL since 2012, and 4-5 against the Rams in the same time frame. They've lost shootouts, they've lost defensive struggles, and they've lost because their special teams has gotten boondoggled with trick plays. But the constant is, these games are hard. Harder than they have any right to be when you look at each team's season as a whole. 

The old adage is when divisional teams square up, throw out the records, because they know each other so well. It's true in this case. 

Granted, Seattle is 3-1 against the Rams in Seattle since 2012, but they've won by 7, 18, 14, and lost by 6. What's the point? The line is friggin 15.5 points!!! That's insane. I know the Rams are bad. I know their offense has set back offensive football by at least 2 generations. And I know the Rams just fired their coach on Monday to play a game on Thursday. None of that matters. Logic goes out the window when the Seahawks play the Rams. Nothing makes sense. Nothing ever makes sense in these games. Seattle's offense tends to go int he tank when faced with the Rams' fearsome defensive front. And in the rare case they do put up points, the defense lets Austin Davis or Case Keenum go up and down the field on them. 

I do think the Seahawks will win, but it will be ugly. It always is. I hope I'm wrong, but all of the evidence is in my favor. 

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