If Bill Bellichek lost every game for the next SIX years, he would still have a win percentage higher than that of Jeff Fishers… Maybe that’s why he’s no longer in a job as of Monday this week. After going for the 7th consecutive season with a losing record, and playing the second half of the weekends humiliating defeat to the Falcons to a near empty stadium, the Rams bosses decided it was finally time to cut ties and let Fisher ply his wares elsewhere, probably some high school in northern California or something, I doubt he’ll ever get another job in the NFL much to the disappointment of Dan Reeves, who thought that he would finally not be the ‘losingest’ ?! (They have winningest in the US so I guess that’s right) coach in history as Fisher joined him last week. Fisher was on a roll as well losing 8 of his last 9 to power to joint top in the rankings, and would of taken sole ownership of that lead tonight in Seattle… Unlucky Dan, you’re still the biggest loser in history.
One thing I know for sure is that tonight is going to be a horrible watch with the uniforms, battle of the highlighters, bright green for Seattle and bright Yellow for the Rams, about as far from the beautiful Bengals colour rush uniforms as you can get.
The Rams go into tonight’s match with special teams coach John Fassel in charge, I’ll be honest, I don’t exactly know a lot about the guy, but I can tell you he’s been a special teams coach for 10 years with the Raiders and Rams, and giving him temporary control leaves the OC and the DC in their positions to concentrate on whatever they do… In recent weeks, apparently not a lot, in fact they have the worst scoring offence in the league averaging a massive 14.9 points per game, and the 6 TD’s they conceded to Atlanta last week beat the amount they’d scored at the Coliseum for the season. Changing the quarterback a few games ago to finally give no.1 overall draft pick Jared Goff a start was somehow a downgrade on the boring and quite poor Case Keenum. However it had to be done. The Rams are going nowhere so you may as well see out the season with a kid in there getting some experience, and taking some shots so he can get ready for next year. He’s thrown 4 TDs in 5 games, while giving the opposition the ball 5 time. Not great, especially as 3 of those TDs came in the same game against the Saints. Who’s he been throwing his 186 average yards per game to? Well, Kenny Britt has still been getting his receptions, admittedly not many, and not for many yards, be he remains a solid target for the Rams, Goff has looked for him, 7,10,6 and 12 times in the games he’s been playing so plenty enough to keep him mildly relevant. Tavon Austin can be a relevant player if they look for him, his completion percentage is good, so if they try to get him involved, he could make things happen, he signed a massive deal in the off season which he’s failed to do much to justify. Lance Kendricks catches about half of his targets and they have increased since Goff took over, being a big body in the middle of the field makes a good target for a struggling QB on a struggling team. The main man that people know in LA is Todd Gurley, he was named Offensive rookie of the year last season, and after missing the first 3 games, ran for over 1,100 yards in the 13 he played, Oh how he wishes he could do something like that this year, he’s on target for 911 from a full season this time around, at a meager 3.3 yards per carry, amazingly he’s actually got 5 TDs on the season, I actually assumed he’d had less than that given the lack of anything from the Rams all season. He obviously has the talent, and he’s getting annoyed, his comments this week about the Rams looking like a high school offence may well have given the bosses the final little nudge to get rid of Fisher. Game script definitely hasn’t helped his season as the Rams failure to score any points in games inevitably means they’re behind and chasing the game by throwing, also teams have stacked the box in the middle of the field knowing they have little to fear from the passing game.
The Seahawks come into the game on the back of a humbling loss to the Packers last weekend. They were soundly beaten and outplayed for large parts by a team that’s had a fairly susceptible defence for most of the season, only managing to score 10 points in the process, 7 of which came from a TD half way through the 4th quarter when they were 31-3 down. Russell Wilson had the worst game of his career throwing for a ridiculous 5 interceptions, in fairness, it’s hard to blame him for all of them, one Graham fell down, a couple were batted into the air by his receivers and caught by GB players. But even so, he was off target a lot. However… at home this season they have won ever game, at an average of 28.6 to 16.5, a 12 point differential. Last time out at home they put up 40 points on a bum Panthers side. Their record at the C-Link doesn’t go un-noticed by bookies, the general rule for home teams is that they start as 3 point favourite, but in front of the 12s in the Seattle, you usually give them a 4.5pt headstart. In fairness, most of what I wrote last Sunday about the Seattle team last Sunday remain relevant today, i’m writing off their result last week as, well, not a one-off, but a bit of a freak result. They aren’t that bad, and Rawls, Baldwin, Graham, Lockett, their main skill players really aren’t that bad, and i’d look back to the Panthers game to see a more likely representation of which will happen tonight (so if you want a more detailed write up of their options have a look at last Sundays work – https://touchdowntips.com/2016/12/11/week-14-tips-and-televised-write-up-touchdowntips). Rawls will get 20 carries for over 100 yards, and at least 1 TD, Baldwin and Graham will share 10 receptions for a TD or so, Lockett will get 4 or 5 catches for 80 yards and a TD, and the Seahawks will win the game. A few players I didn’t mention last week who seem to get in on the act on occasion, Alex Collins was back as second choice RB after Troymaine Pope suffered and Ankle sprain, he’s now on IR, which means that Collins should be in as second tonight, he’s a fierce runner in short yards, and I’ve said before, could get goal line work if Rawls doesn’t do it. George Farmer may get a little action as the 3rd choice at RB. Tanner McEvoy has scored a couple this season (from just 7 catches) as a receiver, he got their one last week, catching 3 of 3 as they went into garbage time at the end of the game.
The handicap for this game is set to a crazy 16 points (and has gone up all week from an original 14) I believe that’s the highest handicap of the year, I don’t remember seeing even the Browns that high against anyone… The Rams have beaten the Seahawks three times in a row now, and without Earl Thomas, they were gashed by Aaron Rodgers last week. They strangely actually average more points away from home (16.5 compared to 12.4) which makes me think that Rams team points – over 10.5 at evens seems like a very nice bet, if that doesn’t float your boat, then you can get 5/6 on the Rams to score any points in both halves…in theory that could happen with 4 points, however having looked back at their last 6 weeks are somehow only 2-4 on that particular stat?! …I’m really not sure what to make of this match, everything suggests it should be a blowout and Seattle should score tons, but the Rams always play them close…Arggggh, I don’t know…
- Tyler Lockett over 36.5 rec. yards – 5/6 (365) – NAP – 5 pts
- Rams o10.5 team point – Evens (365) – 3pts
- Rawls and Lockett to score – 5/1 (Skybet) – 2pts
- Collins anytime – 17/2 (PP) – 1pt
- Goff anytime – 18/1 (365) – 1pt
12 point total outlay. Good Luck if you’re following.
Quick note, there’s a Saturday night game tonight, one I know we’ve all been looking forward to, Bryce Petty vs Matt Moore as the Jets host the Dolphins. So there’ll be an extra write up from me alongside @Jayhatton49 ‘s usual excellent Fantasy post on Saturday, keep your eyes peeled.
I’m also going to try to put together a post on the London games as it’s obviously in the public eye at the moment trying to explain a bit more on the process and why the teams this year aren’t exactly stellar, there’s been some great information from head of NFL UK Alistair Kirkwood which a lot of people may not have heard given reasons behind all the picks and non-picks, very informative stuff