Los Angeles (4-9) at Seattle (8-4-1)
When: Thursday, December 15th 2016
Where: CenturyLink Field, Seattle, WA
Time: 8:25 ET | TV: NBC
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The Los Angeles Rams will look for the season sweep of the first-place Seattle Seahawks when the two teams meet to kick off Week 15 on Thursday night. The Rams made a surprising move on a short week by firing head coach Jeff Fisher after last week’s 42-14 loss at home to Atlanta. Special teams coach John Fassel will have the task of getting his team back on track. The Rams have now lost eight of their last nine games and the offense ranks dead last in points (14.9) and total yards (286.2), while ranking 30th in both rushing (81.1) and turnover differential (-11). Running back Todd Gurley didn’t help Fisher’s cause after commenting out that Los Angeles “looked like a middle-school offense out there,”. Gurley has been limited to just 3.3 yards per carry and five touchdowns in 13 games this season after an impressive 4.8 average and 10 scores in his rookie campaign. Top overall pick Jared Goff threw two interceptions on Sunday before finishing with respectable numbers (24-of-41 for 235 yards) due in part to the game being out of hand early. Both Goff (1st career) and Gurley scored a rushing touchdown last week in the blowout loss. Linebacker Alec Ogletree ranks fourth in the NFL in tackles (117) and recorded nine along with a forced fumble and fumble recovery in the first meeting with Seattle – a 9-3 victory.
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Seattle is coming off a blowout loss of their own, but can clinch the NFC West title with a victory Thursday over Los Angeles. Russell Wilson threw a career-high five interceptions as the Seahawks were throttled in Green Bay 38-10. Wilson threw for 254 yards in the Week 2 game in L.A., but couldn’t get the ball in the endzone. Wide receiver Doug Baldwin has 20 receptions in his last three games, but was limited to season lows in catches (three) and yards (20) in the first meeting with the Rams. Seattle entered Sunday’s game versus Green Bay as the league’s top defense but surrendered a season high in points in the first game without former All-Pro safety Earl Thomas (broken leg). Seattle limited Gurley to just 51 yards on 19 carries with linebacker K.J. Wright collecting a team-high nine tackles in Week 2 and has 49 with two sacks and a forced fumble over his last six games at home. Linebacker Bobby Wagner leads the NFL with 139 tackles while DE Cliff Avril ranks fourth in the NFC with 10 sacks. Seattle is a perfect 6-0 at CenturyLinke Field this season.
This will be a totally different game from when these two met in September. Seattle had a bad game last week in Green Bay, but other than that, they’ve been playing very well, especially at home. The Rams are reeling badly and road teams on Thursday nights have not looked good all season. I will lay the big spread in this one.
Pick: Seahawks -15