Week 16 is now in the history books. The Rams are coming off back-to-back victories against Tampa Bay and New Orleans. This weekend they travel to Seattle to face the Seahawks. The game will be a tough match up for the Rams, but one that's eminently winnable. The season finale is an important game for this young Rams team. Every play and minute on the football field gives these young players invaluable experience. Finishing the season on a high note will serve as a springboard to better results in 2014.
Week 16 Results
The accompanying chart presents the results of my picks for Week 16, and the season totals to-date:
|Week||Wins Straight Up||Wins vs Spread||Hot Picks vs. Spread||Rams Straight Up|
|Last Week||10 6||8 8||2 1||1 0|
|Season||164 76||147 93||36 12||9 6|
How are my results faring against the 93 experts Pickwatch is tracking? (link). My 10-6 record last week was enough to remain in 1st place overall in the standings, 1 win ahead of John Halpin from Fox Sports, and Gregg Rosenthal from the NFL Network. The last week of an NFL season always produces unexpected results. The last week of this season promises the same, as many playoff positions are still undecided.
The chart below identifies the top 25 in the overall standings:
|5||Pete O'Brien||USA Today||12||11||10||9||8||10||10||11||7||8||10||8||13||13||9||10||159||80||66.53%|
|11||Simon Samano||USA Today||10||12||10||10||10||9||9||12||6||7||9||10||12||12||8||10||156||83||65.27%|
|13||Michael David Smith||PFT||12||12||10||9||8||11||8||10||8||6||12||5||13||12||9||10||155||84||64.85%|
|16||Don Banks||Sports Illustrated||11||14||10||9||8||10||9||12||7||6||11||6||11||14||8||9||155||84||64.85%|
|17||Nate Davis||USA Today||11||14||8||8||9||11||9||11||8||9||10||8||11||11||9||8||155||84||64.85%|
|19||Andrea Hangst||Bleacher Report||10||11||12||9||9||9||11||11||9||9||9||5||11||13||7||9||154||85||64.44%|
How did my "Hot Picks Versus The Spread" fare last week? Both Denver and Cincinnati won and covered the spread. Miami lost and didn't cover the spread. My record for the week: 2-1. Overall, my "hot picks" record is 36-12 for the season.
Week 17 Picks
For reference, the accompanying chart presents the straight-up, against the spread, and over/under records for all 32 NFL teams, after Week 16:
The accompanying chart presents the format - and my selections - for each game this week: home team - away team - the spread - my straight-up winner - which team covers/beats the spread - and the outcome of the game:
|Home||Away||Spread||Straight Up||Vs. Spread||Score|
|Atlanta||Carolina||Car 5 1/2||Carolina||Carolina||27 20|
|Cincinnati||Baltimore||Cin 6||Cincinnati||Baltimore||23 20|
|Indianapolis||Jacksonville||Ind 11 1/2||Indianapolis||Jacksonville||24 17|
|Miami||NY Jets||Mia 5 1/2||Miami||Miami||27 20|
|Minnesota||Detroit||Min 3||Detroit||Detroit||24 20|
|NY Giants||Washington||NY 3 1/2||NY Giants||NY Giants||27 21|
|Pittsburgh||Cleveland||Pit 7||Pittsburgh||Pittsburgh||28 20|
|Tennessee||Houston||Ten 7||Tennessee||Tennessee||30 20|
|Chicago||Green Bay||GB 3||Green Bay||Green Bay||24 17|
|New England||Buffalo||NE 9||New England||New England||21 10|
|New Orleans||Tampa Bay||NO 13||New Orleans||New Orleans||31 14|
|Arizona||San Francisco||Pick||Arizona||Arizona||16 13|
|Oakland||Denver||Den 12||Denver||Denver||31 13|
|San Diego||Kansas City||SD 9 1/2||San Diego||Kansas City||21 14|
|Seattle||St Louis||Sea 10 1/2||Seattle||St. Louis||17 14|
|Dallas||Philadelphia||Phi 6 1/2||Philadelphia||Philadelphia||27 20|
Hot Picks Versus The Spread
Carolina over Atlanta - Carolina is playing for a division title and a first round bye in the playoffs. They have won 10 of their last 11 games.
New Orleans over Tampa Bay - New Orleans is fighting for a division title and playoff seeding. They are 7-0 at home this season, and sport a 6-0-1 record against the spread at home.
Kansas City over San Diego - Kansas City is 6-1 against the spread in road games this season. They are looking to build some momentum heading into the playoffs.
Keys For The Rams Versus Seattle
Prediction: Seattle 17 - Rams 14
Perspective On The Rams Versus Seattle
Advanced NFL Stats takes an in-depth, statistical look at the match up between the Rams and Seattle (link).
CBS Sports' Pat Kirwan and Pete Prisco preview the game between the Rams and the Seahawks (link).
Bleacher Report breaks down St. Louis' game plan for Sunday's tilt with the Seahawks (link).
Ramblin' Fans' prediction for Sunday's game:
"St Louis Rams @ Seattle Seahawks. Rams fans know that their team hasn’t fared well in the Pacific Northwest in recent seasons. The Seahawks have been nearly invincible at home since Russell Wilson took over at QB, although they were taken down by the Cardinals last weekend. The last time these two teams met the Rams dominated the Seahawks at the line of scrimmage and completely controlled the game, and yet still lost. Kellen Clemens has looked miles better than he did in that game (his first start since 2011), and the Rams ground game has continued to surge behind Zac Stacy. In their last meeting the Rams defense got to Wilson 7 times with 3 each from Chris "White Thunder "Long and Robert "Black Lightning" Quinn. If the Rams are going to have a chance in this game they will need another dominant performance by the defensive line." Rams win 24 – 20.
ESPN's Mike Sando presents his "Inside Edge" on the Rams-Seattle match up (link).
"Seattle has averaged 176.3 yards through the air in its last three games after averaging 233.9 passing yards through its first 12, and Russell Wilson has been sacked 10 times in the past three contests after going down three times in the previous four."
"The Rams have the NFL's best run defense since Week 10, allowing an average of just 68.0 yards in the past six games after holding New Orleans and Tampa Bay to a combined 120 in consecutive victories."
"Zac Stacy leads a potent Rams ground game that has averaged 155.6 yards per game since Oct. 28 - second only to Philadelphia's 175.1 over that span."
All quotes are courtesy of the Wall Street Journal.
ESPN's Nick Wagoner and Terry Blount share their analysis of the Rams game versus Seattle (link).