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Dubs' Pigskin Picks & Rams-Seahawks Preview - Week 1

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Dubs' Pigskin Picks returns for a third season. Watch for my weekly picks and preview of the upcoming Rams game.

Dubs' Pigskin Picks & Rams Preview returns for a third season. I'll be predicting the winners (both straight up and against the spread) for all 256 regular season games. Each week I'll be featuring 3 games in my "Hot Picks Against The Spread". Pickwatch is a site devoted to tracking weekly picks results from NFL experts, analysts, and media types. This year, they're tracking 157 experts on a weekly basis. I'm competing against them again this season, and will publish the weekly results! In each of the last two seasons, I've managed to tie for first place in the overall standings. Can Dubs make it three years in a row?

2013 Season Picks Results

Week Wins Straight Up Wins vs Spread Hot Picks vs. Spread Rams Straight Up
Last Week 13  3 8  8 2  1 1  0
Season 177  79 155  101 38  13 10  6
Win Percentage 69.1 60.5 74.5 62.5

2014 Season Picks Results

Week Wins Straight Up Wins vs Spread Hot Picks vs. Spread Rams Straight Up
Last Week 12  4 9  7 1  2 1  0
Season 179  76  1 146  109  1 25  25  1 8  8
Win Percentage 70.2 57.3 50.0 50.0

2014 NFL Team Records

Straight-Up AgainstThe Spread Over/Under
Team Total Home Away Total Home Away Total Home Away
Arizona Cardinals 11-5-0 7-1-0 4-4-0 11-5-0 6-2-0 5-3-0 5-10-1 3-5-0 2-5-1
Atlanta Falcons 6-10-0 3-5-0 3-5-0 7-9-0 4-4-0 3-5-0 6-10-0 4-4-0 2-6-0
Baltimore Ravens 10-6-0 6-2-0 4-4-0 7-8-1 4-4-0 3-4-1 7-9-0 2-6-0 5-3-0
Buffalo Bills 9-7-0 5-3-0 4-4-0 9-7-0 4-4-0 5-3-0 3-13-0 1-7-0 2-6-0
Carolina Panthers 7-8-1 4-4-0 3-4-1 8-8-0 4-4-0 4-4-0 8-8-0 2-6-0 6-2-0
Chicago Bears 5-11-0 2-6-0 3-5-0 7-9-0 3-5-0 4-4-0 8-8-0 2-6-0 6-2-0
Cincinnati Bengals 10-5-1 5-2-1 5-3-0 8-7-1 4-3-1 4-4-0 6-10-0 5-3-0 1-7-0
Cleveland Browns 7-9-0 4-4-0 3-5-0 9-5-2 4-3-1 5-2-1 5-11-0 2-6-0 3-5-0
Dallas Cowboys 12-4-0 4-4-0 8-0-0 10-6-0 3-5-0 7-1-0 9-6-1 2-5-1 7-1-0
Denver Broncos 12-4-0 8-0-0 4-4-0 8-8-0 4-4-0 4-4-0 10-6-0 6-2-0 4-4-0
Detroit Lions 11-5-0 7-1-0 4-4-0 7-9-0 5-3-0 2-6-0 5-11-0 4-4-0 1-7-0
Green Bay Packers 12-4-0 8-0-0 4-4-0 9-6-1 6-1-1 3-5-0 11-5-0 7-1-0 4-4-0
Houston Texans 9-7-0 5-3-0 4-4-0 9-6-1 4-4-0 5-2-1 8-8-0 4-4-0 4-4-0
Indianapolis Colts 11-5-0 6-2-0 5-3-0 10-5-1 5-2-1 5-3-0 9-7-0 4-4-0 5-3-0
Jacksonville Jaguars 3-13-0 3-5-0 0-8-0 6-9-1 3-5-0 3-4-1 8-8-0 3-5-0 5-3-0
Kansas City Chiefs 9-7-0 6-2-0 3-5-0 10-6-0 6-2-0 4-4-0 5-11-0 3-5-0 2-6-0
Miami Dolphins 8-8-0 4-4-0 4-4-0 7-9-0 3-5-0 4-4-0 8-8-0 5-3-0 3-5-0
Minnesota Vikings 7-9-0 5-3-0 2-6-0 10-6-0 5-3-0 5-3-0 6-10-0 4-4-0 2-6-0
New England Patriots 12-4-0 7-1-0 5-3-0 9-7-0 5-3-0 4-4-0 9-7-0 5-3-0 4-4-0
New Orleans Saints 7-9-0 3-5-0 4-4-0 6-10-0 2-6-0 4-4-0 10-6-0 5-3-0 5-3-0
New York Giants 6-10-0 3-5-0 3-5-0 7-9-0 4-4-0 3-5-0 10-6-0 4-4-0 6-2-0
New York Jets 4-12-0 2-6-0 2-6-0 6-9-1 3-5-0 3-4-1 7-9-0 3-5-0 4-4-0
Oakland Raiders 3-13-0 3-5-0 0-8-0 8-8-0 4-4-0 4-4-0 10-6-0 6-2-0 4-4-0
Philadelphia Eagles 10-6-0 6-2-0 4-4-0 9-7-0 5-3-0 4-4-0 10-5-1 6-2-0 4-3-1
Pittsburgh Steelers 11-5-0 6-2-0 5-3-0 9-7-0 5-3-0 4-4-0 9-7-0 6-2-0 3-5-0
San Diego Chargers 9-7-0 5-3-0 4-4-0 7-9-0 3-5-0 4-4-0 7-9-0 3-5-0 4-4-0
San Francisco 49ers 8-8-0 4-4-0 4-4-0 6-10-0 2-6-0 4-4-0 5-11-0 2-6-0 3-5-0
Seattle Seahawks 12-4-0 7-1-0 5-3-0 10-6-0 6-2-0 4-4-0 8-8-0 4-4-0 4-4-0
St. Louis Rams 6-10-0 3-5-0 3-5-0 7-9-0 3-5-0 4-4-0 8-8-0 5-3-0 3-5-0
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 2-14-0 0-8-0 2-6-0 7-9-0 2-6-0 5-3-0 5-11-0 1-7-0 4-4-0
Tennessee Titans 2-14-0 1-7-0 1-7-0 3-12-1 1-6-1 2-6-0 6-10-0 3-5-0 3-5-0
Washington Redskins 4-12-0 3-5-0 1-7-0 5-11-0 2-6-0 3-5-0 7-8-1 3-4-1 4-4-0

NFL Crystal Ball

Dubs' Pigskin Picks - Week 1

Home Away Spread Straight Up Vs. Spread Score
New England Pittsburgh NE 7 New England Pittsburgh 27-21
St. Louis Seattle Sea 4.5 Seattle St. Louis 19-17
Buffalo Indianapolis Ind 2.5 Indianapolis Indianapolis 20-14
Chicago Green Bay GB 7 Green Bay Green Bay 31-17
NY Jets Cleveland NY 3 NY Jets NY Jets 31-14
Washington Miami Mia 3.5 Miami Miami 23-14
Jacksonville Carolina Car 3 Carolina Carolina 24-13
Houston Kansas City Even Houston Houston 23-20
Arizona New Orleans Ari 1 Arizona Arizona 21-19
San Diego Detroit SD 2.5 San Diego San Diego 28-17
Denver Baltimore Den 4.5 Denver Denver 27-17
Oakland Cincinnati Cin 3 Cincinnati Cincinnati 31-14
Tampa Bay Tennessee TB 3 Tampa Bay Tampa Bay 20-13
Dallas NY Giants Dal 7 Dallas NY Giants 24-20
Atlanta Philadelphia Phi 2.5 Philadelphia Philadephia 27-17
San Francisco Minnesota Min 2.5 Minnesota Minnesota 23-19

Hot Picks Against The Spread

Cincinnati over Oakland - The Raiders figure to be a much-improved team. Not enough to win against a tough opponent and 2014 playoff team.

Miami over Washington - The Redskins are in disarray. Miami may challenge New England for the division title.

Denver over Baltimore - A healthy Peyton Manning returns to lead the Broncos. The Broncos went 8-0 at home last season.

Seattle Seahawks @ St. Louis Rams

Keys For The Rams vs. Seattle
  • The Rams must get off to a fast start in Sunday's game. In each of their thirteen victories over the last two seasons, the Rams were either tied or leading at the half.
  • Winning the turnover battle. In 2014, the Rams were 0-6 in games with a negative turnover differential. In contrast, the Rams were 3-0 in games with a positive turnover differential and 3-4 in games with an even turnover differential. Finally, the Rams were 4-0 in games where they didn't turn over the football.
  • The Rams must establish the running game (with a depleted RB depth chart) against a Seattle defense ranked 3rd in the NFL in rushing yards allowed (81.5) for the 2014 season.
  • Minimizing mistakes and penalties. When the Rams play disciplined football, they win games. In 2014, the Rams were 3-1 when they had a positive team penalty yards differential, and 3-9 when they had more penalty yards than their opponent.
  • Pressuring QB Russell Wilson, and containing RB Marshawn Lynch. In the Rams' 2014 Week 7 win over the Seahawks, Lynch was held to 53 yards rushing on 18 carries. Wilson threw for 313 yards and ran for 106 yards in that same game. Wilson and Lynch are the heart and soul of Seattle's offense.
  • Nick Foles will lead a conservative, ball-controlling Rams offense. A clean, mistake-free game is all that's expected of him. He'll need to connect deep with Chris Givens and Kenny Britt in order to open up the Rams' running game.
Prediction: Seattle 19 - Rams 17

Todd Gurley is out for three weeks. Tre Mason is banged up. The Rams' newly minted, inexperienced offensive line gets their baptism under fire against the league's number one defense. The Rams will have trouble establishing the running game, giving Cliff Avril, Michael Bennett and Bruce Irvin the green light to harass and confound the kids on the Rams' offensive line on passing downs. The Rams' defense and special teams will keep this game close. Does Coach Jeff Fisher have a few more tricks up his sleeve for Pete Carroll and the Seattle Seahawks?

Perspective On The Rams Versus Seattle

From STATS/New York Times:

  1. The Seahawks are 17-3 against the Rams since 2005. The 17 wins are the most by any NFC team against a single opponent over that span. Among all rivalries, only New England, with a record of 18-2 versus Buffalo, has beaten one opponent more often over the past decade.
  2. The Seahawks are coming off a 28-24 loss to New England in last year's Super Bowl, as they failed to repeat as NFL champions. Seattle is seeking to become the first team since the 1990-93 Buffalo Bills (four seasons) to reach three consecutive Super Bowls.
  3. The Rams are hoping to post a winning record for the first time since going 12-4 in 2003. Only the Raiders (2002) have gone longer since finishing over .500. The Rams also have endured losing records in every season since 2007, which is the longest active streak in the NFL.
  4. Russell Wilson's 42 total wins (including postseason) are the most ever by any starting quarterback through their first three years in the NFL. Wilson in 2014 became only the third player in NFL history to combined at least 3000 yards passing (3475) with 750 yards rushing (849).
  5. Marshawn Lynch (54) needs one more rushing touchdown to catch Curt Warner (55) for the second most in Seahawks history (Shaun Alexander, 100). Lynch and Warner each have scored 62 overall touchdowns with the Seahawks, tying for third most in franchise history.
  6. Nick Foles, acquired in an offseason trade for Sam Bradford, takes over as the Rams quarterback. Over the past two seasons, Foles ranked third in the league with an average of 8.05 yards per attempt, as well as fifth with a passer rating of 100.5 (minimum 400 total attempts).

Yahoo Sports previews the game between the Rams and Seahawks

Odds on the Rams winning the Super Bowl:

Legion of Boomer Kam Chancellor will not play in Sunday's game. He's holding out due to contractual issues. ESPN's Mike Sando takes a brief look at how the Seahawks will fare without his presence at SS.

Fisher Up Front - Week 1: Rams Reporter Dani Klupenger sits down with Head Coach Jeff Fisher to discuss the preseason and the season opener against the Seattle Seahawks.

CBS Sports' Pete Prisco, Pat Kirwan and Brady Quinn break down the keys for the Seattle Seahawks and the St. Louis Rams in their Week 1 matchup: