By now, I’m sure you all know how I feel about football on Thursdays. Last week’s game was a classic example. Big divisional rivalry game. Green Bay had early troubles with their two best offensive linemen, Tackles Brian Bulaga and David Bakhtiari; Bulaga would eventually leave the game for good (he’s probably out for this week, too). Later Green Bay lost top WR Davante Adams to a foot injury (he’s also probably out this week). Green Bay ended up losing to a struggling Philly team, largely due to Aaron Rodgers being pressured and Green Bay being unable to convert on Red Zone and goal-to-go opportunities. Say what you want, but I refuse to believe that playing on short rest did not, at the very least, contribute to Bulaga’s and Bakhtiari’s woes. Another potentially great game marinated in the taint of Thursday Night. More unnecessary injuries. It’s not fair, I tell you.
Oh, and for 2019, I’m 0-for-Thursday. Ain’t that a kick in the head?
So, here we go with another big-time divisional matchup. I’ll let one of the participants finish my intro for me:
LAR at Seattle
This is one of those early-season, big-time, divisional matchups that are a nightmare to try and predict. The fact that it’s happening on a Thursday night, with everything that goes with that ridiculousness, only complicates matters. However, I refuse to shy away from my duty as the author of The Best Picks Column in the World. The muckier it gets, the more I will dig to try to find solid ground.
It’s hard to get a sense of how good these teams really are at this point. LA’s offence still looks fine. They have good receivers, spread the ball around, have a decent rushing attack, and protect the QB well. The main problem is Jared Goff, who, while talented, folds like a card table under pressure. LAs defence has plenty of talent, but has underperformed, I believe due to subpar play up front, and the defensive liability of having a dunce like Marcus Peters starting at CB. Seattle’s offence has also spread the ball around well to its receivers, and has shown a decent rushing attack, but it hasn’t done as good a job at protecting Russell Wilson. On defence, the fearsome pass rush I’ve been expecting from Seattle hasn’t materialized, and their secondary is a shadow of its former glory.
Normally, I would give Seattle a huge advantage for playing at home, but they barely won their home opener against Cincy, and they got stomped two weeks later by Teddy Bridgewater and Co. They’re coming off a relatively easy win over Arizona, which could play a factor on short rest. LA just got humiliated at home by Tampa, and probably are looking to atone, so you can’t ignore that motivation. Also, because LA fell behind so early to Tampa this past Sunday, Todd Gurley ended up not getting a lot of touches, so he should be just that much fresher for this contest.
I really thought I’d end up picking Seattle in this one. I really did. However, matchups make games, and I think that LA’s OL, plus Seattle’s pass rush and secondary, is the deciding factor here.
Don’t say you weren’t warned.