It’ll be a quick turnaround for a pair of NFC West rivals, as the Los Angeles Rams and Seattle Seahawks kickoff Week 5 of the NFL season. Game time is at 8:20 EST on Thursday, October 3 at CenturyLink Field in Seattle. Fans can watch the game on either Fox or the NFL Network.
The betting line on this game has opened as a straight-up PK. The over/under is listed at 49 points. Click here to check out the betting odds for all of the Week 5 NFL games.
It’ll feel like a particularly quick turnaround for the Rams, who are fresh off their first loss of the season. Not only did L.A lose on Sunday, but they did so at home and in ugly fashion, falling 55-40 to the Buccaneers. It was the most points the Rams have given up in franchise history and was more than they had given up in the first three games of the season combined.
Coming off the loss, we’re going to find out a lot about the Rams the next two weeks. They face a road trip to Seattle followed by a home game against the 49ers. Both Seattle and San Francisco look ready to challenge the Rams in the NFC West. A loss or two for Los Angeles in the next couple of weeks could have the Rams struggling to retain their supremacy at the top of the division.
Meanwhile, Pete Carroll and the Seahawks are also coming off a 27-10 road win against the Cardinals in Week 4. It was Seattle’s first game this season that wasn’t decided by less than a touchdown. It was also a nice bounce-back effort after a disappointing home loss to the Saints the previous week.
With a second straight win this week, the Seahawks will sneak above the 3-0 49ers, who had a bye in Week 4. They can also break their tie with the Rams, who are also 3-1. That means the loser of Thursday’s game will drop to 3-2 and have two teams to leapfrog in order to get on top of the division.
Seattle will also be hoping to break their recent bad luck against the Rams. Los Angeles has won six of the eight head-to-head meetings with the Seahawks over the last four seasons. The Rams managed a season sweep of Seattle last year, including a 33-31 win at CenturyLink Field.
The Rams are going to have better days than they did against the Bucs. But I’m not sure Thursday is going to be one of them. Thursday games are always tough to project, but the Seahawks have too much of a home-field advantage to ignore. Plus, Seattle’s home loss to the Saints a couple of weeks ago was a little fluky. I like the Seahawks to find a way to snap a three-game losing skid to the Rams and win on Thursday night.
For the Rams, the confidence of Jared Goff could start to become an issue. His numbers against the Bucs in Week 4 look good, but only if you take away the three interceptions and the late fumble that cost L.A. the game. Goff now has six interceptions on the season, including five in the past two weeks. Going on the road to Seattle and dealing with the crowd noise at CenturyLink Field doesn’t seem like the best antidote for Goff’s recent woes. As electric as the Rams can be offensively when everything is clicking, it’s hard to put trust in Goff against the Seahawks.
Meanwhile, there are still lingering questions about Todd Gurley’s health. He had just five carries in Week 4, although he found the end zone twice and caught seven passes. Gurley has been good this season, but not necessarily a major difference-maker. Also, soon after Sunday’s loss, Gurley was quick to complain about having to turn around and play a game on Thursday. That could be a sign that he needs time to rest and recover in between games and may not fare well on a short week.
On the other side of the ball, the Los Angeles defense is suddenly an issue after getting ripped to shreds by the Buccaneers last week. Normally, I would like the chances of Aaron Donald and company to take advantage of a Seattle offense that has given up plenty of sacks this year. But I’m looking at things a little differently after the way they struggled last week, particularly against the speed of Tampa’s Chris Godwin.
Of course, Seattle isn’t necessarily going to attack the Rams the same way the Tampa offense did. The Seahawks are going to remain committed to the run and force the Rams to respect their ground game. At the same time, the Seahawks have a pair of deep threats in Tyler Lockett and DK Metcalf who could hurt the L.A. defense the way Godwin did last week. Plus, Russell Wilson is connecting on 73% of his passes this season and is yet to throw an interception. He’ll play mistake-free football that could give the Seahawks a leg up.
I expect this to be a competitive game that goes back and forth. However, I trust Wilson a lot more than I trust Goff right now. I also think the Seahawks have the more reliable rushing attack and defense, especially at home. In the end, the Seahawks being at home is enough for me to lean toward them in a straight-up PK.