You kind of have to throw out analysis and expectations when it comes to Thursday Night games, especially for the Seahawks. I was legitimately shocked to hear that we’re 9-1 on Thursday Night in the Russell Wilson era. You know what’s even crazier? That one loss was in 2012 – his rookie season – meaning we’re on a 9-game winning streak! And these aren’t just creampuff games; it’s almost always against a divisional opponent (who always play us tough, home or away) and oftentimes against a very good version of those divisional opponents.
Two years ago, we had that unlikely victory against the Rams that we won because their kicker BARELY missed a game-winning field goal. Last year, we were coming off of two straight horrible road losses – to the Bills and Rams – and managed to right the ship against a frisky Cardinals team (that only faltered down the stretch last season when their quarterback got injured).
It feels very Seahawky to be this mediocre version of ourselves, start the season 1-2, and yet win back-to-back divisional games against superior opponents to turn things around. I’m really trying to see how that’s possible this time, but I’m struggling.
The Rams are fucking GOOD this year. I don’t know what happened to them against the Cardinals last week, but I have an idea. I think the Cards’ front seven is just good enough to generate lots of pressure (even if they don’t always get home on sacks), and I think they have a lockdown secondary that was able to neutralize Cooper Kupp (5 receptions for 64 yards, on 13 targets, and 0 touchdowns) and force other guys to try to beat them. When Van Jefferson is the Rams’ leading receiver, the Rams aren’t going to win many ballgames.
The Seahawks don’t have that secondary. Even though they played better against the 49ers, you saw the game Deebo Samuel had (8 for 156 and 2 TDs)! There’s no way we’re going to be able to hold that offense to a .500 3rd/4th down conversion rate like the Cardinals did.
Which means, ideally, we’d have to score in the mid-to-high 30’s to keep up. Doing that against the Rams’ defense? That chronically makes Russell Wilson’s life miserable? That has always shut down D.K. Metcalf and got all up in his head while doing so? I can’t see it.
But, I’ve said similar things in the lead-up to a lot of these Thursday Night games recently, and look at our record.
As I always say, I hate Thursday Night Football. How many players have we lost for the year on Thursday Night because they were playing through a nagging injury and it finally snapped? Now I hear that both Metcalf and Lockett are playing hurt, and my ears perk up. Just seems like a no-brainer that one of them goes down with something severe, because they haven’t had enough time to recover since the last hard-fought game.
Not for nothing, but I would LOVE Thursday Night Football if every team had two bye weeks, and one of those bye weeks landed the week prior to TNF. That way you get a week and a half off, play a game, and have a naturally built-in week and a half off until the next one. I don’t know why it’s so hard to make this work. Just extend the season by another week – which gets you an extra week of television rights – and your teams are hopefully all the healthier as a result (which is a better product to showcase to those networks).
But, I digress. It wouldn’t TOTALLY floor me if the Seahawks won tonight, but my expectations are mighty low. The Rams just feel like a better team from top to bottom, plus they kind of have our number. The only thing going for us is that it’s at home, but that’s only a 2.5-hour flight from L.A. so how hard could that be? The 12’s didn’t prevent Tennessee from coming in here and whupping our behinds.
My guess is that the Rams will be up by a couple scores late, the Seahawks will drive for a garbage-time touchdown, and then screw up the onside kick because they let Dickson do that useless drop-kick thing that never works. 32-24 Rams.