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Sunday, January 2, 2011

Eric's Locks of Week 17

St Louis (-3) @ Seattle

I hate watching the Seahawks. The fact that they’re even in contention for a playoff bid annoys me to know end. Matt Hasselbeck had his moment in the sun, but those days are done. Charlie Whitehurst will likely be under center tomorrow taking calls from Pete Caroll. Doesn’t exactly sound like playoff football. The Rams, on the other hand , have a budding star in Sam Bradford, an all pro running back with Steven Jackson and a nice defensive fire thanks to Steve Spagnulo. I’m betting on the Rams not because I think they’ll win as much as I need them to win. The thought of watching the Seahawks taking a 46-3 drubbing in the first round is depressing. The Rams represent everything fun about being an NFL fan. Your team hits rock-bottom, makes a coaching move, releases a few past-their-prime vets, drafts well, gets a watered down schedule and gets a few wins. The Rams did it the old fashioned way and there’s a lot to be said for that.

Beyond the conceptual stuff, the Rams are simply better. They took a beating early in the year from the Lions, but aside from that loss, they’ve been a competitive group. The team ranks in the middle of the league in most statistical categories but this is the NFC West. Winning the west is a lot like being the hottest waitress at Denny’s, it doesn’t take much. Danny Amendola is a poor man’s Wes Welker, but between he and Brandon Gibson, Bradford has two quick agile options. Steven Jackson has put together a 1200 yard season despite a variety of nagging injuries. They’re not going to set the world on fire but they’re a better bunch than Seatlle. I see coach Spags putting the pressure on Charlie Whitehurst forcing him to throw at least 2 picks. Seattle loses big and keeps the NFL from having to defend a system that allows a losing team to host a playoff game.

PICK: St. Louis Rams -3

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