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*This is the transcript of our Handicapping group wager chat for this particular game. Taking it as it is, so forgive any typos, etc. It's just casual opinions shared. Also, we may veer way off topic but that's half the fun of it.
Katz: This game seems like a fun one to discuss. Two FFM darlings squaring off. One team coming off a tough home loss in a game they should've won. The other fresh off a road dismantling of a once great empire.
RC: The Computer swears up and down the Rams are a top 5 football team…and should’ve won last week…and should be -4.1 faves over the Jags. I love the Jags and all, but I love McVay and Goff to figure out how to neutralize the Jags pass rush and DBs…constant drizzle during the game will help.
Savage: You guys both said the Rams should have won... I would say they could have. Let's not look past the fact that they committed 5 turnovers. Yes, one was the flukey, the rest were legit. Tavon Austin lost a fumble because that's what he does. The 3 Goff turnovers were a combination of pressure from the Seattle D and bad throws. The Rams deserve a ton of credit for being in the game after giving the ball away that many times, but you're going to lose more often than not with that many turnovers.
What I'm getting at is, how do we know that this isn't going to be a problem for the Rams against good defenses? I would not be surprised if they come into this weekend's game with the same aggressive, fearless attitude and commit multiple turnovers again. If you try to attack the Jags pass defense you can get burned the way Pittsburgh did. The way to beat them is to run up the middle on them and make Bortles win the game, and I'm not sure McVay has enough Belichick in him to radically switch his gameplan to fit the opponent.
RC: I would then say… Five turnovers from the ridiculous to the pressured…and they still were one inch from the game winning pass to Kupp. If only two pressured turnovers in a game…they win last week, and will this week. Things couldn’t have gone wore for them last week and they could have won. Judging the beauty contest – it was no contest. How that game changes if LAR is up 7-0 in a blink if Gurley doesn’t lose the ball past the pylon on an easy score.
Katz: My first thought in this game was Jacksonville. But then after I thought about it some more, the Rams are a really good team. That Gurley fumble changed the entire complexion of the game last week. If the Rams beat the Seahawks, this line might be a pk. The Jaguars are going to have a real problem with Gurley this week and I believe Wade Phillips can expose Blake Bortles and make him lose the game for Jacksonville.
Rabbitt: Both of these teams are really good. Both are much better on D than O. I am taking the points in what I think should be a close game. I wouldn't touch this game with real money though.
RC: The hidden opportunity is McVay is too smart, and Goff too savvy and they change the scheme for this one week to take the DBs and DLs of the Jags out of it – attack Myles Jack. You think that’d be obvious but if KC played them, Reid would run Kareem Hunt 25+ times and throw all passes to Kelce…as expected. If Arians faced them, he’d drop Palmer 7 steps and try to throw bombs and get killed. The Steelers didn’t change because they thought Jacksonville was beneath them. McVay will fake to Gurley run Austin jets more and Higbee-Everett have a great day. Sammy Watkins may have 1 target.
If the Rams can make this about Bortles…they’ll handle the Jags.
Rabbitt: Is the Rams run D good enough to force Bortles to pass? The Jags will be perfectly happy to run the ball 40 times in this game and win 9 to 6. Both teams have been gashed pretty good in the run game. I know the talent is there for the Rams, but I haven't witnessed the magical mythical wade phillips restoration yet.
Savage: Rams D looked really fast last week, but so did the Packers when they played Seattle. A couple random observations:
- Power rankings sites like Sagarin and Team Rankings have the Jags as a 5 to 7 point favorite
- The Jags have alternated blowout wins with head-scratching losses
Skolman: I heard that Jax defensive players commented that the Steelers were the easiest team to prepare for all year because they run the same slants over and over. They sat guys in the middle of the field in anticipation and we saw what happened. Even Jesse James said the Steelers offense is too predictable. So the Jags aced a test they had the answers to in advance (I give them credit but what happens the week after you play your trump card). The Rams come in after a loss where they made mistake after mistake on offense. Even though they've only had one true home game, I think it's safe to assume Jax doesn't have a strong home field advantage...I'm good taking the points here with the team I believe will be the outright winner. I see Jax -2.5 (-115) so fingers crossed maybe we get +3 by Sunday.