EDITORIAL BY GRAYDON FOX
1st Place: $25 Amazon gift card
2nd-5th Place: $10 Amazon gift card
If there are ties, a random drawing will determine the winner.
Top 5 Winners:
- Shawn E Keyzer (358 points)
- Gothgirl1988 (358 points)
- Harvey Pitteard (350 points)
- Darren Huserik (350 points)
- Mjostrze (350 points)
On Monday, September 10th, the Los Angeles Rams will be on the road to take on the Oakland Raiders in the opening week of the 2018 NFL season.
“The Crowd” is projecting a final score of Rams 26.3 – Raiders 21.7 with an over/under of 48.0.
2017-18 Statistics (32 total teams):
Yards per game: Rams 361.5 (10th) > Raiders 324.1 (17th)
Points per game: Rams 29.9 (1st) > Raiders 18.8 (23rd)
Turnover margin: Rams +7 > Raiders -14
Yards allowed per game: Rams 339.5 (19th) > Raiders 350.1 (23rd)
Points allowed per game: Rams 20.6 (12th) > Raiders 23.3 (20th)
The Rams were (11-5) in 2017 and ended a 13-year playoff drought. The early exit delivered by the Atlanta Falcons doesn’t mask what the Rams were able to accomplish. Quarterback Jared Goff made a huge sophomore leap passing for over 3,800 yards with 28 touchdowns and 7 interceptions. Running back Todd Gurley II was sensational compiling over 2,000 total yards and 19 touchdowns. The Rams led the league in points scored with a well-balanced mix of pass and run. All-Pro defensive end Aaron Donald signed a massive contract and will lead a defense that should be much improved. The additions of Marcus Peters and Aqib Talib should shore up a secondary that was the weakness of the defense last season. Pairing Ndamukong Suh with Aaron Donald is almost unfair giving the Rams arguably the most formidable defensive line in the league. The Rams (+149) ranked 3rd in point differential last season.
The Raiders were (6-10) in 2017 and finished 3rd place in the AFC West Division. Jon Gruden signed a $100 million contract to be the head coach and he will have a tall task in front of him. The Raiders have the NFL’s oldest roster and they just traded away All-Pro defensive end Khalil Mack to the Chicago Bears for multiple high draft picks. Quarterback Derek Carr threw for over 3,400 yards with 22 touchdowns and 13 interceptions. Running back Marshawn Lynch isn’t getting any younger and the team’s top wideout Amari Cooper struggled with drops last season. The Raiders have a decent offensive line and some players in the secondary but it’s going to be another long year in Oakland. The Raiders (-72) ranked 25th in the NFL in point differential in 2017.
The Rams should be able to wear down the Raiders with a heavy dose of Todd Gurley II both in the running game and the passing game. The Rams will load up the box on Marshawn Lynch and dare Derek Carr to throw on their elite corners. I expect Aaron Donald and the Rams defense to force a few turnovers that will be the difference in this one.
To be eligible to win a prize in any contest at The Crowd’s Line, you must be at least 18 years old and a resident of the United States or Canada. You must also submit your score prediction on our official prediction tool (blog widget), and include a valid email address. Contest winners are determined according to The Crowd’s Line scoring methodology. If more than one entrant has the same winning score, final contest rankings and prize winners are selected by random draw. Only one entry per person is allowed for each contest; multiple entries from a single player will be deemed invalid. There are no prize substitutions or exchanges available from The Crowd’s Line.
All prizes will be sent by e-mail within two weeks after the conclusion of each contest.