The end of a busy NFL Sunday will see a Sunday Night Football matchup of the New England Patriots and the Seattle Seahawks.
The Tom Brady era is over, and Foxborough, Mass., has been officially renamed to Cam Country. The Patriots are coming off a 21-11 victory over the Miami Dolphins in Week 1.
Should we really be impressed though? It’s Miami, which hasn’t taken home an AFC East title since 2008. The stakes are raised a little higher this week, though.
The Seahawks are coming off a big road win over the Falcons 38-25 in Week 1, and I have a feeling they’ll be hungry to shut down the New England hype on Sunday night.
Here are the current game odds:
- Spread: Seahawks -4
- Moneyline: Patriots +175, Seahawks -200
- O/U: 44.5
Seattle is known for its crazy weather. Unexpected fog, rain, and wind, you name it!
Don’t look for this to play an impact in the game, though, because Sunday night at CenturyLink is expected to be perfect football weather. Temperatures are projected to be in the 60s with a very mild breeze.
Patriots: Beau Allen DT (Out), Damien Harris RB (Out), Brandon Bolden RB, Marcus Cannon OT, Dont’a Hightower LB, Patrick Chung S, Matt LaCosse TE (Out)
Seahawks: Rashad Penny RB (Out), Darrell Taylor DE (Out), DJ Reed CB (Out), Colby Parkinson TE (Out), Josh Gordon WR (Out), Chance Warmack OL (Out)
What You Need To Know
If you were able to catch a glimpse of the Patriots last week, they didn’t look as good as I expected. Again, Week 1 with no preseason contests allows for some sloppy play, but I didn’t see a New England team that will be a serious threat moving forward without some major improvements.
The defense was able to get three takeaways from Ryan Fitzpatrick, and the Patriots were still only able to put up 21 points. One obvious fact for Sunday night: Russell Wilson is NOT Ryan Fitzpatrick.
Wilson only threw five interceptions last season. If any defense can confuse the future Hall of Famer, it’s Bill Belichick’s squad. But don’t expect Wilson to give the Patriots three extra opportunities.
Even though Brady was known for his quarterback sneaks and clutch runs over the years in New England, the Patriots legend was never very mobile. Cam Newton is a completely different beast under center, and he will make opposing defensive coordinators account for his legs.
Last week, Newton rushed for 75 yards on 15 carries with a pair of touchdowns. The brain of Josh McDaniels with Newton could be dangerous, and we did see glimpses of it last Sunday, but only time will tell.
The NFL is a passing league, and if the Patriots want to progress, we will need to see more downfield attacks through the air.
Wilson was lights out in Atlanta last week. He threw for four touchdowns in a commanding win over the Falcons.
He also spread the love as nine receivers caught passes leading Wilson to 31 completions on the afternoon. There’s really not much to say about Seattle’s offense other than, THEY ARE LEGIT.
One area where the scoreboard didn’t reflect Seattle’s vulnerability but the stat sheet did was their defense. Atlanta outgained Seattle 506-383 thanks to three 100-yard receiving days, from Julio Jones, Calvin Ridley, and Russell Gage.
This could’ve been a much different game if Atlanta capitalized on some fourth-down plays and turned their yardage into points. I’m sure McDaniels is itching at the opportunity to take some shots downfield at a vulnerable Seattle secondary after he reviewed the tape this week.
A four-point spread in favor of Seattle is a solid choice. I believe the Seahawks will control this football game.
I see both teams putting up points, but it’s very hard to bet against Wilson, who completed 31 passes on 35 attempts last week. Newton is only making his second start for New England, and while the Patriots have an elite offensive line and some weapons, I don’t see the offense clicking enough to cover +4 at this point in the season.
The wild card is the 12th man. It’s nonexistent this week, and that will allow for smoother operations by the New England offense. Still, I don’t think the lack of crowd noise will be enough for the Patriots to match Wilson and the Seahawks in the scoring department.
The Pick: Seattle (-4)
After Week 1 observations, the Patriots and the Seahawks play totally different styles of football. Even with Superman Cam under center, the Patriots still wanted to control the ball and the clock. This style of football doesn’t result in a confident over bet too much.
The Seahawks are different, and they like to take a lot of shots and light up the scoreboard. They have been that way since Wilson and Pete Carroll teamed up. This style of football results in taking the over much more than the under.
So what style of football will we see Sunday night? Seattle will control this game and force points to be scored, possibly causing McDaniels to dig a little deeper into his call sheet and take some shots. The scoreboard going over 44.5 points between two NFL All-Pro signal-callers is a no brainer.
The Pick: Over 44.5
This game will be competitive for a while, but I don’t think this New England team is ready for the Seahawks just yet.
The Pick: Seahawks 35, Patriots 24