Seattle Seahawks at New Orleans Saints
Time: NOON (CT), FOX
Betting odds c/o 5dimes
The Seattle Seahawks are 4-1-1 after setting for a 6-6 tie last week against the Arizona Cardinals. The team still sits atop the NFC West, but it will be challenged this week by the New Orleans Saints in a game with EVEN odds at NFL oddsmaker 5dimes. The game is to air at Noon (Central Time) on FOX and has an over/under of 48.
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Seattle lost in a game last week that made pretty much the entire league groan, as kickers exchanged missed field goals and the game ended knotted 6-6. Stephen Hauschka and Chandler Catanzaro were the kickers responsible, but the notion that kickers lose games really needs to be thrown out. Neither team played a good game, and to blame the loss on their kicker would sort of be an easy way out.
Russell Wilson threw 24 of 37 for 225 yards, but obviously did not throw any TD passes. He was sacked once, but for a loss of 20 yards. In the backfield, only Christine Michael had any modicum of success, picking up 52 yards on 16 carries, good for 3.3 yards per attempt. The rest of the team combined for 0 total yards, with Alex Collins picking up two but Wilson losing two yards on his lone rushing attempt.
Doug Baldwin had a fair game catching the football, hauling in 6 of 9 targeted passes for 69 yards, but Jimmy Graham struggled in catching just 5 of 10 for 53 yards with a long of just 14-yards. The Seahawks totaled just 277 yards of offense, and the team averaged only 9.4 yards per pass attempt while missing 11 of its 35 targeted passes. Wilson certainly has had better games, and to walk away with a tie was probably some sort of blessing in disguise because the offense justified an “L.”
Even so, prior to last week this Seattle team had won three straight with wins over San Francisco, New York (Jets) and the Atlanta Falcons. The Seahawks team defense has been superb and kept it in games, holding opponents to just 14 per contest (ranking No. 1) and compensating for an offense that is generating just 18.5 points per game and ranking No. 28 in the NFL.
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The rush attack has been the real downfall for Seattle, as they average just 82.7 yards per game on the ground. Michael is almost all of that with 406 yards on 97 carries, but he averages just 4.2 yards per attempt and has four TDs on the season with one fumble.
Wilson has been horrible moving the football, rushing for just 33 yards on 22 attempts with a fumble which was not recovered. He is also battling a few nagging injuries this week (knee and pectoral muscles among those), but he is expected to play.
Baldwin has been the offensive star of the team with 430 receiving yards on 34 catches, with two TDs and 20 first downs. Graham has been good too with 408 yards, a TD and 19 first downs.
But this team has to find a way to get some production from its backfield for the benefit of its own receivers. Though Wilson’s INT percentage is just 0.5, that is a tribute to how careful he is being, not how unpredictable the play calling has been.
The New Orleans Saints are 2-4 and are coming off a 27-21 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs. Prior to last week the team had won two-straight over the San Diego Chargers and Carolina Panthers. New Orleans ranks No. 1 in the league in passing yardage at 339.3 yards per game, but it gets just 82.3 on the ground, ranking No. 28 in the NFL. Even so, the offense finds plenty of ways to get it in the end zone in averaging 29.3 points per game and ranking No. 2 in the league.
The defense, however, is the league’s absolute worst in allowing 32.5 points per game and giving the Saints a negative-3.2 point differential that properly accords to its own losing record. New Orleans is a pretty lopsided attempt at football.