By Jim Moore
This week Steve Sandmeyer and I were trying to figure out why the Seahawks are only 6.5-point favorites over the Jets in Sunday’s game at CenturyLink Field.
Looking at the matchup from a statistical point of view, the Seahawks should be favored by 8, maybe 9, even 10.
Since 2002, the Seahawks have won 65.5 percent of their home games and are 4-0 this year.
Everyone knows about the advantage the 12th Man gives the Seahawks defense, which is typically more ferocious at CenturyLink than it is on the road.
New York’s Mark Sanchez has completed only 52.9 percent of his passes this season to rank 33rd among NFL quarterbacks. (AP)
Russell Wilson is also much better at the Clink – his 120 QB rating at home is tops in the league. He’s thrown nine touchdown passes and no interceptions at home.
Then when you look at the comparative stats in league rankings, the Seahawks are mostly superior to the Jets in every category.
The Jets are slightly ahead of the Hawks in pass defense, ranking sixth-best in the NFL, allowing 205.6 yards through the air to Seattle’s 206.8.
But I’m guessing there will still be opportunities for Wilson because he’ll have plenty of time to throw – the Jets have only 12 sacks in eight games.
And the Seahawks only need the passing game to be a complementary part of their offense anyway. The Jets are 29th against the run at 141.4 yards a game. If I’m offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell, I’m thinking Beast Mode left, Beast Mode right, Beast Mode up the middle and liking my chances with those play calls all day long. Lynch should run for anywhere between 125 and 150 yards.
Then when you look at the Jets offense, is there anyone who scares you in particular? Mark Sanchez? He’s OK, not great, not bad, leaning toward spells of inconsistency. Shonn Greene? A good running back, but nothing like Adrian Peterson last week or Frank Gore a few weeks ago.
The receivers? Name one and you’re ahead of me. Tim Tebow? John Clayton’s favorite player hasn’t made an impact at all.
Overall the Jets are 27th in the league, offering nothing to suggest an explosive performance will suddenly show up on Sunday.
Rex Ryan’s team has also lost four of its last five games while the Seahawks, in spite of losing two of their last three, appear to be a team that’s heading in the opposite direction.
Like Sandmeyer, the only thing that worries me in this game is the point spread. There’s a reason why the line is 6.5. Those guys in Vegas are amazingly good, amazingly consistent. If they think it will be a close game, it probably will be.
I’m going to lay the points anyway, ignoring the fact that the Jets are a desperate team at 3-5, needing this win more than the Seahawks do. I’m going to ignore the possible negative impact on Seattle’s defense if K.J. Wright, Red Bryant and Kam Chancellor are either limited or can’t play because of injuries.
But I’m not going to ignore the fact that the Seahawks are simply a better team.
My prediction: Seahawks 24, Jets 13
Season record against the spread in Seahawks games: 8-1