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Jim Moore Predicts: Seahawks should have enough to get past 5-2 Chargers

The Seahawks' pass rush will try to slow down Philip Rivers and the Chargers' offense. (AP)

The Seahawks play their first home game in nearly a month on Sunday and are only one-point favorites over the Chargers. I don’t understand why the Seahawks aren’t favored by more than that. If I had made the line on the game, I would have listed the Seahawks as four-point favorites.

O’Neil: Sehawks carrying something new into Week 9 — expectations

We know about the added advantage the Seahawks get from the 12s at CenturyLink Field. It always seems like the pass rush benefits from the crowd noise, and that could be a factor with false starts along with game-long disruption of the Chargers’ passing game. Then again, Philip Rivers is making his 200th consecutive start and has seen it all.

From watching the Seahawks every week, I think we know how good they are – good as in pretty good, maybe not great but certainly not bad. The Chargers? I have no idea. They’re 5-2, but it could be a flimsy 5-2. Their wins have come over Buffalo, San Francisco, Oakland, Cleveland and Tennessee, teams that have a combined record of 10-27-1. In their last game, the Chargers survived to win in London after the Titans failed to convert a two-point conversion in the final minute.

Problem is, I went with some of this logic last week. I thought the Lions might be a better 3-3 team than the Seahawks based on their wins over quality opponents. Seattle won 28-14 and mostly dominated Detroit.

Melvin Gordon is expected to play for the Chargers after missing the last two games with a hamstring injury. In his last game against the Browns on Oct. 14, he rushed for 132 yards and three TDs. Thing is, if he does play, you’d expect him to be at less than 100 percent.

Even if that’s the case, Rivers should have a good day anyway. He’s completing 69 percent of his passes with 17 TDs and three interceptions and is on a pace to throw for 4,500 yards. The Seahawks’ secondary played well against Matthew Stafford last Sunday, proving it could hold up against one of the better quarterbacks in the league. The Seahawks rank No. 5 in the NFL in pass defense and No. 3 in opponent passer rating.

When you flip it around, I find it hard to believe that the Seahawks are 26th in the league in total offense, averaging 337 yards a game. I like their offense and would even go so far as to say that I love their offensive line. Maybe the Chargers are more explosive, but I think the Seahawks’ offense can be just as effective, and their running game with Chris Carson and Mike Davis should limit L.A.’s opportunities as Seattle piles up an advantage in time of possession. The Chargers, without an injured Joey Bosa, have an average run defense at No. 16 in the league, allowing 106 yards a game.

Added up, I think both teams will have 5-3 records after this one ends with the Seahawks coming out on top and covering the spread. Seahawks 27, Chargers 20.

Stanford (+10 1/2) at Washington

I’m not sure why the Huskies are favored by so many points coming off a surprising loss at Cal and having a quarterback controversy or whatever you want to call it. How will Jake Browning respond to last week’s benching? I think he’ll be something in between terrific and terrible, not good enough to beat a quality opponent by double digits. In fact, I don’t think Browning and his teammates will be good enough to even win the game. Cardinal 24, Huskies 21.

Cal (+9 1/2) at No. 8 Washington State

The Cougs have covered every spread this year, and I know that a trend is your fried. I also think a trend will end at some point, and we’ve reached that point this week. Cal beat WSU 37-3 last year at a similar point in the season when expectations were through the roof for the Cougs. Coach Justin Wilcox has a defense that can slow down the Cougs, and offensive coordinator Beau Baldwin was the head coach at Eastern Washington when the Eagles beat Washington State. I don’t think the Cougars are going to lose, but it’ll be a nail-biter Saturday night. Cougs 27, Golden Bears 24.

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