Moore Predicts: Seahawks will make a statement with blowout of Patriots
It’s just one week and things could certainly turn sour given my track record at predicting the outcome of Seahawks’ games, but I correctly picked the Seahawks to win and cover the spread against the Falcons.
This week it’s a tougher matchup against Cam Newton and the Patriots. The Seahawks are favored by four points, and it’s the first time in more than three years that the Patriots enter a game as an underdog.
It’s a great matchup of the oldest coaches in the league, Pete Carroll and Bill Belichick, and star quarterbacks, Russell Wilson and Cam Newton.
Heading into the game, I think Seattle’s offense is much better than New England’s, and even though the Patriots led the league in defense last year, I see them falling back this year with the loss of their entire starting linebacker corps to opting out due to COVID-19 or leaving via free agency.
Meanwhile, the Seahawks made a major upgrade to their defense with the acquisition of Jamal Adams and a probable upgrade with Quinton Dunbar at right cornerback. I also like Seattle’s chances to improve defensively with free safety Quandre Diggs playing 16 games instead of five like he did last year.
If the Patriots are going to pull off the upset, they’ll have to register another big game on the ground like they did last week in a 21-11 win over Miami, rushing for 217 yards. And it’s possible against a Seattle defense that has allowed 4.9 yards per carry the last two years.
Until the Seahawks prove that they’ve shored up that part of their defense, it will remain a concern, and Newton is the trigger man to the Patriots’ running game, rushing for 75 yards on 15 carries against the Dolphins. It’s interesting to note than in his career, Newton has averaged 76.7 rushing yards in his six games against the Seahawks and 37.2 rushing yards against all other opponents.
He’s never been the most accurate QB in the world, and now he’s throwing to a below-average group of receivers – Julian Edelman is his only reliable target.
Wilson has a big advantage over Newton because he’s accurate and has an array of top-notch receivers and tight ends to throw to. Plus if the Seahawks want to focus on the running game – and they should considering the strength of New England’s secondary – they can give the ball to Chris Carson and Carlos Hyde and win by grounding and pounding instead of cooking with Russ.
Throw this into the handicapping mix too – Carroll is known for having the best primetime record in the league, particularly at home.
Taking everything into account, I’m not sure why the Seahawks are favored by only four points. Here’s what you’re gonna see Sunday night – the Seahawks taking an early lead and increasing that lead and then the cameras will shift to the New England sideline where Newton will be on the bench, towel draped over his head, exhibiting the bad body language we’ve seen from him for years in Carolina when the Panthers fall behind.
Not sure what you’re seeing, but I’ve got the Seahawks coasting to a double-digit victory and improving their perception as Super Bowl contenders.
Prediction: Seahawks 31, Patriots 13