JIM MOORE

Moore Predicts: Seahawks will overcome injuries on defense against Cowboys

Sep 25, 2020, 10:29 AM
Seahawks Cowboys...
Jim Moore thinks the Seahawks' defense will find ways to slow down the Cowboys. (Getty)
(Getty)

I told you 2020 was my year – now 2-0 in predicting the winners of Seahawks’ games and 2-0 against the spread. Given my history of picking losers, it could all change this week with the Seahawks as 5-point favorites, hosting the Cowboys.

Pete Carroll Show: Seahawks waiting out injuries to pair of pass rushers

Injuries are a huge factor with both teams. The Cowboys are decimated in their secondary and along the offensive line. The Seahawks last week lost Bruce Irvin and Marquise Blair for the season, further weakening an already suspect defense.

And now there’s a chance that Benson Mayowa, Seattle’s other offseason pass-rushing acquisition along with Irvin, could miss Sunday’s game with a groin injury. Mayowa did not practice Wednesday or Thursday.

Mayowa has the only sack by a defensive lineman so far. But I’m not so sure that missing Mayowa and Irvin will result in a sack-less Sunday because the Cowboys could be starting two undrafted backup players at tackle.

Making matters seemingly worse, Rasheem Green, who led the Seahawks with four sacks last year, probably won’t play because of a neck stinger.

Oddsmakers think this is going to be a wild one, setting an over-under of 56 points for the game. The Seahawks are averaging 36.5 points after two games and the Cowboys are averaging 28.5.

Which offense has a better chance of keeping it going this week? I’m guessing Seattle’s with Russell Wilson even though left tackle Duane Brown has been battling knee and foot issues all week. I also think the Seahawks’ defense is better than it showed in the first two games. Last week they had to adjust on the fly when Quandre Diggs was ejected and Blair tore his ACL.

This week they should be better equipped with a full game from Diggs and Ugo Amadi as a capable replacement for Blair at the nickel spot. Jamal Adams is also really amped up – as opposed to his usual brand of amped up – by comments he heard about his poor pass coverage against the Patriots.

Last year I never thought the defense was going to improve, though the first game against San Francisco led you to believe it could. This year I feel differently. At the very least, they’re unleashing Adams to play to his strengths, going against the Pete Carroll philosophy of rarely blitzing.

And the run defense has improved already. In the 2018 and ‘19 seasons, the Seahawks allowed 4.9 yards per carry. This year it’s down to 3.0 – only Tampa Bay and Pittsburgh are a smidge better at 2.9. That’s a good sign when Ezekiel Elliott is coming to town.

The Cowboys should be 0-2 but somehow beat Atlanta 40-39 last Sunday after recovering an onside kick, coming back from a 20-point deficit. I would also argue that they made a dumb decision to go for two when trailing 39-30 with around five minutes to go. They didn’t get the two-point conversion, leaving them more than two scores behind. Analytics whizzes argue otherwise, saying it was a good decision, and they have the metrics to back it up. I have arithmetic skills that support my side, and with these skills I have determined that being eight points behind with five minutes to go is better than being nine points behind.

Will the Seahawks get torched by Dak Prescott, Amari Cooper, CeeDee Lamb, Michael Gallup and Elliott? I suppose they could, seeing that they’ve allowed nearly 1,000 yards in the first two games. But I think the Seahawks’ defense will find some short-term answers – and hopefully long-term – to the losses of Irvin and Blair.

Meanwhile, it’s hard to picture the Seahawks scoring fewer than 30 points with Wilson off to his historical start. So I’ll take the Seahawks to win and cover the spread for the third week in a row.

Prediction: Seahawks 34, Cowboys 23

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