Moore Predicts: Most factors favor Seahawks, but Bills will win in Buffalo
For everyone who thinks I’m terrible at predicting outcomes of Seahawks’ games, I improved my record straight up and against the spread to 5-2 this season and darn near nailed the final score of the 49ers’ game last Sunday. I had the Seahawks winning 34-23, and they won 37-27.
If you want someone who can correctly and consistently forecast the Seahawks’ future, you’ve come to the right place. (If you cite my track record from previous seasons, OK, maybe you came to the wrong place.)
The Seahawks are favored by 3 points over the Bills on Sunday, and that sounds about right. Seattle is 7-1 and has been unstoppable on offense. Its defense improved against the 49ers and could be even better with the return of Jamal Adams this week.
The 6-2 Bills are similar to the Seahawks, possessing a high-scoring offense and an iffy defense. I don’t think the Seahawks can get away with blitzing Buffalo quarterback Josh Allen as much as they did a banged-up Jimmy Garoppolo, but I still hope they bring extra pressure.
Then again, they might not have to since newly acquired Carlos Dunlap is expected to make his debut, and he automatically becomes the best pass-rushing defensive lineman on the team. Maybe his presence will allow the Seahawks to get to Allen without blitzing.
Allen is better equipped that Garoppolo was to handle pressure. Stephon Diggs is having a terrific season with 54 receptions for 695 yards, and Cole Beasley is nearly on a 1,000-yard pace himself with 51 catches for 494 yards.
But the Bills appear to be a flimsy 6-2 team. Statistically, they’re average – 13th in total offense, 16th in total defense. Their point differential – 198 points scored, 199 points allowed – suggest they should be 4-4.
Reporters who cover the Bills are skeptical. When I checked out the Buffalo news Friday, five reporters all picked the Seahawks to beat the Bills.
The Seahawks have the better team, yet sometimes the better team doesn’t win. When that happens, it’s usually because of turnovers, but I don’t even think that will be the case on Sunday. The Seahawks are plus-7 in turnover differential, the Bills minus-1.
I think my old friend Human Nature is going to show up and support the Bills. It’s a “letdown” spot of sorts for the Seahawks, facing an AFC team in between games against the NFC West (the 49ers last week, the Rams next week).
I also don’t think the Seahawks will take advantage of the Bills’ poor run defense (26th in the league, allowing 134.5 yards a game) with Chris Carson and Carlos Hyde expected to miss the game because of injuries.
And the Seahawks, who are still on a record-setting pace to give up the most yards in a single season in NFL history, need to prove that last week’s defensive performance against San Francisco was the start of a trend instead of an aberration.
The Seahawks are not going 15-1. In the updated over-under win totals posted in Las Vegas, Seattle is projected to go 12-4. Sure, 13-3 looks as likely as 12-4 right now, especially with a four-game stretch coming against the Eagles, Giants, Jets and Washington Football Team. But they’re not going to win all of their next nine games.
Every year, every good team experiences at least one game that defies explanation. This will be that game for the Seahawks.
More than anything else, this is a hunch pick, one from the gut, just like when I picked the Dolphins to beat the Seahawks last month. Yes, I was wrong, but the Dolphins were within two points midway through the fourth quarter, eventually losing 31-23.
Though most factors favor the Seahawks, I suspect the Bills will find a way to get it done at home in a shootout.
Prediction: Bills 34, Seahawks 31.