Seahawks’ offense could sputter again on the road vs. Vikings
The Vikings are like the Seahawks, built to run and play defense. They want their quarterback, Teddy Bridgewater, to manage the game. It’s been a successful formula thus far – Minnesota is 8-3 and leading the NFC North.
It’s a matchup of the two best rushing teams in the league, each averaging more than 144 yards on the ground. You can make a reasonable case for Thomas Rawls outrushing Adrian Peterson, as crazy as it sounds, because Minnesota’s run defense (20th) isn’t nearly as good as Seattle’s (5th).
Peterson’s the obvious focal point for the Seattle defense. John Clayton thinks the future Hall of Famer will rush for 85 yards, and if that happens, the Seahawks should win and improved to 7-5. Pete Carroll’s team has yet to allow a 100-yard rusher this season.
This is ridiculous to say, but I’ll say it anyway – if I were the Seahawks, I’d be just as concerned with Kyle Rudolph as Peterson. Rudolph is the Vikings’ tight end, and tight ends have killed the Seahawks this year. He averages almost 10 yards a catch and has four TDs. Guessing he’ll be up to five or six after this game.
In a startling change from last year, the Seahawks have gone from allowing 44 percent and 6.9 yards on passes of 10 to 20 yards to 68.5 percent and 12.5 yards this year. Dave Wyman talks about poor linebacker drops as a primary reason, and Paul Moyer, when interviewed on Brock and Salk on Thursday, went as far to call those drops “horrendous.”
So it’s not just the Legion of Boom that’s fallen off this year. Here’s one more troubling stat – the Seahawks have allowed 39 pass plays of 20 yards or more after giving up just 32 all of last year.
But explosive plays are not a big reason for concern this week – Bridgewater has thrown for less than 200 yards in four of his last five games.
I see it shaping up as a low-scoring game – taking under 42 is my smokin’ lock of the week – because both teams eat up clock with their run games. Though the Seahawks averaged 33 points during their three-game homestand, I expect their offense to sputter on the road. In their last road game, they were fortunate to beat the Cowboys 13-12.
Weather should not be a factor – last I checked, sunny skies and a high of 42 is in the forecast for Minneapolis.
I’m not sold on either team, but I’ll take the one with the better record at home.
Line: Seahawks by 1 ½.
Prediction: Vikings 17, Seahawks 13
Season record against the spread:5-5-1
The Go 2 Guy also writes for SeattlePI.com and KitsapSun.com. You can reach Jim at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @cougsgo.