Moore: Chiefs will be more effective than Seahawks moving the ball
Picking games against the spread is difficult. I’m still under .500 at 4-5 picking Seahawks games this year, but once in a while even know-it-somes can get on a hot streak, and that’s where I am right now, hitting three in a row.
Last week I thought the Seahawks would win 35-10, and they won 38-17, covering the 9½-point spread against the Giants. When you say you’re on a hot streak like I just did, you basically invite the football and gambling gods to give you an ice-bucket bath.
I’m actually hoping that will happen because I like the Chiefs this week, and typically when I take the other team, the Seahawks cruise to victory. I’d rather see them return from Kansas City at 7-3 with a chance to tie for the NFC West lead next Sunday against Arizona than to come home at 6-4 with more questions about their ability to repeat as Super Bowl champs.
The Seahawks were good enough to defeat Carolina, Oakland and New York, but those teams combined to go 0-13-1 in the last month, and each had a chance to beat Seattle.
I still wonder about their pass rush. Without consistent harassment, the lack of interceptions will remain an issue for a team that created all kinds of turnovers last year.
I also wonder about their receivers. Doug Baldwin and Jermaine Kearse are good, but they’re not No. 1 and No. 2 receivers. You like to think that Paul Richardson and Kevin Norwood will be good someday, but to expect them to be reliable this year is asking too much.
Warren Moon talked Friday on “Danny, Dave and Moore” about timing problems with Russell Wilson and the rookie receivers, which might explain part of the quarterback’s recent passing struggles. Moon also noted that Wilson has had problems throwing in the rain, though that won’t be a problem in Kansas City with a high of 28 degrees and no chance of snow expected.
If I’m the Chiefs, I’m loading the box because my No. 1 priority is stopping Marshawn Lynch. The Seahawks ran for 350 yards last week against the Giants, and the Chiefs are 20th in the league in rushing defense, allowing 115.6 yards a game.
I’d also try to limit Wilson as a runner and force him to beat me through the air – the Chiefs have the NFL’s No. 1 pass defense.
The Seahawks are certainly capable of beating the Chiefs, who are also 6-3. Pete Carroll is particularly good at preparing his teams to win when Vegas thinks they won’t. The Seahawks are 15-2 against the spread the last 17 times they’ve been an underdog, and Carroll’s team is a 1½-point underdog this week.
I think Kansas City will be more effective moving the ball than Seattle. Jamaal Charles might have problems running against the No. 4 rush defense, but could find some room between the tackles with nose tackle Brandon Mebane out for the season with a torn hamstring.
The Chiefs should have success with their dink-and-dunk passing attack. John Clayton noted that Alex Smith’s average of 5.6 yards a pass is the lowest in the NFL in the last five years.
Two wide receivers are out because of injuries – A.J. Jenkins and Donnie Avery – but the Chiefs still have a formidable tight end in Travis Kelce, and tight ends have burned the Seahawks over and over again this season.
Kansas City looks like the hotter team to me, winning six of its last seven and covering eight spreads in a row. Plus the Chiefs are at home, and the Seahawks are 5-20 in their history at Arrowhead Stadium.
Since the betting line is so close to a pick ’em, I’m guessing the game will go overtime, and the Chiefs will win it on a Cairo Santos field goal.
Prediction: Chiefs 20, Seahawks 17 (OT).
Season record against the spread:4-5.
The Go 2 Guy also writes for SeattlePI.com and KitsapSun.com. You can reach Jim at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @cougsgo.