Seahawks vs Bills
The Buffalo Bills travel to Seattle Monday in a match up that looks a little more competitive now than it did nine weeks ago. The Seahawk offense is floundering, the defense is overworked, and the special teams have been the anything but special. The Bills meanwhile have won four of their last six games, including wins over the Arizona Cardinals and New England Patriots. Does this have the makings of an upset?
Let’s start with the offense. Quarterback Russell Wilson continues to heal. His ankle brace is off, the knee has had another week to heal, and the pectoral injury that took away the deep ball last week seems to have largely faded. This will be the healthiest Russell since week one. Though that’s not saying much. This should go a long way towards getting the 29th ranked scoring offense in track. The offensive line remains a question mark. Even at its best this unit has struggled. Starting left tackle, Mark Glowiski was injured last week, and his return is uncertain this week. If he is out, rookie George Fant, a college defensive lineman who last started a football game in the eighth grade, will probably fill the role. He is a high upside player, but very raw. He was called for four penalties in last week’s game, but otherwise held up fairly well. A week of preparation should really help.
Buffalo’s Defense, meanwhile, is very middle of the road. They rank 13th in points allowed, 22nd in yards. If they have one claim to fame it’s rushing the passer. They are tied for the league lead, averaging 3.2 sacks per game, and lead the NFL with averaging a sack on 9% off opponent passing attempts. The Bill’s do struggle against the run however, giving up an average of 118.4 yards per game, 25th in the NFL. This could be the game for the Seahawks running game, currently ranked 28th in the league, to get back on track.
On defense, Seattle continues to be stellar. Despite losing the time of possession battle by a two-to-one ratio these last two weeks, this unit continues to play extremely well. The extra day of rest will help quite a bit. Bobby Wagner is playing better than and linebacker in football, Cliff Avril is the reigning NFC defensive player of the month, and Earl Thomas continues to play at the all-time great level he is accustomed too. The Bills offense continues to be without some of its biggest stars, with injuries to LeSean Mccoy and Sammy Watkins. Mccoy has a chance to be back this week, which is a small consolation as their offense, ranked eighth in points per game, takes on Seattle’s defense ranked number two overall.
In the end, no team is better on Monday Night Football than the Seahawks, who lead the NFL with a .733 winning percentage on Monday night. Their 10 game winning streak on Monday Night Football is the second longest all time. Overall they are 15-3-1 under Pete Carroll in primetime games.
The Seahawks are the better team. Even with their struggles a team flying across the country to play at Seattle is in for a tough task. The strengths of each team seem to favor the Seahawks overall, and they just don’t lose on Monday nights. This should be a Seattle win.
Final score, Seahawks 17 Bills 10.