Tonight’s game between New Orleans and Seattle will likely determine the #1 seed in the NFC playoff race, and both teams are cognizant of the importance of Monday’s affair. However, the edge seems to rest with Seattle as the Seahawks are a perfect 13-0 SU and 10-3 ATS at home under the leadership of quarterback Russell Wilson. The Seahawks are 5-0 at home this season where they are outscoring opponents 32.4 to 15.4. Let’s also note that Seattle is 28-12 ATS in their last 40 games at home and 2-0 ATS when playing with rest (both wins by double-digits). Find below Pro Edge Sports’ Monday Night Football Preview: Saints/Seahawks:
- Seattle is averaging 27.8 points per game this season at 4.8 yards per rush play, 8.1 yards per pass attempt and 6.1 yards per play. Overall, the Seahawks are 0.5 yards per rush play, 1.3 yards per pass play and 0.5 yards per play better than average offensively in 2013;
- Seattle is allowing 16.3 points per game at 4.2 yards per rush play, 5.4 yards per pass attempt and 4.9 yards per play. Overall, the Seahawks are 1.0 yards per pass attempt and 0.5 yards per play better than average defensively this season (0.1 yards per rush play worse than average.
The above-referenced numbers improve at home where the Seahawks are averaging 32.4 points per game at 9.1 yards per pass play and 6.3 yards per play in 2013. Similarly, the Seahawks are limiting opponents to a mere 15.4 points per game at just 5.4 yards per play before the home faithful this season.
The issue for Seattle tonight is the absence of cornerbacks Walter Thurmond (suspension) and Brandon Browner (groin), both of whom were integral components of the secondary. “We’re still trying to work through it. I’ll say it again, I’ve always found myself looking for guys that maybe other people don’t see something special in and we take a chance on a guy here or there that needs some extra consideration and care,” coach Pete Carroll said. “And sometimes guys they have issues and things pop up but I’ve always been kind of hopeful and make guys find the best in them and bring it out. Sometimes it works out and sometimes it doesn’t.”
From a technical standpoint, NFL favorites of three points or more are 66-29-1 ATS after their bye week if they scored more than 28 points in their previous game, including 50-11 ATS when the opponent is not playing with division revenge. However, Seattle is 2-15 SU and 1-15-1 ATS with rest following a SU and ATS win, while the Saints are 17-2 SU and 14-4-1 ATS for head coach Sean Payton. If those conflicting trends are not confusing enough, let’s note that Seattle is 12-3 ATS versus teams with a winning record, including a perfect 8-0 ATS in the second half of the season. “Every game that we play is a championship game,” Seattle head coach Pete Carroll said. “You never know which one is going to be the one that you look back on and say, ‘Boy, if we’d have got that one, we would’ve had this or that.’ So we play every one of them like it’s the biggest game in the world.”
The game will ultimately be decided on the ground as the Seahawks possess a significant 1.1 yards per rush play advantage over New Orleans’ stop unit. And, that edge is relevant in that the Saints are just 21-57 ATS when allowing more than 150 rushing yards per game, whereas Seattle is 32-15 ATS when rushing for 150 to 175 yards per game. Finally, the likely absence of Seattle wide receiver Percy Harvin is meaningless in that he has only seen limited action in only one game for a team that is 10-1.