New England (1-0) at Seattle (1-0)
When: Sunday, September 20th, 2020
Where: CenturyLink Field,
Time: 8:20 ET | TV: NBC
Opening Odds: Seattle -3.5/44
Sunday Night Football this week will feature a pair of talented quarterbacks when Russell Wilson’s Seattle Seahawks host Cam Newton’s New England Patriots. Wilson earned NFC Offensive Player of the Week honors after leading Seattle to a 38-25 win at Atlanta – a game that wasn’t as close as the score indicated. He completed 31-of-35 passes for 322 yards and four touchdowns and also rushed for a team-high 29 yards. Wilson set a franchise record by completing 88.6 percent of his passes which also ranks third in league history for a quarterback attempting at least 35 passes. The Patriots won their first game in the post-Tom Brady era by thumping Miami 21-11. Newton rushed 15 times for 75 yards and two touchdowns, while completing 15-of-19 passes for 155 yards. It was the most carries and yards rushing by a Patriots quarterback since Bill Belichick arrived in New England in 2000. Newton, who signed a one-year, $1.75 million deal in July, showed little rust despite playing just two games because of injury in 2019.
The Seahawks are 4.5-point favorites on the NFL odds with the total opening at 45. Wilson has had success against the Patriots in his career, throwing for 888 yards and eight TDs with only one interception in three games. The lone pick was the one that clinched the 2015 Super Bowl for New England. Seattle has covered three of the past four meetings including a 31-24 win in Seattle in 2016 – the last time these two teams met.
It wasn’t all Newton in Week 1 as the Patriots defense completely stifled the Miami Dolphins. The secondary picked off Ryan Fitzpatrick three times – Adrian Phillips, Stephon Gilmore and J.C. Jackson – while Derek Rivers picked up the Pats’ lone sack. Sony Michel also got in on the ground-heavy attack with a rushing score, as 217 of the Patriots’ 357 yards came from the ground. Look for the Patriots to throw more in this game against a Seattle defense that surrendered 506 total yards to the Atlanta Falcons. Newton and the Patriots present a more balanced attack thru the air and the ground for Seattle. The Patriots are 6-3 against the spread in their last nine road games. They will host Las Vegas next weekend.
All-Pro safety Jamal Adams had a great Seattle debut after being in the offseason from the New York Jets. He had 12 tackles, including two for losses, and a sack versus the Falcons on Sunday. The Seahawks blitzed Adams 10 times, which is something to look for Sunday night against Newton. Seattle might get another weapon back this week as wide receiver Philip Dorsett II returned to practice after missing the opener with a foot injury. Offensive tackle Cedric Ogbuehi (shoulder) remains questionable. Chris Carson had six receptions for 45 yards and two TDs, while Greg Olsen and D.K. Metcalf each had a TD. Carlos Hyde contributed 23 yards on the ground and a score. The over is 6-3-1 in the Seahawks’ last 10 home games. Seattle will host Dallas next week.
This is the first time in 64 games that the Patriots are an underdog. Although they have a great defense, Wilson has exposed them in the past. Newton had it easy last week versus Miami, but I expect him to struggle a bit in this one. Look for Wilson to have a big game and carry the ‘Hawks to a win and cover. He’s just too explosive.
Pick: Seahawks -4.5
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