The Seattle Seahawks go on the road to face the New York Jets on Sunday at 10 AM PST. The last (and only) time Pete Carroll faced his old team the Jets as head coach of the Seahawks, he won the game 28-7 at home in 2012.
Seattle is favored by 2.5 points right now against New York, but should they be? And do you think that this is a game that fans and experts should expect to be won by the Seahawks? Not in the sense of a guarantee or anything, but if you’re making your picks this week, and you had to pick one — Seattle fan or not — would that pick be in Carroll’s favor?
It’s perhaps the toughest call of the season so far.
Here at SB Nation, 5 people have picked the Seahawks and 4 people (plus 1 computer) have picked the Jets. So it’s a dead heat, though living, breathing souls have slightly edged out in favor of Seattle. Plus-one for Skynet choosing New York.
Over at USAToday, three of the five NFL game pickers have gone with the Jets, including score predictions of 25-17 and 27-17, margins of defeat that are really out of the ordinary for the Seahawks over the last four years. Seattle lost in Lambeau 27-17 in Week 2 of last season, their only double-digit loss since 2011. Is Ryan Fitzpatrick and New York prepped to put the same beating on the Seahawks as Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers did a year ago?
That being said, two of those five prognosticators have picked Seattle as NFC Champions and Tom Pelissero still has them winning the whole thing.
And then there’s CBS Sports, where six of eight experts have chosen the Jets to beat the Seahawks on Sunday. That’s a pretty significant margin against Seattle. But as I write this, the Seahawks have a 4-1 margin over at ESPN, with several people not turning in their picks yet.
It’s pretty interesting to me at this point to see the New York Jets get picked so often in this game; Seattle struggled offensively in Weeks 1 and 2, but the Jets have arguably just as bad offensively and are clearly much worse defensively; the Seahawks are ranked 3rd in DVOA, while New York is ranked 29th; Russell Wilson vs Ryan Fitzpatrick; Russell Wilson vs a defense ranked 32nd in yards per attempt allowed; Fitzpatrick vs the L.O.B.; the potential returns of Germain Ifedi and Nick Vannett, the addition of C.J. Spiller, the return-to-form of Jimmy Graham; the injury to Eric Decker that could limit New York’s receiving options.
And then I can see where people are hesitant to pick Seattle; playing on the road at 10 AM; the offensive line vs the Jets elite defensive line ... that might actually be enough.
At home, I assume the Seahawks could be favored by 8+ points. On a neutral field, maybe a little less. I think it’s clear which team has played better through three games, but the circumstances do even the playing field somewhat. I’m not sure if Seattle should be favored, but seeing so many people picking the Jets following Fitzpatrick’s six-interception game and the fall of Darrelle Revis to an average cornerback is somewhat surprising.