The Seattle Seahawks are off this week, which paves the way for me to watch RedZone for seven straight hours. As Seattle has its bye, there are still several games worth following from a Seahawks perspective, and I’m going to list them right here!
It’s hard to envision a Vikings win here. There’s no Dalvin Cook for the rest of the season, and neither Sam Bradford nor Stefon Diggs is playing on Sunday. That said, a Minnesota upset against their bitter rival would be to Seattle’s benefit, as the Packers hold the head-to-head tiebreaker over the Seahawks thanks to what transpired on opening day. Divisional matchups can often be tricky, so maybe Aaron Rodgers gets flustered against Minnesota’s talented defense, and Case Keenum has many completions to Adam Thielen and uh... Michael Floyd? Yeah, we’ll go with that.
The next best thing for the Seahawks apart from having a better record than the Packers is the Lions overtaking them in the NFC North. It’s important to note that Seattle holds the conference record tiebreaker over the Lions, who haven’t even played an AFC team yet. Detroit did suffer a disappointing home setback against the Carolina Panthers, as well as literally losing by a couple of inches against the Falcons in week 3. The Lions offense hasn’t been overly impressive so far, ranking 21st in DVOA, and they might be in tough against a Saints team that has bounced back nicely from an 0-2 start. Their sterling defensive performances against the Panthers and Dolphins may have been a mirage, so we’ll see them put to the test against Matthew Stafford’s bunch. On the offensive side of the ball, I’m curious to see how much playing time Alvin Kamara will command moving forward, now that the useless attempt at shoehorning Adrian Peterson into the Saints offense has come to an end.
Miami Dolphins (2-2) at Atlanta Falcons (3-1) - 10 AM PT, CBS
I have nary a clue as to why Jay Cutler is still starting. Matt Moore has to be better than a guy who went 12-of-26 for 92 yards, 1 TD, and 1 INT against a defense as bad as Tennessee’s. Miami’s offense is a complete trashfire, so I have little hope that they can do what Buffalo did and get a victory at Atlanta. Still, the Falcons are one of just three one-loss teams in the NFC, and Seattle could do with Matt Ryan and company getting dealt another shock defeat.
Just as we all expected at the start of the season, the Rams at Jaguars is one of the bigger games on the week six slate. Jacksonville just humiliated Ben Roethlisberger in his own stadium, while the Rams obviously lost to Seattle last Sunday. The Jaguars have the weirdest #1 DVOA defense imaginable, boasting the best pass defense by far at -48.0%, and yet their run defense is 31st at 7.3%. Blake Bortles has been his usual awful self for all but one game (the 44-7 romp over the Ravens), so you have to wonder how far the defense can carry the team when Bortles is somehow even less accurate than in his previous three seasons. The mighty Rams offense sputtered against the Seahawks, so how will Jared Goff and Todd Gurley fare against one that’s been performing even better? We’re obviously pulling for the Jaguars, as a Rams loss confirms Seattle stays in first place in the NFC West.
Arizona looks like a terrible team with a really poor offense and a declining pass defense. Their only wins have been against the Colts and 49ers, needing to come from behind to beat both of them in overtime. Just to be completely sure they are done and dusted, Tampa Bay getting the road win at Glendale would be more than preferable. I don’t know what to make of the Bucs so far, but that offense (especially Jameis Winston) needs to perform better than it did against the Patriots last week. It’s also important to note that an Arizona win would mean that the October 22nd Cardinals vs. Rams game in London guarantees that at least one of those teams would be 4-3 before their respective October 29th bye weeks. The best case scenario is both the Rams and Cardinals lose this week, then Arizona wins in London over Los Angeles the following week, leaving both teams at 3-4.
To summarize: Go Vikings, Lions, Dolphins, Jaguars, and Buccaneers!