Sunday’s shootout in Detroit was fun, wasn’t it? Between them, the Detroit Lions and the Seattle Seahawks racked up 1,075 total yards and scored a combined 93 points - both of which are the highest marks in the league this year. And the good guys won. Yay, us!
Next up, the New Orleans Saints.
What do we need to know about them heading into the game?
- The Saints are 1-3 with their lone win coming by a single point way back in Week 1.
- They’ve scored an average of 19 points per game over the first month of the season.
- Their minus-7 turnover differential is the worst in the league.
- They have scored a total of 17 first half points.
Then there’s their injuries:
- Their starting quarterback is day-to-day with a transverse fracture in his back.
- Their starting running back has a rib injury and has only played in 2 of their 4 games this year, totaling 24 carries for 100 yards plus 5 receptions (on 11 targets) for 19 yards.
- Their star wideout has a toe injury that prevented him from playing in London during the Saints’ Week 4 loss and could keep him on the sidelines again in Week 5.
- They have another quasi-star wideout who is nursing an ankle injury.
- Their secondary is missing 2 starters.
- Et cetera
They also lead the league in penalty yards (319) and are #2 in total penalties (34). We shouldn’t poke too much fun at them about that though since the Seahawks are right behind them in both categories (32 penalties for 306 yards).
Wanna know where else the Saints and Seahawks are close?
Yards per game.
The Saints are #9 in the league at 364.3 per contest; Seattle is #11 at an even 361.
Defensively, it’s another matter altogether with the Saints allowing 100 fewer yards per game than the Seahawks do (328.3 vs. 428.0).
This, perhaps more than anything else, helps to explain why DraftKings Sportsbook has the Saints as a 5-point favorite against the Seahawks in Week 5 with the money line at Saints -215, Seahawks +185.
The Over/Under is 43-1/2 points ... which is pretty darn close to what the 2 teams average offensively (19 ppg for the Saints + 23.75 for the Seahawks = 42.75).
Here are a few other fun things to consider:
Experience (Usually) Matters:
Pete Carroll has amassed 154 wins over 17 seasons in the NFL. His career winning percentage is .592 which sounds good but is actually only the 10th-best mark among active coaches and 44th-best all-time. That’s not a knock on Pete Carroll though. The head coach on the other side of the field on Sunday is sporting a career record of 9 wins and 31 losses (.225).
The game kicks off at 10am Pacific Time on FOX and while early games used to be an issue for the Seahawks, they aren’t any more. Including Sunday’s wild win over the Lions, Seattle is 22-7 in their last 29 early starts and, even more impressively, they have won 14 of their last 15 games that started in the AM on the West Coast.
All-Time Series is Oh-So-Close:
The Saints and Seahawks have met 17 times prior to this week’s matchup; 15 times in the regular season and twice in the playoffs. The Saints hold the advantage ... by a single game, 9-8. The Seahawks can even the series on Sunday.