Seattle Seahawks (5-2-1) vs New England Patriots (7-1)
8:30pm ET Sunday on NBC
Russell Wilson last week enjoyed perhaps his best game of the season, leading the Seahawks to a 31-25 win over the Bills, by completing 20 of 26 for 282 yards and a pair of TDs, and running for a third score. The performance put Wilson on track for a career high in yards and a career low in interceptions, and Pro Football Focus just named him their midseason MVP, though you apparently gotta squint real hard and do a lot of advanced math to see it. Even if you accept that premise, however, that doesn’t change the fact that the Seahawks average just 20.3 ppg (23rd in the league) and have one of the worst ground games in the league, averaging 75 yard a game. The Seahawks remain solid on defense, but the continued absence of Kam Chancellor is starting to wear on them. In their first four games they gave up 13.5 ppg, but in their next four games it was 20 ppg, with the Falcons, Saints and Bills each scoring at least 24.
And if the Bills can score that much on the Seahawks, how many points do you think Tom Brady and the Patriots can ring up? Since Brady’s return from his 4-game suspension the Pats have averaged 34 ppg, while Brady’s average day has consisted of 24-for-34 passing for 330 yards, 3 TDs and 0 interceptions. He leads the league in completion percentage, TD percentage, interception percentage, yards per attempt, passer rating (a nonsensical 133.9), and QBR. Brady may be without Martellus Bennett, who left last week’s 41-25 win over Buffalo with an bum leg, but he’ll still have Gronk at his disposal, as well as deep threat Chris Hogan (20.6 yards per catch) and possession receiver supreme Julian Edelman. And who can forget the human rhino that is LeGarrette Blount, who’s rushed for 609 yards and 9 TDs on 161 carries? The trade of linebacker Jamie Collins hurts the defense, to be sure, but this is still a unit that is more than strong enough to keep opponents within reach of the explosive offense, as they allow an average of just 16.5 ppg.
This will be the first time Brady has faced the Seahawks since beating them in Super Bowl XLIX, you should expect essentially the same result but with a lot less drama.
Los Angeles Rams (3-5) vs New York Jets (3-6)
Atlanta Falcons (6-3) vs Philadelphia Eagles (4-4)
Chicago Bears (2-6) vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-5)
Green Bay Packers (4-4) vs Tennessee Titans (4-5)
Minnesota Vikings (5-3) vs Washington Redskins (4-3-1)
San Francisco 49ers (1-7) vs Arizona Cardinals (3-4-1)
Dallas Cowboys (7-1) vs Pittsburgh Steelers (4-4)
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