The Saints hope to regroup after a late bye and restore their world champion swagger. Seattle wants to avoid another blowout loss after getting the best of Arizona last week. Matt Hasselbeck’s threadbare offensive line could have trouble with some of the exotic blitz looks that will be thrown their way. Reggie Bush could be back from a long-term injury. The Saints are counting on Drew Brees getting back into his groove after a sub par, by Brees’ standards, first half of the year. The NFC West leading (5-4) Seattle Seahawks travel across the nation to clash with the rested (6-3) New Orleans Saints, kickoff slated for 4:05 PM EST.
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While the Seahawks are in first place in the NFC West they have to be the weakest team leading a division. Their offense does not rank in the top 22 in the league in passing yards per game or rushing yards per game and their pass defense ranks 28th. Matt Hasselbeck broke his non throwing wrist last week in the game against Arizona, but he still passed for 333 yards and 1 TD. He and WR Mike Williams (11 catches 145 yards last week) have become a solid tandem, but they will have a tough time in this game going up against the Saints and their top-ranked pass defense. This season the Saints are giving up an average of only 166.3 passing yards per game and last week they shut down Carolina, as the Panthers only had 68 passing yards. Seattle WR Mike Williams, the Comeback Story of the Year in the NFL, had 11 catches last week in the 36-18 win over Arizona. He needs a big game for the Seahawks to have any chance.
Here come the Saints. They are 6-3 and are getting healthy. Reggie Bush is expected to return this week, which should make the offense more lively. New Orleans still doesn’t have much of a running game and exposes quarterback Drew Brees to the pass rush, but they won a title with it, so how can you doubt. The Saints can get by without the run because the defense is much better than last season. They have an emerging All-Pro in defensive tackle Sedrick Ellis and cornerback Jabari Greer is healthy and thriving. The Saints have won 2 in a row and are 1 game behind the Atlanta Falcons in the NFC South. New Orleans has turned things around after a slow start and they hope that the return of RB Reggie Bush will help their struggling rushing offense. RB Pierre Thomas, who led the Saints in rushing yards last season, is still out with an ankle sprain and is unlikely to play this Sunday. Drew Brees has played well this season and last week in the win over Carolina he passed for 253 yards with 2 TD and 1 INT. One of his TD tosses was to TE Jeremy Shockey, who was hurt on the play and is questionable for this game.
The Seahawks main weakness on defense is their passing D ranked 28th in the league. To help the secondary out Seattle must pressure Brees and this season the Seahawks are tied with the 3rd most sacks in the league (26). However, the Saints’ offensive line has been a rock only allowing 14 sacks on the season. If Bush comes back it will give the Saints a big lift and he will be sharing carries with Chris Ivory and Julius Jones, who was released by Seattle earlier in the season. One bright, well not that bright, spot for the Seahawks has been their rushing defense, which ranks 14th in the league. Coordinator Gregg Williams leads the Saints defense. Williams is a respected coach who you might recall was responsible for those Redskins defenses that were so tough in the playoffs for two years. Matt Hasselbeck will be quite familiar with his scheme, and Williams will be familiar with Hasselbeck. This game qualifies as one that cannot be won without Matt’s experience. Playing with a broken wrist is tenuous, and if he needs to leave the game, there is almost no way the Seahawks could recover.
Seahawks vs Saints Spread, Line and Betting Odds:
Seattle Seahawks +11.5
@ New Orleans Saints -11.5
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Seahawks vs Saints Betting Predictions for Week 11:
Spread Prediction (TOP PLAY) – The New Orleans Saints have had a week to sit back, work out some of their offensive issues, and game plan for an inferior Seattle Seahawks ball club. I expect this game to be over by halftime as the Seahawks have proven all year long that they are just not an elite club. Seattle is 3-11 ATS in their last 14 road games and 2-8 ATS in their last 10 games against teams with a winning record and the Saints are 5-0 ATS in their last 5 home games against teams with a winning road record. The Saints are starting to get back to form and Reggie Bush is coming back while the Seahawks are simply not a very good team. Seattle only has 1 win against a team with a winning record and they have issues on both sides of the ball. Brees will come out and play great and light up the scoreboard, as the Saints will easily win this game and cover the big 12-point spread. We will consider the home team spanking an inferior NFC West club.
Game Total Prediction – I expect the Saints to work on all facets of their offensive game today, which means points will be scored. Seattle, for all their faults, do know how to put points up on the road. The total has gone OVER in 4 of Seattle’s last 6 games on the road. The last time these squads hooked up, they accounted for 52 points and that was with both clubs sporting back up pivots. I expect the Saints to exert some offensive frustration on this Seahawks defense and we could even see the Saints offense cover this total. Take a look at the OVER in the bayou on Sunday. Cheers!