Seattle is a daunting place to travel for an NFL team on any night of the week, but under the bright lights of Monday night – you can bet the Bills are in tough in Week 9. Both teams enter this crucial clash currently jockeying for a playoff spot as the league enters the final stretch, but after a big beatdown at home last week by Tom Brady and the Patriots, the Bills need wins now and need to get back on track. The downside of that is that obviously won’t be coming easy to them as Seattle remains one of the league’s top teams. Though their offence has struggled of late, their defence is exceptional, and they remain nearly impossible to beat playing in front of the ‘12th Man’ at the always rowdy CenturyLink Field.
This should be an exceptional football game on Monday night, as both teams enter with four wins. Buffalo has shown an ability to hang with anybody and with a rested and hopefully healthy LeSean McCoy back in the fold, their offence will get a stern test from the Seattle front seven. Read on below for a detailed game breakdown, analysis, and a prediction to cap off a successful Week 9 in the NFL.
Bills vs. Seahawks Betting Odds:
Buffalo Bills +7 (-115)
@ Seattle Seahawks (-105)
Over 44 (-110)
Under 44 (-110)
Betting odds provided by Bovada.lv
Bills vs. Seahawks Pick:
Right now the Bills are devoid of offensive playmakers. Injuries have ravaged their talent. So much so that they went out this week and signed wideout Percy Harvin from retirement. Harvin was talented when he did play and definitely isn’t over the hill, but you’ve got to think his contributions might be a tad limited in the early stages of his comeback attempt. Meanwhile, it is expected that Buffalo will get back LeSean McCoy from injury. This is huge news for the Bills as he adds an entirely different dimension to how they attack. Seattle’s run defence took a big loss recently when Michael Bennett went down with an injury and that should open up big holes for McCoy. Last week New Orleans was solid in moving the chains on the ground, and if that’s the case again on Monday night, don’t be surprised if the Bills have success running on this Seattle stop unit.
Losing Bennett has also diminished the presence of a viable pass rush in Seattle. This has put added stress on a secondary that is currently without Kam Chancellor. Don’t get me wrong – the Seahawks’ defence is still legendary, but these key omissions have revealed some flaws. Buffalo does have enough talent to expose this. Without a proper pass rush, look for Tyrod Taylor to do just fine in a hostile environment on Monday night. He’s proven to be a quick thinker, and when plays aren’t there downfield, he has great ability to scramble and acquire yards on his feet. Buffalo will present challenges for this Seattle stop unit.
Seattle on the other hand has been frustrating on offence. Given their personnel they simply should be better, but that hasn’t materialized in 2016, and it is definitely the reason they’re only 4-2-1 so far. It is clear that star QB Russell Wilson is not at his healthiest or best, and he really can’t move in and out of the pocket. He thrives when he’s scrambling and keep plays alive, but he simply does not appear to be healthy enough to do that right now. Wilson has been limited to a pocket passer, and that’s just not his greatest strength.
It also doesn’t help that Wilson gets poor protection from his offensive line. They’ve struggled mightily so far this season, and this does not bode well at all for Monday night. Buffalo brings the heat – they’ve got a heavy pass rush. Look for the duo of Lorenzo Alexander and Jerry Hughes to apply pressure all night on Wilson, making things very difficult for him.
Seattle still does many things well, and when fully healthy there is definitely a case to be made that they are still the top team in the NFL – but right now that just isn’t the case. Even with their great homefield advantage, they shouldn’t be touchdown favourites over a quality football team like the Bills. Right now, Seattle is too banged up on defence, and on offence – they’ve got an immobile quarterback who can’t rely on a consistent run game to bail him out. The Bills do lots of things well and specifically things that will give Seattle fits on Monday evening. With McCoy back in the lineup, roll with the Bills to cover in Seattle.
PICK = Bills +7 (-115)