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Patriots vs. Seahawks: Spread Info, Line and Predictions

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Patriots vs. Seahawks: Spread Info, Line and Predictions
Jim Rogash/Getty Images

Tom Brady will make his first appearance in Seattle for the New England Patriots. He is out to prove their top-ranked offense can move the ball and score on the Seattle Seahawks and the 12th Man.

This is one of two games on Seattle's schedule that figures to determine if teams can still win in the NFL based on a dominant defense and solid ground game. That is the plan Pete Carroll started working on three seasons ago, and he is close to having the team he wants.

Seattle is the top-ranked defense in terms of yards allowed and is second to the San Francisco 49ers in points per game. They lead the 49ers in that category as well though when adjusting for points allowed by the offense and special teams.

Both teams come into this game off victories that demonstrate their strengths.

New England jumped out to a 31-7 lead over the Denver Broncos in the third quarter last weekend. It amassed an efficient 35 first downs on 444 yards over 89 plays.

Seattle secured a win over the Carolina Panthers with a smothering defense. Cam Newton and his wide receivers were rattled throughout the game. The Panther offense managed just 190 yards and three points.

 

Where: CenturyLink Field, Seattle, WA
When: Sunday, Oct. 14 at 4:05 p.m. ET
Watch: CBS (Check local listings)
Listen: Patriots Radio Network, Seahawks Radio Network
Live Stream: NFL Sunday TicketAudio Pass (Pay Services)
 
 

Spread: Patriots -4 (via Bovada)

This game is just about the ultimate battle of a great offense against a great defense. That honor applies more to the matchup between the 49ers vs. the Patriots, but that will be a home game for New England.

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San Francisco's defense on the road isn't quite as good as Seattle's in the CLink.

The Seahawk pass rush has flourished at home. The crowd noise makes it almost impossible for visiting teams to get a jump off the snap of the ball, eliminating their typical advantage.

The difference-maker in this game figures to be Aaron Hernandez. Seattle hasn't done a good job of covering tight ends under Pete Carroll and Gus Bradley. New England has two athletic players at the position that are rather good.

It is hard to pass up taking Seattle and the points in this game.


 
Over/Under: 45 (via Bovada)

Unless the Patriots find a way to walk all over one of the best defenses in the NFL it will be hard for these teams to reach the over. Seattle plays a conservative offense that leans on its run game and ball control.

 

Injury Report (via NFL.com and CBSSports.com)

Player

POS

Injury

Practice Status

Game Status

New England

Brandon Bolden

RB

Knee

Limited

Probable

Tom Brady

QB

 

Limited

Probable

Brandon Deaderick

DE

Ankle

Limited

Questionable

Julian Edelman

WR

Hand

Limited

Questionable

Justin Francis

DT

Ankle

Limited

Questionable

Steve Gregory

S

Hip

Did Not Participate

Doubtful

Rob Gronkowski

TE

Hip

Limited

Probable

Aaron Hernandez

TE

Ankle

Limited

Probable

Dont'a Hightower

LB

Hamstring

Limited

Questionable

Michael Hoomanawanui

TE

Concussion

Did Not Participate

--

Kyle Love

DT

Knee

Full Participation

--

Logan Mankins

G

 

Limited

Probable

Nick McDonald

C

 

Limited

--

Sterling Moore

CB

Knee

Limited

--

Shane Vereen

RB

Foot

Limited

--

Sebastian Vollmer

T

 

Limited

Probable

Wes Welker

WR

Ankle

Limited

--

Tracy White

LB

Foot

Did Not Participate

Questionable


Seattle

Jaye Howard

DT

Foot

Did Not Participate

Doubtful

Marshawn Lynch

RB

Back

Full Participation

Probable

Clinton McDonald

DT

Groin

Did Not Participate

Doubtful

John Moffitt

G

Knee

Did Not Participate

Out

Max Unger

C

Hip

Did Not Participate

Doubtful

It is hard to take a Bill Belichick injury report too seriously. He has a tendency to overload the report to avoid accusations of having left players off that should have been included.

The most promising news is that Hernandez is making progress. He did drills early in the week but sat out the opening of practice on Friday.

 

Rick Stewart/Getty Images

Fantasy Impact

Despite the tough matchup, Tom Brady is as close to a week-in, week-out must-start as there is in fantasy football. He's likely to pick up a few points during their bye week as well.

Don't expect a huge game from New England's offense. Teams with a good back-up option and a favorable matchup might consider that option.

But New England will move the ball and score, mostly by virtue of Brady's arm. Look for him to utilize his tight ends to pick up a pair of touchdowns and 275 yards.

Speaking of tight ends...Gronk is a must-start against Seattle. Teams with Hernandez will want to wait for the latest news on his status. If he plays he should be in fantasy lineups.

Shy of not having other options, this isn't a good game for Patriot running backs or wide receivers. Seattle's corners will press Welker and crew, limiting their touches.

Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Some will be hesitant to start Marshawn Lynch against the strong Patriot run defense. Unless his owners have a glut of runners, he should be in the lineup. 

Lynch has performed regardless of the defense he's been facing and should be expected to pick up 85 yards and a touchdown on Sunday.

With Unger likely out in this game the Seahawks could have issues in pass protection. This isn't a good time to start their receivers, and it is never a good sign if an owner is contemplating starting Russell Wilson at quarterback.

 

Keys for Patriots

New England has to protect Tom Brady in this game and give its receivers time to find room in a big Seattle secondary. It is hard to have success with a quick-hit passing game against this defense.

Brady should be able to get the ball to his tight ends with regularity, though.

The biggest impact from the Patriot running backs could be in the passing game. Seattle's one-gap defensive front is disciplined and stingy. However, it does seem to lose backs in swing passes and down the seam.

 

David Welker/Getty Images

Keys for Seahawks

Pressure. Lots of pressure.

Seattle's defensive line has to find a way to keep Brady from getting comfortable in the pocket. It needs to hit him early and often to keep him from getting into rhythm. 

The same holds for Seattle's cornerbacks. They need to hit the Patriot receivers at the line and stay in press coverage. 

Cam Chancellor and Bobby Wagner need to be assigned to the tight ends and stick with them as well.

On offense, look for Seattle to open up the offense early in the game. The Seahawks can't be afraid to pass on early downs and give Wilson license to throw down the field.

Seattle also needs to limit its mistakes. The Seahawks have had too many penalties and were fortunate to rebound from a three-turnover performance last week.

 

Prediction: New England 17, Seattle 13

The Seahawks will give the Patriots a tougher matchup than they've had in recent weeks, but I see Seattle coming up just short. They just don't have enough offense to keep up.

Unless the Seahawks are able to capitalize on a few turnovers they will drop their first home game of the season.

 

Darin Pike is a writer for Bleacher Report's Breaking News Team and a Featured Columnist covering the NFL and Seattle Seahawks.

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