And how many times will the Seahawks run the ball? That and more debated below.
Here we go. Almost in time for kickoff are this week’s Seahawks Over/Unders and my bets (yes, I’m setting both the over/under number and then making my own bet. That’s how it works here):
2.5 — Russell Wilson touchdown passes. Wilson threw three last week in Seattle’s 27-24 loss at Denver. It was the 19th time in Wilson’s career he has thrown three or more touchdown passes but just the third time Seattle lost in a game in which he did so. So I’ll assume if he throws three or more TDs again the Seahawks will get the win. The Bears gave up three last week to Aaron Rodgers. But that was in Green Bay and with Rodgers pulling off a few miracles along the say. So I’ll take the UNDER for Wilson tonight.
29 — Number of Seahawks’ rushing attempts. Seattle had 16 last week, and just 14 from the tailbacks, in running just 55 plays overall — the Seahawks averaged 63 plays per game last year. Pete Carroll and Brian Schottenheimer have each said that number was not nearly enough. So expect the Seahawks to come out and rush it one heck of a lot more tonight. The question will be how long they will stick with it if it’s not working, which it may not given the strength of the Bears’ defense up front. Still, I think the Seahawks are going to try to make a point of it here so I will take the OVER.
84 — Chris Carson rushing yards. This seems like a reasonable total to expect Carson could get if he doubles his seven carries from last week and the running game is going reasonably well enough. The Bears think they could be pretty stout against the run so this won’t be an easy task, and I’m going to take the UNDER. But if Carson gets the over, I think I’d pencil in a Seattle win, as well.
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5.5 — Tyler Lockett receptions. Lockett can’t play any more than he did last week, when he was on the field for all but one snap. But he figures to be targeted more now that Doug Baldwin is out from the start of the game and Lockett will likely slide into getting more of his snaps in the slot. Lockett has had more than five receptions just give times in his 48-game career. But this feels like a night the Seahawks are going to need him from the start, so I’ll take the OVER.
2.5 — Seattle sacks. The Seahawks had just one last week on Denver’s Case Keenum and just five quarterback hurries overall. Don’t think the line didn’t hear about it — Carroll spoke about the failings of the line pretty frankly during th week. A full game out of Dion Jordan — who had just 15 snaps against Denver — should help. And the Seahawks may also do some things schematically to bring additional pressure, though the issue there is the banged-up back seven and how much they want to ask of them. The Bears allowed four sacks last week at Green Bay, and the combination of those two things has me taking the OVER here.
48.5 — Michael Dickson punting average. The fabulous Seattle rookie averaged 59.0 yards per kick last week in the rarefied air of Denver (in case you haven’t heard, it’s at altitude there). Now Dickson and the Seahawks go from 5,280 feet to 595, with Solider Field sitting right off of Lake Michigan. So the punts won’t travel as far. Still, here’s a bet that a few will still travel long and majestically. We’ll take the OVER with the Seahawks needing Dickson to help contain the returning of Tarik Cohen, who had a 42-yard return last week and is one of the better ones in the NFL.
3 — Number of times someone in your group watching the game on TV tonight asks “How’d he get the name ‘Booger’ anyway?’’ I’ll take the OVER, assuming you have at least three people in your group.