In what is the highest-scoring season in NFL history, teams are combining to score an average of 50.6 points (or 25.3 per team) per game.
Your weekly Seahawks contest, though, is blowing that out of the water, with an average of 64.3 points being scored in every Seattle game.
Which means, yes, take the over when the Seahawks play, if you’re into that sort of thing.
You probably really should this week, as the Seahawks travel to Los Angeles to play the Rams. The game has the highest over-under on the board in the NFL this week at 55½ points, and it’d be an upset if the Rams didn’t get close to at least half of that.
In the last five games against the Seahawks, the Rams have scored at least 28 points, topping the 30 point mark in the other four.
And, well, you may not need reminding that the Seahawks are allowing 30.3 points per game.
So, yes, expecting a lot of points seems like the one safe thing Sunday.
Let’s take a look at some more keys:
Matchup to watch
Seattle WR DK Metcalf vs. LA cornerback Jalen Ramsey
Will the Rams actually put Ramsey — who is allowing a passer rating of just 66.0 — in man coverage on Metcalf as they did for most of last year’s game in Los Angeles (which was the only time they have faced off as Ramsey was acquired after the first game a year ago)? There’s no guarantee as the Rams have been moving Ramsey around some. But signs seemed to point to that during the weekand it would make sense given how dominant Metcalf has been this season. The two had some tense moments a year ago — Metcalf got a penalty for shoving Ramsey at one point — and Ramsey could point to his team’s 28-12 win, though Metcalf did make some plays with six catches for 78 yards. The Rams, meanwhile, have been so dominant with their pass defense — they rank first in the NFL allowing just 5.2 yards per pass attempt — that they haven’t allowed a receiver to get more than 70 yards in the last six games. Metcalf has gotten at least 92 in all but one game this season. Something has to give.
Player to watch
QB Russell Wilson
Like it or not, it’s time for Wilson to again put to the test one of his many amazing stats — a record of 32-8 following an in-season loss, best of any QB in the NFL since the 1970 merger. Wilson is coming off a rare four-turnover game — the most he’s had other than a five-interception game at Green Bay in 2016 — and he is rarely careless with the ball in two straight games (though it’s worth remembering each of his interceptions last week were in pretty desperate “trying-to-make-a-play” situations).
Wilson is still among the leaders for MVP in the NFL. But he also has seven turnovers combined in the last three weeks (all in Seattle’s two losses) and more important right now is limiting those mistakes and getting the Seahawks back on the winning track. Seattle will again need to rely on Wilson as much as ever with running backs Chris Carson (foot) and Carlos Hyde (hamstring) declared out on Saturday due to injury.
Coaching decision to watch
To blitz or not to blitz?
This was the same decision we highlighted last week, as well. But for now, it seems to be the most relevant question as the Seahawks search for anything to improve their defense. Seattle blitzed Buffalo’s Josh Allen on 26 of 48 dropbacks last week, notching a season-high seven sacks. But it was sort of an all-or-nothing approach — Allen was officially pressured just 10 times overall in completing 31 of 38 passes for 415 yards and four touchdowns. And Seattle’s injury situation at cornerback with both Shaquill Griffin and Quinton Dunbar ruled out up may mean Seattle has to be less aggressive and not put its defensive backs in as many man coverage situations.
What to do about Aaron Donald?
Donald, the Rams’ five-time All-Pro tackle, is good against everyone but seems to often save some of his best for Seattle — he has 12 sacks in 12 games against the Seahawks, his most against any opponent. Seattle has gotten solid play from its offensive line and will need a group effort to get it done against Donald, who primarily plays the three-technique tackle spot but also lines up at end regularly. The job of blocking Donald will be more complicated for Seattle, though, with starting center Ethan Pocic ruled out with a concussion, which means fourth-year player Kyle Fuller getting his first start for the Seahawks at center — and his first start of any kind in the NFL since 2017. Good news is veteran left guard Mike Iupati should be back.
Players who could surprise
Tight ends Greg Olsen/Will Dissly/Jacob Hollister
While the Rams have one of the best pass defenses in the NFL, they have proven to be a little susceptible to tight ends. Four of the nine passing touchdowns they have allowed have been to tight ends, and of the 197 passing yards per game they have given up, 50.5 have come to tight ends. Dissly had a nice game against the Rams last year in Seattle with four receptions for 81 yards, while Hollister had four receptions for 31 yards against the Rams in Los Angeles last December.
That’s Seattle’s record this year when winning the turnover margin, meaning the Seahawks are 1-2 when they don’t.
Turnover margin seems like such an obvious factor that it can be easy to overlook. But after the last three weeks, when Seattle lost two games in which it had turnover margins of minus-one and minus-four, it’s worth highlighting again.
No other stat is a much of a predictor of Seattle’s success than turnovers the last five years. Consider that, since 2013, the Seahawks are 34-4 when winning it, and 14-21-1 when they don’t. That includes going 13-1 the last two years when winning the turnover battle, and 4-6 when they don’t.
The Seahawks have scored 75 points off turnovers this year and have had just 29 scored against them, including 16 last week against Buffalo. In Seattle’s six wins this year, the Seahawks have a 68-10 advantage against opponents scoring off turnovers.
The only game Seattle won this year when it didn’t win the turnover battle was against New England, when each team had one turnover that resulted in seven points for the other. Obviously, much of this rest on the shoulders of Wilson. But it’s also been why Carroll has usually preferred a little more conservative offensive approach and it will be interesting to see if Seattle dials down Let Russ Cook a little bit in coming weeks as a result. But that may be hard to do Sunday with Carson and Hyde out.
The final word
Rams 35, Seahawks 31
All along, this felt like a dangerous game for Seattle, if nothing else because the Rams have won four of the last five between the two. The Rams’ only loss came at CenturyLink, where usually reliable kicker Greg Zuerlein missed a 44-yard field goal in the final seconds. It’s tempting to think things can’t get worse for Seattle’s defense, and the guess here is the group will play better. But the injury issues in the secondary and at running back may be too much to overcome to get the road “W” against a team that is coming off its bye week and pretty fully healthy.