Game Overview ::
By mjohnson86 >>
- Seattle’s offense finally showed some signs of life in Week 13 against the 49ers.
- Houston’s defensive weakness is clearly against the run, unfortunately Seattle has shown no consistency in that area.
- This game has the lowest total on the slate and two very conservative head coaches.
- Seattle still has a very slim chance to make the playoffs if they win out, while Russell Wilson trade rumors may force the Seahawks to finally let him loose as he has been asking them to do for years.
How seattle Will Try To Win ::
Seattle is throwing at the fourth-highest situation-neutral pass rate in the league over the last four weeks. They have poor run blocking and minimal talent in their backfield, making it nearly impossible to “establish the run” with any degree of success. Perhaps the most exciting thing about the Week 13 win over the 49ers was the fact that Wilson attempted 37 passes, his second-most of the season, in a game that the Seahawks won and led for much of the game. In the Seahawks’ other two victories with Wilson at QB this season, he attempted only 23 passes in each outing.
Perhaps the Texans’ porous run defense will cause Pete Carroll some excitement as a spot to rekindle the running game, but my take on this game comes from a much bigger macro viewpoint. This week, reports surfaced that Wilson would be open to trades to three specific teams this offseason (Saints, Giants, and Broncos). Reports like that in the middle of the season are rarely by accident, and there is usually a motive behind it. At this point, what do the Seahawks have to lose by finally going all-in and letting Wilson rip it? They are 4-8 with their only real chance of making the playoffs being winning out and are at a point where losing their franchise cornerstone is a very real possibility. For this season, the Seahawks have to win games and have games left against the Rams and Cardinals. After losing Jamaal Adams for the season, it is safe to say the Seahawks are going to need to be able to score a lot of points to beat those two teams. For the long-term, showing Wilson that you will concede and let him run the offense how he wants to may be the only way to salvage things at this point. Pete Carroll may not have it in him to do it, but for the good of the organization, the right way for Seattle to play in this game is clearly with an aggressive pass-first approach.
How houston Will Try To Win ::
Houston has been running the ball at a top-10 situation-neutral rate, despite terrible success in doing so — they are dead last in rushing offense DVOA, yards per carry, and rushing offense PFF grade. They play at a middle-of-the-pack pace based on their situation-neutral pace of play. The Texans defense has actually been solid from an effectiveness and efficiency standpoint this season, but their offense has been so bad and struggled to maintain drives this season which has led to teams eventually breaking the dam with volume.
On paper, the Seahawks present a clear “path of least resistance” through the air as they have a bottom-tier pass defense in almost any metric. They also just lost all-pro safety Jamal Adams for the season, and while coverage wasn’t necessarily the strong point of his game, losing a leader on the defense like that can lead to miscommunications and defensive lapses. Despite all of that, Houston is unlikely to be very aggressive through the air until they have to. Everything they have shown us is that they will attempt to make it an ugly game and keep Seattle close before hoping for a few good bounces to pull out a win late.
Likeliest Game Flow ::
Only one of the last seven Texans games has seen the teams combine for 40 or more points. However, in four of those games, Houston’s opponent scored over 30 points. The Seahawks are clearly the team most likely to control this game, and with the history of Pete Carroll teams, that brings up a scary proposition of a quick-moving, run-heavy game that doesn’t produce much. However, as explored earlier, there are a lot of factors that could point Seattle towards an aggressive approach from the outset that would spike this game’s production “on the way up.” Houston’s porous running game and talent deficient passing offense often leads to short drives and putting the ball in their opponents’ hands more often. Many of Seattle’s struggles this year have been caused by a lack of play volume, something that should not be an issue here against an opponent who is so poor at sustaining drives. Over the last six games, Texans opponents have averaged 69.7 plays per game. The biggest concern here is if Seattle struggles to put up points in the first half and the game stays relatively close, Carroll could revert to old habits and take a very conservative approach to ensure they escape with a win.
I also want to note that this game does have an outside chance of going far past expectations. The thought process that makes me see that angle is you have a team that is incentivized to be very aggressive through the air on one side of the ball, and the other offense is facing one of the worst pass defenses in the league, who also just lost the best player in their secondary.
TOP PLAYS OF THE WEEKEND
SORTABLE GREEN ZONE TOUCHES
TEAM & PLAYER DK POINTS
DFS+ Interpretation ::
By LexMiraglia10 >>
- Tyrod has 2 pass TDs, 2 rush TDs, & 5 INT in 4 games since returning, with 0 games of 20+ DK pts
- Tyrod is questionable with torn ligaments in his wrist
- Mills has 9 TOs in 7 games
- Mills has scored over 11 DK pts just twice, and one came after falling down 38-0 vs LAR
- SEA has allowed the 9th fewest QB DK pts/g, and Cousins is the only QB to score more than 2 TDs vs SEA
- Cooks in 6 games with Mills: 4:28:1 (half) // 9:112 // 5:47 // 3:23 // 9:89 // 5:21 // 6:83:1 // 3:38 (half)
- Cooks in 5 games with Taylor: 5:132 // 5:50 (half) // 6:56 // 2:18 // 3:45:1 // 0:0 (half)
- Moore & Conley both had 60+ yds vs NE, but Cooks is the only other HOU WR to have 60+ yds in a game this year (5 times)
- After three 20+ DK pt scores to open the year, Cooks has just one (20.3) in the previous nine games
- SEA has allowed the 9th fewest WR DK pts/g on the 7th fewest WR tg faced
- SEA has allowed the 2nd most RB DK pts/g, behind the most RB rec yds
- HOU RBs have just one combined game of 30+ rec yds in the entire season
- Rush att leader since trading Ingram (5g): Burkhead (44) // Johnson (29) // Lindsay (12)
- Ingram’s 14.5 DK pts in W1 on 26 rush att is the highest score from a HOU RB this year
- HOU has allowed 250 pass yds/g and 18 TDs to 14 INT
- Russ has yet to throw for 250 yds in 4 games since returning (nor the 2 games before that)
- Russ score 27.1 & 26.3 DK pts vs IND & TEN to start the year
- Russ has averaged 14.7 DK pts in the 7 games since, with a high of just 22.6 DK pts
- HOU ranks 6th in def pass DVOA
- SEA WRs since Russ returned::
- Metcalf: 3:26 // 4:31 // 1:13 // 5:60
- Lockett: 2:23 // 4:115 // 3:96 // 7:68:1
- Metcalf has actually out-targeted Lockett 28-26 in that span
- WRs with 70+ yds vs HOU: Chark (86:1), MJJ (77:1) // Moore (126) // Diggs (114), Sanders (74) // Hilton (80) // Kupp (115:1), Van (88) // Waddle (83) // Westbrook (107) // Pittman (77)
- HOU has allowed five 20+ DK pt scores to WRs
- HOU has allowed the 3rd highest success rate to WRs
- 19 RBs in 12 games have topped 50 total yds vs HOU
- Without Collins last week, SEA distributed RB touches between Peterson (11), Penny (11), & Homer (8)
- Penny’s 62 total yds was his first game of 20+ yds
- Peterson gained just 16 yds on his 11 att