With their Legion of Boom days now just a memory, it was time for the focus of the Seattle Seahawks to turn to Russell Wilson and the offense. For many years, wins and Super Bowls, the defense was the catalyst. Now, the spotlight is definitely on Wilson, and he probably wishes it wasn’t. Wilson was harassed again in Monday night’s loss to the Bears and the Seahawks struggled to move the football. It was actually their defense that kept them in the game. The Seahawks look to break into the win column when they host the Dallas Cowboys in Week 3.
Watch this regular season Week 3 matchup live on Sunday, September 23, 2018, at 4:25 p.m. ET at CenturyLink Field.
NFL Opening Odds at BookMaker.eu
Dallas Cowboys +1
Seattle Seahawks -1
The line jumped the fence soon after hitting the board. Dallas opened as a 1-point favorite but the spread was quickly wagered in favor of Seattle and currently stands at Seahawks -1. Some of the luster has been wiped off Seattle after its 0-2 start, but they maintain one of the best home field advantages in the NFL. We’re likely to see more movement before the line settles down. The total opened at 41.5 and hasn’t moved.
Sean Lee – Regarded as the Cowboys leader on defense, Lee exited Sunday night’s game with a sore hamstring and didn’t return. Jason Garrett said Lee should be fine for the Seattle game, but he has dealt with a variety of injuries over the years that have limited his time on the field. The defense has been sharp in two outings with Lee posting nine tackles and a pass breakup.
Maliek Collins – The Cowboys defensive lineman suffered a sprained knee ligament against the Giants, leaving his status for this Sunday in doubt. Collins started and recorded a sack in the opener against Carolina and provides depth up front that allows Dallas to effectively rush the passer. And Randy Gregory is questionable after he sat out the Giants game with a concussion, further thinning the depth on the defensive line.
Matchup to Watch
There are some elite defenses in the NFL like the Jags, Vikings, Rams and the ... Cowboys! After frustrating Eli Manning last week and allowing only 29 points through two games, Dallas is close to entering the conversation. Six different players sacked Manning, the Boys allowed only 28 yards on 11 carries to No. 2 overall pick Saquon Barkley, and Odell Beckham Jr. was held to four receptions and 51 yards. That comes a week after they smothered Cam Newton in the opener, but lost the game.
Seattle needs to do a better job of protecting Wilson, who was sacked six times for the second straight week. The Bears surge was expected and the Seahawks still couldn’t withstand it. Seattle managed just 79 total yards in the first half and if not for a 56-yard Sebastian Janikowski field goal, they would have been scoreless. Seattle did most of its damage in the fourth quarter, scoring its two touchdowns and amassing nearly 200 yards, but it was too late.
Player to Watch
In order to relieve the pressure that is sure to come Wilson’s way, the Seahawks need to run the football and commit to the ground game. It was a point of emphasis for the coaching staff during the preseason and Seattle used its first-round pick on running back Rashaad Penny. But Pete Carroll and offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer have been quick to abandon the run.
Seattle backs had just 14 carries in the opener and that number increased to 19 on Monday night. It’s hard to get the running game going if you don’t run the football. Penny got a good look on Monday leading the team with 30 yards on 10 carries. If Schottenheimer sticks to his work, look for Penny to carry the load against Dallas.
Free ATS Pick
It’s too early to give up on the Seahawks and we’ve seen this in the past. Wilson will catch fire and the offense will start to click. Defensively, Seattle has been strong despite their losses and they could get K.J. Wright and Bobby Wagner back, which will make them even tougher on that side of the football.
The Seahawks will be happy to finally play a home game and they still have the best home field advantage in the NFL, which they will use to their advantage on Sunday. It’s a slim line but the 12th man is worth a few points. Take the Seahawks to cover with the score falling below the total.
NFL Betting Odds: Seahawks 20, Cowboys 13
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