Seattle Seahawks DVOA outlook for week 7. The Seahawks move up to No. 2 overall in DVOA, and the forward-looking DAVE metric has Seattle as the NFL’s best team.
I’m a little late with this week’s article after spending the week in Disneyland with the family (totally worth it) so I’m going to make this one quick.
Following week 6, not much changed for Seattle. They now hold the first and second rank in Football Outsider’s DAVE and DVOA, respectively, with Minnesota mirroring. These two teams sit comfortably ahead of the 3rd place team, Buffalo.
Buffalo and Dallas continue to outperform preseason expectations and now sit third and fourth in the rankings. The most significant change this week is Pittsburgh falling out of the top ten following their ugly loss to Miami and Arizona moving up to replace them. Big Ben’s injury will likely keep Pittsburgh out of the top ten for the foreseeable future, while Arizona can solidify their place in the top ten with a strong showing Sunday night.
Week 5 Recap
Not much changed in terms of Seattle’s DVOA splits after their headline making matchup with the Falcons. Their rushing game remains as challenged as their passing game is efficient. The defense, a couple lapses in coverage aside, remains quite dominant.
I still hold out hope that the run game will improve, if for no other reason than the fact that Pete Carroll will continue to emphasize it. It’s too ingrained in his philosophy to ever abandon the run game but for select in-game situations. Remember, this is a coach who once gave 18 carries in a single game to DuJuan Harris. I feel like the offensive line is getting really close to putting together a good performance for an entire game.
Defensively, Seattle didn’t move from the top thanks to three quarters of great football against the top offensive DVOA team. I think the defense we saw in the first half of the Atlanta game is the real 2016 Seahawks defense. Although the third quarter is a reminder of how tenuous things are with this team…injuries to Kam and Bennett and it all falls apart.
Week 5 Outlook
Seattle has played very well in Arizona of late, winning the last three in a row there by an average of almost 24 points. In each of those games Seattle scored over 30 points, something they have yet to do this season. Perhaps a little of Primetime Pete’s magic can conjure up another dominant performance in a nationally televised game tonight.
According to DVOA, the weak link in Arizona’s defense is their rush defense. Unfortunately, this is also Seattle’s offensive weakness. The Seahawks offensive line has unsurprisingly been the main culprit for Seattle’s struggles in the running game, but they’ve shown flashes here and there. Most of the issues have been with consistency. Perhaps this is the game they put it together and start dictating play in the trenches.
If the rush game can’t get right tonight, this game may become a battle of the Seahawks 8th ranked passing game and Arizona’s top ranked pass defense. This may be the week to try some new plays featuring the C.J.’s and Jimmy Graham. Perhaps Seattle can locate some mismatches by moving “non-standard” receivers around.
On defense, it really comes down to one player: David Johnson. If Seattle can limit Arizona’s supremely talented running back, I think the game is over. Carson Palmer doesn’t scare me anymore. He seems toast ever since his Jake Delhomme-esque playoff performance to end last season. I would even consider shadowing Fitzgerald with Sherman to all but eliminate the Cardinals passing game outside of Johnson.
I keep waiting for the big Seahawks “get right game”, so I may as well continue to predict it until I get it right. Tonight, the Seahawks defense will limit David Johnson to around 100 total yards and a touchdown, while pummeling Carson Palmer with constant pressure. Meanwhile, Christine Michael, C.J. Spiller, and/or C.J. Prosise will gash the Cardinals defense enroute to a 27-18 win.