It’s appropriate that the New England Patriots and Seattle Seahawks will occupy a prime-time slot on the NFL’s schedule this weekend, since their last meeting produced one of the most dramatic finishes in league history. With both teams sitting atop their respective divisions, the Seahawks pay a visit to New England on Sunday night in their first matchup since Super Bowl XLIX.
The Seahawks were on the verge of winning back-to-back Super Bowls when they last saw the Patriots, perched at the 1-yard line with 20 seconds to play. Instead of running the ball, Seattle elected to pass and Russell Wilson was picked off by Malcolm Butler at the goal line in a stunning finish. “It’s a terrible memory,” Seahawks offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell said Wednesday. “Every time it comes up it sticks in your gut. But it’s a new season.” New England is looking every bit like a Super Bowl favorite, tied for the best record in the NFL and winning four straight by an average of 16.3 points since Tom Brady returned from a four-game suspension.
TV: 8:30 p.m. ET, NBC.
LINE HISTORY: The Patriots opened as 7.5-point home favorites and, despite a brief drop to -7 on Friday, remain at the opening figure of -7.5 on Sunday night. The total hit the betting board at 48.5 and was bet up to 49.5 before ending up at 49. Check out the complete history here.
WHAT SHARPS SAY: “The Seattle Seahawks anxiously look to avenge a loss to the New England Patriots in Super Bowl 49 when they invade Foxborough Sunday night in what should be the top rated game NBC-TV this season to date. The question is whether Seattle’s Super Bowl revenge outweighs Tom Brady’s revenge on the league since his return for the Deflategate suspension. It all comes down to QB Russell WIlson’s well documented success in games against former Super Bowl winning quarterbacks and Brady’s penchant for delivering in prime time games.” – Covers Expert Marc Lawrence
WEATHER REPORT: The forecast for Gillette Stadium is calling for clear
skies with temperature in the low 40’s with winds blowing west at 7mph.
Seahawks – TE Jimmy Graham (probable, knee), S Kam Chancellor (probable, groin), RB Christine Michael (questionable, hamstring), TE Luke Willson (questionable, knee) T Bradley Sowell (questionable, knee), CB DeAndre Elliott (questionable, hamstring), LB Cassius Marsh (questionable, foot), RB Thomas Rawls (out, shin)
Patriots – WR Malcolm Mitchell (probable, hamstring), TE Martellus Bennett (probable, leg), WR Julian Edelman (probable, foot), DL Alan Branch (questionable, back), DL Woodrow Hamilton (questionable, leg), RB Dion Lewis (probable, knee), G Tre Jackson (questionable, knee)
ABOUT THE SEAHAWKS (5–2-1 SU, 4-4 ATS, 4-4 O/U) Seattle is 3-0 against AFC East opponents, holding off Buffalo 31-25 on Monday night after winning at the New York Jets (27-17) in Week 4 and squeezing past Miami (12-10) in the season opener. Tight end Jimmy Graham is coming off his best game of the season as he prepares to resume a rivalry against Patriots stud Rob Gronkowski, hauling in a season-high eight catches for 103 yards and a pair of touchdowns. With the Seahawks limited to only 33 yards rushing on 12 attempts against Buffalo, running back Christine Michael could yield carries to rookie C.J. Prosise. Safety Kam Chancellor is expected back in the lineup to bolster a defense that has allowed 25 points in each of the past two games.
ABOUT THE PATRIOTS (7-1 SU, 7-1 ATS, 3-5 O/U) New England is coming off a bye week, leaving coach Bill Belichick to address questions on why he sent a letter of support to President-elect Donald Trump. The Patriots are averaging 34 points since the return of Brady, who has thrown for 1,319 yards with 12 touchdowns and zero interceptions while 73.1 percent of his passes and posting a quarterback rating of 133.9. Gronkowski, who had one reception through four weeks due to injury, has taken off with Brady back under center, reeling in 21 catches for 473 yards while reaching the end zone in each of the last three games. The Patriots, who won at Buffalo 41-25 before their bye, allowed 16.5 points per game — just ahead of the Seahawks (16.8).
Patriots are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games following a bye week.
Over is 4-1 in Seahawks last 5 games on fieldturf.
Over is 5-0 in Patriots last 5 games in Week 10.
Over is 4-1 in Patriots last 5 games following a bye week.
Over is 4-0 in the last 4 meetings.
COVERS CONSENSUS: The bettors love the line for this game as users are split 50/50 on the line. As for the total, another 50/50 split. View full consensus data here.