A team can generate a statistical anomaly that doesn’t fully comprehend what is the driving force behind that number.
Take the Seattle Seahawks for instance. They have given up more passing yards than any team in the National Football League. While that may look bad, if that stat is weighed against the fact that the Seahawks are prolific at scoring, which means opponents have had to abandon their running games early in an attempt to catch up through the air, a new light is shed on the Seahawks defense..
That easily explains why Seattle has given up a league high 1,604 yards, more than twice as many as five other teams, and still have a perfect 4-0 straight-up and point spread record. One of four teams in the league to have won all four of their season opening games. The Seahawks are joined in this elite category by the Green Bay Packers, Kansas City Chiefs and Buffalo Bills.
Most football people in the know trust a team with a solid defense to win a championship over a squad with a potent attack. There are exceptions, but they are few and far between. If we give a pass on the Seahawks defensive stat based on further examination, we could expect them to hold their home field advantage and pin the Minnesota Vikings with a decisive loss tonight.
After all, the Vikings come into this contest with only a single win this season, that achieved last week over the still winless Houston Texans.
The Seahawks winning record in primetime and the problems Minnesota’s quarterback has had both against winning teams and in primetime bodes well for Seattle tonight..
Seemingly all past results leading up to this game point to the edges owned by tonight’s home team. But, what that doesn’t take into account is what the psyche is for these two teams coming into this contest. Who feels the pressure to play better than they have up to now, and what team is confident that a win is just 60 minutes of game clock away.
That’s the advantage Minnesota carries into the competition tonight. The need to overcome, the need to play their best to avoid getting blown out. The Vikings are a perfect candidate for being a team that turns around a slow start with a solid second quarter and rest of the season burst. They were in the playoffs last year and lost tough games to talented opponents over the first few weeks this season.
There is a lot left in the Vikings motivational tank, whether it is enough to overcome the seemingly built in advantages for the home team tonight is yet to be seen. But, a compelling argument in favor of the road team tonight begins with what the prior results lead to over what they simply were.
The Seahawks have played better than the Vikings, won all their games, but the season has led to a much more focused point based on need favoring Minnesota. An opportunity for the Vikings and Kirk Cousins to extinguish all their demons with a convincing road victory over a winning team in primetime.
Perhaps the Seahawks pass defense is as bad as the stats indicate. If that’s true, then this could be a coming out party for Cousins. Additionally, the Seahawks defense has not shown they are capable of defending a double-digit lead, making points on the spread that much more valuable.
It all works for me.
Qoxhi Picks: Minnesota Vikings (+6½) over Seattle Seahawks