- Cam Newton rushed for a team-high 75 yards Week 1
- Russell Wilson had as many TD passes as incompletions, 4, versus Falcons
- Seahawks secondary allowed three Falcon receivers to rack up 114+ yards
So far, so good in Cam Newton’s Comeback Player of the Year push. In his Patriots debut, Newton made things crystal clear: it’s his offense now. Granted, New England did need a fourth quarter drive and touchdown to put the game out of reach and cover the 7-point spread. The Pats 21-11 victory over the Dolphins wasn’t at all times pretty, but what did you expect in this pandemic-altered regular season opener?
Russell Wilson’s campaign to win his first NFL MVP began with a stupidly efficient performance in which he threw just as many touchdown passes as incompletions – four. The Seahawks’ 38-25 blowout win in Atlanta makes it hard to believe that the Falcons actually closed as 1-point home favorites. This goes to show you that even bookmakers are working somewhat blind heading into the 2020 season and value can be found on oddsboards the first few weeks.
|Week 2: New England Patriots vs Seattle Seahawks Game Info|
|Date: September 20, 2020, 8:20 p.m. ET|
|Stadium: CenturyLink Stadium|
|TV Coverage: NBC|
|Opening Odds: Seahawks -3.5 | O/U 44|
|How to Bet: Best Online Sportsbook Reviews|
The Seahawks opened as 3.5-point home favorites, but their dismantling of the Falcons likely pushed the line to Seattle -4. New England’s moneyline opened at +155. The point total opened at and remains 44 as of Monday morning. The TOTAL has gone over in six of Seattle’s last seven games against the AFC East.
Seattle is 2-7 against the spread in their last nine home games and just 1-5 ATS in their last six Week 2 contests.
With most New England SU and ATS trends tied to Tom Brady’s presence, it’s not really fair to highlight Patriots betting trends with Cam Newton the new guy behind center.
New England Patriots News and Notes
Cam Newton’s 75 rush yards were the most in a game for him since November 2017 and most for a Patriots quarterback since 1977. His 19 passing attempts were the fewest in a game since 2014.
A hodge-podge of five other Patriots players racked up the other 142 rushing yards as the passing game was placed on the back-burner. Julian Edelman led the Pats with 57 receiving yards. It’s hard to imagine this remaining the offensive scheme against a Seattle defense that allowed three Falcons to record 114-or-more receiving yards last Sunday. Newton’s arm will be tested for the first time since 2018.
Defensively, the Patriots won time of possession 35-25, turnover battle 3-0 and held the Dolphins to 4-for-11 on third downs. So, the defense that ranked first in a handful of categories, including points allowed per game, picked up right where it left off – albeit against a weak Dolphins roster.
Seattle Seahawks News and Notes
Let’s get the Wilson superlatives out of the way first. He was incredible in the season opener, completing 31-of-35 passes for 322 yards and four touchdowns. Nine different receivers finished with at least one reception.
However, the end result of the Seahawks-Falcons matchup could have looked quite different if not for Seattle’s fast start to the third quarter. Clinging to a 14-12 lead to start the second half, Wilson engineered a 10-play, 75-yard drive that resulted in a touchdown. On the ensuing drive, the Falcons fumbled a fake punt attempt, which led to another Seahawks touchdown five plays later. In a blink, Seattle led 28-12 and the rout was on.
And it’s a good thing because the Seahawks secondary couldn’t cover anybody. Matt Ryan finished 37-54 for 450 yards and was only sacked twice (see: weak pass rush). Julio Jones, Calvin Ridley and Russell Gage each caught exactly nine balls on 12 targets. Their 401 receiving yards accounted for all but 49 of the team’s total. Again, if Newton and the Pats offense is going to hang with Seattle, this weakness needs to be exploited again.
Betting Pick: Seahawks -4 & UNDER
The run-centric Seattle offense of 2019, which averaged 29.5 attempts per game, is toast. With Wilson afforded the opportunity to air things out, this offense is no longer one-dimensional whereas we don’t yet know what the Patriots’ offense looks like when Newton is forced to pass 30+ times in a game. I think this is an early-season matchup where New England drew the short straw following an abridged training camp without any preseason game reps. The Seahawks know what they are, while Bill Belichick’s offense is under construction.