Hey everyone that lives in the New England area (which, if you’re on a site whose title implies that we worship the Patriots, is probably the vast majority of you), the following scenario is going to sound extremely strange, you’ll just have to take my word for it. Like Reading Rainbow!
In some other football markets, and like we said, this is going to sound like Upside-Down Land to all the New England lifers here.....some radio shows actually like their local American football teams. And more so than that, they actually root for said local sports teams to succeed and win!
I know, right? Imagine hopping in the car and the sports radio show is actually hype about their teams and not something where this could very well be mistaken for the real deal if you closed your eyes and played them back to back:
Anywho, a fortunate perk of living in Music City USA is the former type of sports radio, where the talk of the town right now is the almost-AFC-champs
Patriots South Tennessee Titans, and in an unexpected twist on Wednesday afternoon, 104.5 The Zone’s 3HL talked with Bet the Board and FS1’s Todd Furhman and some tasty Patriots-Seahawks nuggets emerged!
(They also got through the whole segment without making a single Malcolm Butler reference, which is greatly appreciated. That was 3 Super Bowls and 2 rings ago! Live in the now!)
Here’s the link to the full interview; as always, I will transcribe the Patriots part of it in case you’re stuck at work or in class or on a conference call in your jammies and/or forgot your headphones.
TODD’S TAKES!@ToddFuhrman offers winners and losers: Titans/Jags, Colts/Vikings, Baltimore/Houston, Brady and the Bucs, Burrow vs the Browns on TNF, the one game he LOVES in the NFL + College Football picks & more. https://t.co/9EzLs2veUM— 3HL (@3HL1045) September 17, 2020
(Also, there’s even a Steve Grogan reference! Everybody drink!)
Let’s get to it:
Dawn: Patriots on the road at Seattle, that’s Sunday night.
Todd: Great game. I think we’re going to learn an awful lot about New England, and how good they can be this season with Cam Newton under center. You look at the numbers he put up, 15 carries, 70+ plus rushing yards, the most rushing attempts we’ve seen from a New England quarterback in, I want to say, 30 years, and yardage-wise we’re talking about Steve Grogan territory there. This is a Patriots team who’s going to try to use Cam’s legs as much as they can his arm. Defensively, this will be a much bigger test for them than what we saw against the Dolphins, but they were able to intercept Ryan Fitzpatrick 3 times. Hat tip though to Brian Schottenheimer and Seattle, they threw the ball plenty on 1st and 2nd downs, and why wouldn’t you when you have receivers as talented as Tyler Lockett and DK Metcalf? It opens things up for Chris Carson.
I know, I know, you all know this stuff already. This is where my ears popped up under my hoodie (with the sleeves cut off, obviously):
Todd: With the number of 4 though, given Seattle’s poor track record of covering spreads as a home favorite, I lean towards New England and light the game over the total a little bit. Wouldn’t shock me at all if we were looking at this game somewhere in the 27-24 range, Seattle winning but New England covering.
Brent: Why do you think that is, with regard to Seattle? Because they’re viewed as this team that’s just great at home, so why do they have a tough time covering at home?
Todd: I think that’s the exact reason, Brent; perception oftentimes can become reality. And oddsmakers know that people want to back the Seahawks, especially in these standalone contests. Now in primetime, they’ve been outstanding, when you look at Pete Carroll and Russell Wilson, but just overall as a home favorite, blindly betting against them the last couple of seasons, you would have made quite a bit of money. And I think some of that speaks to the fact that Seattle hasn’t exactly been great defensively. We know their pass defense really struggled, and ‘Russell Wilson late in games makes magic!’ isn’t always conducive to covering spreads when you’re late more than a field goal.
Directly or otherwise, this hits on a few points that, at minimum, the betting folks think will be a factor when most of us are locked and loaded on Pats-Seahawks on Sunday night:
1) With all due respect, and I mean ALL due respect, (that means I can say whatever I want), Vegas doesn’t think The 12s are anywhere near as much of a factor as they think they are. This season in particular, that might’ve been an outlier, given that some states seem to be down with having some fans in the stadium, but Todd’s saying historically, meaning, sorry if this is obvious, but even in Seattle’s heyday, the whole Decibel-O-Meter thing at CenturyLink Field? Meh. Not really anything that actually influences the outcome of a football game. At least recently, it hasn’t been.
2) Have the Seahawks and Pete Carroll finally embraced the Let Russ Cook movement? Or is that just a game-plan product of playing an Atlanta Falcons pass defense in week 1 that ranked, um, not great in pass defense in 2019? And do the Hawks dare to attempt to Let Russ Cook™ against the arguably best secondary in football that, like Fuhrman said above, picked off Fitzpatrick three times and appears to have picked up right where they left off in 2019?
3) On the whole “perception becomes reality” bit: Seattle’s one of those teams that’s a Thesaurus entry for outstanding defense, especially in your family fantasy football drafts, but recently, the facts and stats don’t back that up. THAT being said, around these parts, we know newly minted Seahawk and maybe-even-DPOY-candidate safety Jamal Adams quite well, so without reading too much into Fuhrman’s comments about Seattle’s ‘meh’ defense, it would seem like even with the addition of an All-Pro strong safety that played all over the place last week didn’t move the needle enough to swing anything significantly.
4) The whole “DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett open things up for Chris Carson” part really begs the question: what will Bill and the rest of the defensive staff decide to take away on Sunday night? Will the defense play bracket coverage on Metcalf or Lockett, as they have been known to do with #1 receivers, or will they just let reigning DPOY ruin either receiver’s day? Daring Russ to beat you by air seems like a fool’s errand, and we’ve known for half a decade now how Belichick and Co try and contain quarterbacks with wheels. One thing we do know, though, is, historically, Bill is more than happy to let you run if he can successfully stymie the pass game, and that certainly appears to play to the strengths of the 2020 Patriots’ objectively loaded secondary.
Bet wisely and enjoy the game, everyone.