Seattle Seahawks (4-8, 6-6 ATS) at Houston Texans (2-10, 5-7), 1 p.m.
Brolley’s Seahawks Stats and Trends
Seattle is 3-9 ATS in its last 12 road games.
The Seahawks are 1-4 ATS in their last five games as a favorite and 1-7 ATS in their last eight games as a road favorite.
The Seahawks broke their nine-game streak of unders in a 30-23 victory over the 49ers last week,
The Seahawks have played under the total in four straight games as a favorite and in six straight road games.
Seattle averaged just 3.8 yards per play against the 49ers if you toss out Travis Homer’s 73-yard touchdown run on a fake punt. Russell Wilson still averaged just 6.2 YPA so he’s hardly back to being the old Russ, but they did get their first win since he returned to the lineup. He’s thrown for two TDs in each of the last two games, and he attempted his second-most passes in a game this season with 37. The Texans haven’t given up more than 14+ FP or more than one TD pass in four straight games.
Tyler Lockett has been in the best shape since Russ returned to the lineup despite being third in target share at 20%. He has three straight games with 12+ FP, and he’s coming off a balanced 7/68/1 receiving performance on eight targets against the 49ers. Lockett leads the league with 510 yards on passes 20+ yards downfield, and the Texans are giving up a generous 13.5 YPR to WRs.
D.K. Metcalf had his best showing since Russ returned to the lineup in Week 10, but it was still only good enough for 5/60 receiving and 11.0 FP. At least he's seen 8+ targets in three of his four games with Russ for a team-leading 21% target share in that stretch. Michael Pittman posted 6/77 receiving on eight targets in this matchup last week.
Gerald Everett had one of the worst games you’ll see a skill player have this year last Week. He lost two fumbles against the 49ers and he dropped a pass at the goal line that turned into an interception on his way to finishing with 4/7 receiving on six targets (16% share). Everett has been involved ever since Russ returned to the lineup with 3+ catches in each of his starts since returning to the lineup. The Texans are giving up the 10th-most FPG (14.4) to TEs this season.
Seattle’s backfield has been a fantasy landmine ever since Chris Carson (neck, IR) played his final game of the season in Week 4. Rashaad Penny saw the highest snap share (41%) in Week 13, turning his 11 touches into 62 yards. Adrian Peterson finished with an unspectacular 11/16/1 rushing on a 26% share. Travis Homer also factored in with 6/17 scrimmage on traditional offensive snaps on a 30% snap share, and he added a 73-yard touchdown on a fake punt. Alex Collins (abdomen) could also be back in the mix this week against Houston and he’ll be competing with AP for a lineup spot as the top runner on Sunday. The Texans are giving up the sixth-most FPG (26.7) to RBs after Jonathan Taylor roughed them up for 32/143/2 rushing last week.
Brolley’s Texans Stats and Trends
The Texans have played under the total in four straight games.
Houston is 2-5 ATS in its last seven games.
Houston’s offense has hit the skids even with Tyrod Taylor back in the lineup, averaging just 11.3 points per game in four games since he returned to the lineup. The Texans averaged just 2.8 yards per play in their shutout loss to the Colts in Week 13, and Taylor got pulled for Davis Mills in the late third quarter for a wrist injury — Mills completed 6/14 passes for 49 yards (3.5 YPA) in relief. Mills averaged 209.2 passing yards per game and 6.6 YPA with six TDs and seven INTs in six starts earlier this season. Seattle is giving up the eighth-most FPG (17.9) to QBs.
Brandin Cooks has failed to reach 50+ yards, 4+ catches, and 7+ targets in three straight games since Houston’s Week 11 bye. He averaged 6.2/62.5 receiving and 8.2 targets per game with one touchdown in Mills’ six starts in Weeks 3-8. Seattle limited Brandon Aiyuk (3/55 receiving) and Terry McLaurin (4/51) in each of the last two weeks.
David Johnson didn’t play in Week 13 because of an illness, which left Rex Burkhead and Royce Freeman as the top options in this backfield. Burkhead managed just 8/30 rushing and 1/15 receiving on two targets while playing 46% of the snaps in their shutout loss to the Colts — Freeman had 4/21 scrimmage on 42% of the snaps. We’ll if Johnson jumps back in and bumps Freeman out of the rotation or if the Texans roll with a three-man rotation (if it matters at all). The Seahawks are giving up the second-most FPG (30.9) to RBs this season.
Barfield’s Pace and Tendencies
Pace (seconds in between plays): 26.9 (10th)
Plays per game: 56.0 (32nd)
Pass: 63.4% (12th) | Run: 36.6% (21st)
Pace: 28.1 (17th)
Plays per game: 59.3 (28th)
Pass: 64.6% (9th) | Run: 35.4% (24th)
All pace / play data is from the last eight weeks.
After leaving last week’s game with a wrist injury, Tyrod Taylor is going to miss this week which means… Davis Mills is back! In Mills' starts from Weeks 3-8, the Texans were out-scored 189-61 by their opponents in six games and they haven’t done much to turn it around since then. Houston is dead last by a mile in drives ending in a score (18.1%) over the last eight weeks while the Seahawks rank… second-from-last at 24.4%. Fun! This matchup is the second-worst game in the model overall for Week 14 and the worst game in adjusted combined plays per game between these bottom-5 offenses in volume.
Huber’s Key Matchup Notes
Some late word was passed along last week that the ‘Hawks wanted to get DK Metcalf ($6.5K/$7.3K) more involved on offense. Russell Wilson didn’t seem to get the memo. While Metcalf was handed a 22% target share, it was his fourth-lowest of the season, and it was matched by Tyler Lockett. Since Wilson’s return from IR, The Rocket has easily stood as the most effective WR in the Emerald City. It’s entirely possible that the added involvement for Metcalf simply kicks in this week. Taking a stab at The Wolverine certainly holds merit, but I prefer Lockett this week. Lockett aligns all over the formation, but he will see a good amount of Terrance Mitchell on Sunday.
Tyrod Taylor has a chance to take the field this week. If not, Davis Mills will receive another start. Does it matter? Short answer: No. The Seahawks are giving 17.0 FPG to QBs (10th-fewest). In addition to restricting wideouts to the seventh-fewest FPG during their last four games (25.7), they are the only defense to hold WRs out of the end zone since Week 8.
Dolan’s Vantage Points
The Seahawks were more “aggressive” in their win over the 49ers in Week 13, though that translated to just 6.2 yards per pass attempt for QB Russell Wilson, while the Seahawks averaged just 2.8 YPC on 26 rush attempts outside of Travis Homer’s 73-yard TD run on a fake punt.
But it’s not the efficiency that makes coach Pete Carroll happy — it’s the volume of plays.
Pete Carroll on Monday applauded his call to be more aggressive offensively vs SF while also getting giddy when discussing Seattle having 30 completions + 27 carries Sunday. "Beautiful. That's a win just staring at you." Aggressive or not, Pete loves him some bad math lol.— Dugar, Michael-Shawn (@MikeDugar) December 7, 2021
Why was he happy? Because Carroll subscribes to a theory from former offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer that hitting at least 53 combined completions and rush attempts — of which the Seahawks had 57 last week — is a good predictor of victory. Without getting into the nitty gritty — you can do that below — it is basically a full-blown confirmation, beyond the hundred other factors, that prove Carroll is not going to change his stripes any time soon.
it's surprising, based on all this available data, that Pete apparently still subscribes to "rule of 53" thing. I remember @benbbaldwin making this point in 2019: choosing an arbitrary benchmark without acknowledging why the correlation exists is strange. https://t.co/aSyu8IRK5P— Dugar, Michael-Shawn (@MikeDugar) December 7, 2021
The anti-run-game discourse has gotten way too far out of hand, and it’s seen blowback this season from former players and current ones alike, while analytical darling coach Andy Reid himself acknowledged the lack of quantifiable affect to the benefits of a strong run game. But there’s a big difference in acknowledging there is a big place for the run game in the current NFL and realizing that Carroll has a dinosaur’s mentality who thinks giving 11 carries to the dusty Adrian Peterson is a “win-now” move on a 4-8 team.
Carroll expects RB Alex Collins (abdominal) to play this week, which throws another wrench into the “win-now” backfield despite the great matchup. All of the Seahawk backs are FLEX plays with whom you’re begging for a TD in a good matchup.
Anyway, after last week’s game — in which he had 4 catches for 7 yards on 6 targets, lost two fumbles, and dropped one of his targets for an interception, Gerald Everett should probably be targeted less this week in the stead of DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett, but it looks like the Seahawks are going to try to get him in a positive mindset. It’s a good matchup for all these receivers, of course.
On what Pete Carroll called a “heartbreaking day” for Gerald Everett: pic.twitter.com/7WAcpF11yJ— Brady Henderson (@BradyHenderson) December 6, 2021
We’re approaching the end of the season, and my already limited brain power is waning. Wasting time trying to convince folks they should play a Texan — maybe outside of Brandin Cooks — is a disservice to both me and the readers, especially with Davis Mills back at quarterback for the rest of the year.
I think it’s kind of lame, by the way, that GM Nick Caserio isn’t committed to bringing back head coach David Culley, a person who is in the most unenviable position in the NFL, trying to coax wins out of this crap roster.
Asked on @SportsRadio610 whether David Culley will be back next season, Texans GM Nick Caserio said his focus is on getting ready for the Seahawks this weekend.— Aaron Reiss (@aaronjreiss) December 7, 2021
“I’m not going to make any comment on what’s going to happen after the season.”
Hey, if you wanna play one of these trash RBs, at least the Seahawks won’t have S Jamal Adams (shoulder). Have fun.
#Seahawks Pro Bowl S Jamal Adams tore his labrum and suffered additional significant shoulder damage in Sunday’s win, sources say. He’s having season-ending surgery to repair it all. Same shoulder as last year, with surgery a necessity. Adams will make a full recovery for 2022.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) December 8, 2021