Matchup Analysis: New Orleans Saints at Seattle Seahawks

Vegas Prediction

Vegas says: Saints 21, Seahawks 25

FBG Projections

TeamRushYardsTDCompAttPass YdTDINT

New Orleans Saints Offense: overview

Points (vs AVG) (rank)Rush Yards (vs AVG) (rank)Pass Yards (vs AVG) (rank)
Saints Offense19.5 (-2.3) (19)102 (-6) (17)274 (+25) (14)
Seahawks Defense23.0 (+1.2) (20)58 (-51) (4)288 (+38) (26)

Seattle Seahawks Offense: overview

Points (vs AVG) (rank)Rush Yards (vs AVG) (rank)Pass Yards (vs AVG) (rank)
Seahawks Offense24.5 (+2.7) (9)112 (+2) (14)218 (-31) (23)
Saints Defense27.5 (+5.7) (27)148 (+38) (27)250 (+0) (17)

Saints Rushing offense

Tough matchup vs. the Seahawks defense.

The New Orleans Saints backfield in 2019 lacks one major piece of the 2018 unit: Mark Ingram. Ingram left in free agency to sign with the Baltimore Ravens, and the Saints brought in Latavius Murray to fill the void left by his departure. Throughout 2018, when both Alvin Kamara and Mark Ingram were healthy, Kamara typically played around 60-percent of offensive snaps. In 2019, without Ingram, Kamara's snap share has risen to above 66-percent. Kamara is also carrying the ball at a higher rate within the Saints' offense this season than he did in 2018. Directing touches and carries within the offense towards one of the NFL's most-talented running backs will undoubtedly pay dividends in the long-run for the New Orleans Saints, especially considering the strength of the team's offensive line. The bruisers up front for the New Orleans Saints are arguably the best in the entire NFL. No matter who is running the ball for New Orleans, the Saints will likely field one of the league's best rushing attacks, but having Alvin Kamara, one of the best players in the league with the ball in his hands certainly helps.

The Seattle Seahawks opened the season with consecutive games against teams whose starting running back exited early due to injury. In the season opener against the Cincinnati Bengals, Joe Mixon left the game in the third quarter thanks to an ankle injury. The loss of the team's number-one back, coupled with a second-half comeback attempt, led the Bengals to attempt just 14 runs in week one. In week two, James Conner left the game in the fourth quarter due to a knee injury. Jaylen Samuels took over at running back in Conner's absence. Again, as the Steelers attempted to mount a second-half comeback, they were forced away from the ground-game, only attempting 15 rushes throughout the game. While the unit has seen little action through two games, when Seattle's run defense has been called upon, they have answered. Led by linebackers Mychal Kendricks, Bobby Wagner, and K.J. Wright, the Seahawks defense has allowed just 3.8 yards-per-carry entering week 3, the 10th-best mark in the NFL. Seattle has neither faced an offensive line as strong as that of the Saints nor a running back of Alvin Kamara's caliber through two games, which makes this an exceptionally intriguing clash of presumed-strength-against-strength.

Saints Passing offense

Good matchup vs. the Seahawks defense.

The biggest storylines in the NFL after week two are undoubtedly the injuries to franchise quarterbacks throughout the NFL. Drew Brees injured his thumb on a first-quarter pass attempt against the Los Angeles Rams. Brees is set to undergo surgery this week and will miss approximately 6 to 8 weeks with the injury, thrusting Teddy Bridgewater into the starting role. Bridgewater is widely regarded as one of the NFL's best backup quarterbacks, but the drop off in talent from Brees, one of the league's best starters, is massive. Bridgewater mustered just 165 yards on 30 attempts throughout the game in Los Angeles and was unable to lead a touchdown drive all game. Bridgewater focused the passing attack on to primary targets: Michael Thomas and Jared Cook. Michael Thomas' workload with Bridgewater under-center was comparable to what he typically sees with Brees at the helm. However, his targets were significantly less-valuable with Bridgewater, as the backup was unable to push the ball downfield at a Brees-like level. Jared Cook's involvement during his second game as a member of the New Orleans Saints was significantly higher than in his debut with the team. Bridgewater's tendency to rely on safer underneath routes favors Cook over wide receivers Tre'Quan Smith and Ted Ginn, Jr. Bridgewater rarely targeted Alvin Kamara out of the backfield against the Rams. Moving forward, Kamara will undoubtedly be heavily involved in the passing game, as Sean Payton and the Saints coaching staff attempt to make life easier on the newly-minted starting quarterback. The offensive line for New Orleans is a definitive strength of the team. Last week, the Saints faced off with one of the league's best pass rushes, and Bridgewater struggled in the face of pressure. In week three, New Orleans heads to Seattle to face a far weaker pass rush. A clean pocket is essential to an effective passing attack, and Bridgewater should operate in a much calmer pocket here against the Seahawks than he did against the Rams.

The Seattle Seahawks opened the 2019 season with a pair of extremely unique matchups. In the season opener, the Seahawks played host to the Cincinnati Bengals, coached by Zac Taylor, a branch off of the newly-forming Sean McVay coaching tree. Before week one, Taylor hadn't called plays his days as interim offensive coordinator for the Miami Dolphins in 2015. Thus, Taylor's tendencies and philosophies as an offensive play-caller were a relative unknown before week one. In the opener, the Bengals new-look offense threw for 418 yards, 2 touchdowns, and 0 interceptions on 51 pass-attempts in a tightly-contested 21-20 Seahawks victory. In week two, the Seahawks faced the Pittsburgh Steelers. Late in the second quarter of the game, Steelers' starting quarterback Ben Roethlisberger left the game with an elbow injury, thrusting Mason Rudolph into the first regular-season action of his young career. Rudolph finished the game with a respectable 112 yards, 2 touchdowns, and 1 interception while completing 12 of 19 pass attempts on the day. One common trend through the two unique matchups for Seattle has been a middling pass rush. Jadeveon Clowney, a recent acquisition from the Houston Texans, has yet to make a significant impact by pressuring opposing quarterbacks. Luckily for Seattle, Ezekiel Ansah, one of the league's most efficient pass rushers, is expected to return to action in week three against the Saints. The combination of Ansah and Clowney rushing off the edge has the potential to be the league's best pass-rushing duo if both stay healthy. In the secondary, aside from Shaquill Griffin's surprising and impressive start to the 2019 season, there is not much to get excited about. Opposite Griffin, Tre Flowers has been picked on relentlessly throughout the first two games of the season. Seattle's reported involvement in the trade market for potential help in the secondary represents just how urgent the team's needs are to shore up this unit. Seattle will rely heavily upon its pass-rush to disrupt opposing quarterbacks throughout the 2019 season. Should the defensive line falter and allow the opposition a clean pocket to throw from, the secondary will be in for a long day at the office against one of the league's smartest offensive minds in Sean Payton.

Seahawks Rushing offense

Tough matchup vs. the Saints defense.

Chris Carson fumbled the ball twice in Seattle's week two victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers. The second fumble landed Carson on the bench in favor of second-year player Rashaad Penny. Seattle did not waiver from its typical run-heavy offensive attack with Penny in the game, as the team still totaled 27 rushing attempts in the game. Heading into week three, Chris Carson will almost certainly reclaim his role as the Seahawks' bell-cow running back. Carson does an exceptional job at avoiding the negative plays that Rashaad Penny is prone to producing. In a run-first offense, it is paramount to avoid falling behind the chains due to negative plays, and that skill is precisely what Carson provides over Penny. Seattle's offensive line is neither a particular strength or weakness for this rushing attack; they do a sufficient job providing the rushers with opportunities, but they do not rank amongst the league's best.

New Orleans' defensive statistics through the first two games of the 2019 season are arguably the most misleading in the NFL. The Saints have faced the toughest schedule of opposing offenses to start the season. Both offenses, as expected, put points on the board in bunches through a variety of ways. On the ground, the Houston Texans ran for 180 yards in the season opener against the Saints, with 40 yards coming on 4 carries from quarterback Deshaun Watson. In week two, the Saints traveled to Los Angeles to take on Sean McVay and the Los Angeles Rams. McVay is inarguably one of the NFL's smartest and most creative offensive minds, and he showed that off throughout a week two victory over the Saints. The Rams running backs totaled precisely 100 rushing yards on 22 attempts in week two. Looking underneath the hood of this New Orleans defense, all seems to be operating as usual. The Saints' defensive line is disrupting runs on a level comparable to the team's top-ranked 2018 run defense. At linebacker, Demario Davis' performance, in particular, stands out as one point of potential improvement. Since arriving in New Orleans, Davis has been one of the team's best run-stoppers, but through two games, Davis has struggled in run-defense. If Davis returns to his old form, as expected, this defense will likely regain its status as one of the league's toughest to run against.

Seahawks Passing offense

Neutral matchup vs. the Saints defense.

Week two for Seattle's passing attack was much more along the lines of what was expected from the unit entering the season. Following a disappointing one-catch performance in the opener, Tyler Lockett caught 10 of his 12 targets in week two for 79 yards. D.K. Metcalf has also been impressive in his first two games in the NFL, compiling at least 61 yards in each outing with 1 touchdown to add to that. Metcalf's role in the offense is clear: stretch the field as a physical specimen that thrives one-on-one against inferior athletes. Metcalf has excelled in this role thus far, and his involvement has been consistent with 6 and 7 targets in each of the first 2 games, respectively. Aside from the team's top two wide receivers, Seattle's offense is making a conscious effort to involve running backs in the passing attack more often in 2019. Russell Wilson has targeted running backs seven times in each of the first two games, a significant uptick from last year's mark of just under five targets-per-game for the position. Chris Carson has proven a capable pass-catcher when on the field, and he provides Wilson with a safety-valve that has lacked in this offense over previous years. In the trenches, the Seahawks offensive line is cause for concern once again in 2019. While the unit looks much stronger on paper than it has in previous years, the performance through two games is amongst the league's worst. Russell Wilson's other-worldly ability to extend plays has masked some of these struggles. However, if the offensive line continues to falter, it may only be a matter of time before the struggles show up in Wilson's passing numbers.

The New Orleans Saints opened the 2019 season with arguably the most-difficult schedule for any pass defense in the NFL. In week one, the Saints consistently pressured Texans' quarterback Deshaun Watson, yet he still managed to make plays and salvage an impressive 268-yard and 3-touchdown performance on Monday night. In week two, Jared Goff finished with a far-less robust stat line, but an efficient 283-yard, 1-score performance on just 28 pass attempts. These big passing days against New Orleans are not yet cause for concern, as these two offenses are expected to rank amongst the league-leaders in passing in 2019. One major bright spot on the New Orleans defense has been the pass rush. The New Orleans Saints have pressured opposing quarterbacks an astonishing 54 times through 2 games, the second-highest total in the NFL. New Orleans has a rare combination of depth and skill on the defensive line, with 4 different players (including 1 nominal backup) registering at least 5 hurries through the seasons first 2 games. Disrupting the pocket is paramount to stifling an opposing passing attack, and New Orleans has proven they excel here in the opening stages of the 2019 season. In the secondary, New Orleans also fields a wildly-talented set of defensive backs. Marshon Lattimore has solidified his ranking as one of the league's best cornerbacks over his first two seasons in the NFL. The first two games of the 2019 season, however, have not been Lattimore's best. In a week one clash with DeAndre Hopkins, Lattimore justifiably struggled to contain one of the league's best wide receivers. In week two, Lattimore once again struggled against the Rams, one of the NFL's most creative and impressive passing attacks. Lattimore's track record as a reliable NFL cornerback trumps the two data points from the 2019 NFL season, but should the struggles continue in the coming weeks; it may be time for re-evaluation. In total, the New Orleans Saints field an impressive group of pass-rushers backed by an underperforming secondary. The struggles in the secondary are likely a byproduct of a challenging schedule to open the season. The scores and baseline statistics are misleading in this case after just two games in 2019, and the Saints still rank amongst the league's better pass defenses.

Seahawks vs QB

Season FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)23 (+1.9)23 (+1.9)19 (-0.2)21 (+1.0)
1Andy Dalton7735514182000028.928.920.725.7
2Mason Rudolph2812191122117013.313.312.212.2

Teddy Bridgewater (FanDuel: $6800, DraftKings: $4700)

1vs HOU000000000000.00.0
2@ LAR561730165002508.
3PROJ-Dodds202920410.7280.114.914.914.9 (H=31)14.9 (H=45)
3PROJ-Tremblay223424310.816015.915.915.9 (H=35)15.9 (H=51)
3PROJ-Bloom12201370.90.50009.99.99.9 (H=15)9.9 (H=22)

Taysom Hill (FanDuel: $6000, DraftKings: $4400)

1vs HOU15000002807.
2@ LAR21000000001.
3PROJ-Dodds34300.20.14200. (H=6)5.4 (H=8)
3PROJ-Tremblay003001700.80.80.8 (H=0)0.8 (H=0)
3PROJ-Bloom36300.30.18380. (H=14)8.8 (H=19)

Seahawks vs RB

Season FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)9 (-6.0)6 (-7.1)8 (-6.4)7 (-7.5)
1Giovani Bernard487210324206.
1Joe Mixon29610032701.
2James Conner31113314312010.513.512.013.5
2Jaylen Samuels223180111303.

Alvin Kamara (FanDuel: $8000, DraftKings: $8000)

1vs HOU501397087.072016.923.920.423.9
2@ LAR421345031.0150676.57.0
3PROJ-Dodds15680.64.8390.215.520.317.9 (H=36)20.3 (H=45)
3PROJ-Tremblay17780.74.2330.115.920.118.0 (H=37)20.1 (H=45)
3PROJ-Bloom13480.43.0260.2111412.5 (H=19)14.0 (H=24)

Latavius Murray (FanDuel: $5600, DraftKings: $4100)

1vs HOU18643132.04010.712.711.712.7
2@ LAR2357011.01602.
3PROJ-Dodds7320.21.2805.26.45.8 (H=7)6.4 (H=12)
3PROJ-Tremblay7310.21.61105.476.2 (H=8)7.0 (H=14)
3PROJ-Bloom10410.20.0005.35.35.3 (H=6)5.3 (H=8)

Seahawks vs WR

Season FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)21 (+1.6)22 (+4.0)21 (+1.9)19 (+3.5)
1John Ross63127158200027.834.831.337.8
1Tyler Boyd611186001306.314.310.314.3
2JuJu Smith-Schuster47858400008.413.410.913.4
2James Washington34322300002.

Michael Thomas (FanDuel: $8000, DraftKings: $7400)

1vs HOU591310.0123000012.322.317.325.3
2@ LAR641310.08900008.918.913.918.9
3PROJ-Dodds7.7870.500011.719.415.6 (H=29)19.4 (H=45)
3PROJ-Tremblay7.9980.400012.220.116.2 (H=31)20.1 (H=48)
3PROJ-Bloom7.0740.500010.417.413.9 (H=23)17.4 (H=38)

Ted Ginn (FanDuel: $5000, DraftKings: $3900)

1vs HOU4977.0101000010.117.113.620.1
2@ LAR3900.000000000.00.0
3PROJ-Dodds2.8390.21305.48.26.8 (H=11)8.2 (H=19)
3PROJ-Tremblay3.8500.20006.2108.1 (H=14)10.0 (H=27)
3PROJ-Bloom1.0140.1000232.5 (H=1)3.0 (H=3)

TreQuan Smith (FanDuel: $5200, DraftKings: $3700)

1vs HOU4222.02610008.610.69.610.6
2@ LAR3833.04900004.
3PROJ-Dodds1.5190.10002.543.3 (H=3)4.0 (H=5)
3PROJ-Tremblay0.000000000.0 (H=0)0.0 (H=0)
3PROJ-Bloom2.0250.20003.75.74.7 (H=5)5.7 (H=11)

Seahawks vs TE

Season FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)30 (+5.7)30 (+8.9)30 (+7.3)29 (+8.6)
1C.J. Uzomah54546606.610.68.610.6
2Vance McDonald527738215.822.819.322.8

Jared Cook (FanDuel: $5800, DraftKings: $3800)

1vs HOU4232.03703.
2@ LAR4472.02502.
3PROJ-Dodds3.3380.258.36.7 (H=9)8.3 (H=20)
3PROJ-Tremblay3.4430. (H=10)8.9 (H=23)
3PROJ-Bloom2.0280.2465.0 (H=5)6.0 (H=11)

Josh Hill (FanDuel: $4000, DraftKings: $2500)

1vs HOU3211.0-20-
2@ LAR2800.000000.00.0
3PROJ-Dodds0.6500.51.10.8 (H=0)1.1 (H=0)
3PROJ-Tremblay0.3400.40.70.6 (H=0)0.7 (H=0)
3PROJ-Bloom0.000000.0 (H=0)0.0 (H=0)

Seahawks vs PK

Season FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)22T (+1.7)22T (+1.7)20T (+1.5) (+0.0)
1Randy Bullock2322888.08.0
2Chris Boswell2222889.09.0

Wil Lutz (FanDuel: $--, DraftKings: $--)

1vs HOU3433121215.015.0
2@ LAR33009912.012.0

Seahawks vs TD

Season FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)24T (+1.2)24T (+1.2)17T (-0.3)17T (-0.3)
1Cincinnati Bengals2123340100666.06.0
2Pittsburgh Steelers2842540200887.07.0

New Orleans Saints (FanDuel: $3800, DraftKings: $2200)

1vs HOU28.0041461000887.07.0
2@ LAR27.0038030100555.05.0
3PROJ-Dodds24.603572.30.70.600. (H=14)6.8 (H=25)
3PROJ-Tremblay24.503461.70.70.600.4777.0 (H=15)7.0 (H=26)

Saints vs QB

Season FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)28 (+8.1)28 (+8.1)28 (+7.3)26 (+6.5)
1Deshaun Watson67203026831440134.434.431.731.7
2Jared Goff701928283104-2124.

Russell Wilson (FanDuel: $7600, DraftKings: $6300)

1vs CIN5314201952048018.618.616.616.6
2@ PIT79293530030622029.
3PROJ-Dodds18282201.60.75230.119.619.619.6 (H=45)19.6 (H=54)
3PROJ-Tremblay17261991.50.75270.118.618.618.6 (H=41)18.6 (H=50)
3PROJ-Bloom17242101.60.55190.118.918.918.9 (H=42)18.9 (H=51)

Saints vs RB

Season FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)12 (-0.5)12 (-1.1)12 (-0.6)12 (-1.5)
1Duke Johnson429570543309.
1Carlos Hyde251083011208.
2Todd Gurley4516631434012.715.714.215.7
2Malcolm Brown256370111004.

Chris Carson (FanDuel: $7000, DraftKings: $5900)

1vs CIN411546176.0341202621.025.0
2@ PIT431560033.02708.711.78.210.7
3PROJ-Dodds16670.63.8270.214.21816.1 (H=35)18.0 (H=50)
3PROJ-Tremblay18740.63.7300.215.218.917.1 (H=39)18.9 (H=55)
3PROJ-Bloom15540.53.0200.211.614.613.1 (H=24)14.6 (H=35)

Rashaad Penny (FanDuel: $5900, DraftKings: $4100)

1vs CIN14618000.0001.
2@ PIT261062111.03012.513.513.013.5
3PROJ-Dodds9390.20.7505.66.36.0 (H=7)6.4 (H=12)
3PROJ-Tremblay10400.30.4306.16.56.4 (H=8)6.6 (H=12)
3PROJ-Bloom10450.30.0006.36.36.4 (H=8)6.4 (H=12)

C.J. Prosise (FanDuel: $4500, DraftKings: $3000)

1vs CIN000000.000000.00.0
2@ PIT1027033.0130253.55.0
3PROJ-Dodds1401.3901.32.62.0 (H=1)2.6 (H=3)
3PROJ-Tremblay1501.11201.72.82.2 (H=1)2.8 (H=3)
3PROJ-Bloom0000.000000.0 (H=0)0.0 (H=0)

Saints vs WR

Season FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)27 (+10.4)27 (+9.3)27 (+10.0)27 (+10.8)
1DeAndre Hopkins66138111200023.
1Kenny Stills28333710009.712.711.212.7
2Brandin Cooks684374112013.616.615.116.6
2Cooper Kupp6695120016012.617.615.120.6

Tyler Lockett (FanDuel: $6600, DraftKings: $6200)

1vs CIN4821.044100010.411.410.911.4
2@ PIT701210.07900007.917.912.917.9
3PROJ-Dodds4.6630.51309.614.212.0 (H=22)14.3 (H=32)
3PROJ-Tremblay4.1570.50008.712.810.8 (H=18)12.9 (H=27)
3PROJ-Bloom5.0640.50009.414.412.0 (H=22)14.5 (H=33)

DK Metcalf (FanDuel: $6200, DraftKings: $4700)

1vs CIN4164.08900008.912.910.912.9
2@ PIT7073.061100012.115.113.615.1
3PROJ-Dodds3.6550.40007.911.59.7 (H=16)11.5 (H=29)
3PROJ-Tremblay3.6510.40007.511.19.3 (H=15)11.1 (H=27)
3PROJ-Bloom3.0560.50008.611.610.1 (H=17)11.6 (H=29)

Malik Turner (FanDuel: $4900, DraftKings: $3400)

2@ PIT1633.05400005.
3PROJ-Dodds1.1150.10002.13.22.7 (H=2)3.2 (H=4)
3PROJ-Tremblay0.8120.10001.82.62.2 (H=1)2.6 (H=3)
3PROJ-Bloom2.0320.10003.85.84.8 (H=6)5.8 (H=12)

Jaron Brown (FanDuel: $4500, DraftKings: $3100)

1vs CIN4100.000000000.00.0
2@ PIT5800.000000000.00.0
3PROJ-Dodds0.780.10001.42.11.8 (H=1)2.1 (H=2)
3PROJ-Tremblay0.000000000.0 (H=0)0.0 (H=0)
3PROJ-Bloom0.000000000.0 (H=0)0.0 (H=0)

Saints vs TE

Season FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)5 (-3.9)5 (-5.7)5 (-4.8)5 (-6.0)
1Jordan Akins47211701.
2Tyler Higbee24322102.

Will Dissly (FanDuel: $5400, DraftKings: $3400)

1vs CIN2721.01201.
2@ PIT4755.0502172219.522.0
3PROJ-Dodds2.5290. (H=6)6.6 (H=15)
3PROJ-Tremblay2.1240. (H=5)5.7 (H=11)
3PROJ-Bloom3.0310. (H=9)7.9 (H=21)

Nick Vannett (FanDuel: $4500, DraftKings: $2600)

1vs CIN2422.01601.
2@ PIT3311.01301.
3PROJ-Dodds1.2130. (H=2)3.1 (H=5)
3PROJ-Tremblay1.0100. (H=1)2.6 (H=4)
3PROJ-Bloom1.0700.71.71.2 (H=0)1.7 (H=1)

Saints vs PK

Season FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)14T (+0.2)14T (+0.2)14T (-0.5) (+0.0)
1Kaimi Fairbairn0044444.04.0
2Greg Zuerlein2233999.09.0

Jason Myers (FanDuel: $--, DraftKings: $--)

1vs CIN0033333.03.0
2@ PIT0144444.04.0

Saints vs TD

Season FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)7T (-2.3)7T (-2.3)9T (-1.8)9T (-1.8)
1Houston Texans3051011000332.02.0
2Los Angeles Rams924421000448.08.0

Seattle Seahawks (FanDuel: $3400, DraftKings: $3200)

1vs CIN20.0042950300111112.012.0
2@ PIT26.0026111000333.03.0
3PROJ-Dodds19.903582.50.80.700. (H=26)9.1 (H=28)
3PROJ-Tremblay20.003682.20.80.700. (H=25)8.8 (H=27)