The (1-0) New England Patriots are headed out west to take on the (1-0) Seattle Seahawks. This will be the second time the two teams will meet on Sunday Night Football since 2016 in which Seattle came out on top with a final score of 31-24 in Foxboro. Seattle coming off a very convincing win over the Atlanta Falcons with a final score of 38-25 are firing on all cylinders. Russell Wilson appears to be in MVP form torching the Falcons secondary that has struggled mightily in recent years. Wilson finished the game with an astounding passer rating of 143.1 and throwing for 322 yards and 4 touchdowns. While at the receiver position second-year wideout D.K. Metcalf continues to silence the critics and went for 95 yards and a touchdown. Tyler Lockett also had a great game tallying up 8 grabs for 92 yards. But they will be facing one of the leagues top tier secondary's with reigning defensive player of the year Stephon Gilmore alongside him is third-year corner J.C. Jackson who allowed a passer rating of 49.2 along with 5 interceptions in 2019 per Pro Football Focus. Get your popcorn ready because these two tandems will be the matchup of the night and more than likely be the determining factor in the game.
New England coming off a win over the Miami Dolphins with a final score of (21-11) appear to be starting off just fine without the beloved Tom Brady who is now in Tampa. Offensively New England was very run-oriented taking advantage of Cam Newton's raw athleticism in which he finished the game with 15 rushes for 75 yards and two touchdowns breaking the Patriot rushing record by a quarterback in a single game. However, there is still no pure deep threat for New England which the Seattle defense can take advantage of by being able to load the box in an attempt to slow down the high powered Patriot run game forcing Cam to throw. Newton went 15/19 passing totaling up 155 yards and no scores. While Julian Edelman and second-year receiver Nkeal Harry racked up a combined 10 catches for 96 yards. Expect New England to attempt to get the running game going early to try and open up the run-pass options (RPO's). If they are successful in getting Seattle to stack the box and play the run look for them take deep shots to N'keal Harry and the speedster Damiere Byrd against a secondary that was scorched by the three-headed monster in Atlanta.
The X-Factor on the Seattle offense this week will be running back Chris Carson. The New England run defense can be shaky at times giving up an average of 4.4 yards a carry to the Miami Dolphins in week 1. If Chris Carson can get going early this will force the Patriots defense to play up and load the box which will open up the passing game for a blazing fast group of WR's. The defensive X-factor for Seattle this week will be Jamal Adams. If Adams can neutralize running back James White out of the passing game this will cause major problems for the New England offense as their running back committee is heavily involved in the passing game with the lack of receiver depth.
The X-factor this week on offense for New England is N'keal Harry. If Harry can get going early in this game he could have the best game of his career thus far. The Seattle defense struggled to contain Falcons receivers Julio Jones, Calvin Ridley, and Russell Gage as they combined for a total of 27 catches for 401 yards and 2 scores. So look to see similar production if Harry can find his footing. The X-factor on defense this week will be the entire New England front seven. If they are able to slow down Chris Carson and Carlos Hyde all while containing Rusell Wilson this will open up opportunities for the secondary to create some turnovers. More specifically ILB Ju'Whaun Bentley who is filling in for Dont'a Hightower this season, could be a vital piece in slowing the run game down.