2-1 on the season, Fabian Sommer looks for win number 3 as he plays a total in the Seahawks vs Dolphins!
We enjoyed an easy cover with the Patriots -6.5 last week and are rolling with a total this time.
As Rob Pizzola pointed out on Twitter, scoring in the NFL is up 5.4 points per game over 2019. Overs are hitting at a 60 percent clip so far and totals go over the number at 4.2 points on average.
A major driver of this are penalties. Referees are calling fewer offensive holding penalties and more defensive pass interference, for instance. One of the reasons could be that the NFL is interested in putting out a better product with more scoring this year.
It would be hard to explain otherwise because refs are missing some blatant holding calls on offense.
Why is NFL scoring up 5.4 points per game vs. last season? It's simple. The game is being officiated way differently. pic.twitter.com/PrKWiifgq2
— Rob Pizzola (@robpizzola) September 29, 2020
That being said, there is some uncertainty surrounding totals right now because we don’t know whether this is a common theme going forward.
The markets have obviously adjusted already as the average total on the board for this week is close to 50.
This brings us to another game with AFC East participation this week. We are eyeing the Over in the Seahawks/Dolphins game.
Wilson And Seattle Offense To Fire Again This Week
The Seahawks offense is absolutely on fire right now.
Russell Wilson is playing at an absolute MVP level and his wide receivers DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett seem unstoppable.
Offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer has adjusted his pass/run ratio on early downs tremendously as he is calling passes on early downs in neutral situations at the second-highest clip (61%) this year. “Let Russ Cook” is finally happening in front of our eyes.
Russell Wilson and company are going to face a Miami defense that has looked atrocious so far and ranks dead-last in DVOA after week three. Pro Football Focus has charted the Dolphins defense with the second-lowest coverage grade (42.5) and it doesn’t help that their best cornerback – Byron Jones – is going to miss another game.
Rookie cornerback Noah Igbinoghene has struggled mightily, the safeties and undrafted free agents Jamal Perry and Nik Needham don’t match up well with Metcalf and Lockett, either.
Russell Wilson had a field day against the Patriots secondary, he’s going to have a big day against Miami as well.
They should have no issues scoring 30 or more points.
The shootout character also applies to this Dolphins offense and their particular matchup against Seattle’s defense. The Seahawks defense has played below expectations as their secondary doesn’t hold up as we anticipated before the season started. Their pass rush is arguably the worst in the league and depends on blitzes from superstar safety Jamal Adams, who is most likely not going to play this time as he’s dealing with a groin injury. Cornerback Quinton Dunbar will be out, too.
It’s not a good recipe when you struggle to defend the pass in the first place but are also missing two important players that can have an impact on your pass defense. Enter Ryan Fitzpatrick and the Dolphins offense who are slightly underrated in the market right now. Overall, they rank 15th in DVOA and 12th in EPA/play after week three while underperforming on third downs where they are averaging -0.09 EPA/play and Ryan Fitzpatrick is posting -8.9 CPOE (3rd-last). However, on first and second down, Miami ranks 8th in EPA/play and 6th in success rate and Ryan Fitzpatrick is completing passes 11.5% above expectation which ranks 3rd behind Russell Wilson and Philip Rivers.
We would expect their third down performance to regress upwards sooner than later.
On early downs, they should have no issues moving the ball on that Seahawks defense and they might even avoid some third downs.
What separated Ryan Fitzpatrick and the truly good quarterbacks over the past two years has been his play under pressure and versus the blitz. From a clean pocket, he’s got nearly the same passing grade as Russell Wilson in 2018 and 2019, over a sample size of 500 passes. With a weak defensive line, Fitzpatrick should stay clean on most dropbacks against a four-man rush. Without Jamal Adams, I don’t anticipate the Seahawks blitzing as much either.
Fitzpatrick should stay clean for most of the game and he’s going to sling it to DeVante Parker, Preston Williams and Mike Gesicki – Seattle is not able to cover those guys.
This game has the potential for a great shootout with two bad defenses. I think 30 points from the Hawks and 24 from the Fins are absolutely in play here and I am willing to play the Over at any number below 54.
I wouldn’t be surprised if the total score touches the low 60s.
Seattle Seahawks @ Miami Dolphins OVER 53.5 at -111