The Seattle Seahawks are set to go to Toronto to take on the Buffalo Bills in Week 15. These two teams are both fighting for Wild Card slots in their respective conference, but Seattle is in a heck of a lot better shape than Buffalo is. The Seahawks are favored by 5 ½-points for NFL picks on Sunday, and the reason that they are in this spot is because of their fantastic defensive pressure.
The Seahawks rank third in the NFL in total defense at 301.7 yards per game and fourth in the league against the pass at 196.3 yards per game. The club posted its first shutout of the season last week against the Arizona Cardinals in a 58-0 romp, and that marked the third time this year that a team was held in single digits in scoring against Seattle.
Seattle ranks 10th in the NFL with 32 sacks, and it is really picking up steam in this department just a few years after having the worst rated pass rush per advanced stats in the NFL. Though the Seahawks don’t have a Top 10 pass rusher this year, DE Chris Clemons and DE Bruce Irvin have 17 sacks between them, and they are the heart and soul of this unit. Buffalo hasn’t had the best offensive line play all season long by any stretch of the imagination, and these two could be in for fantastic days when push comes to shove.
Head Coach Pete Carroll was reamed by the media when he took Irvin halfway through the first round of the NFL Draft this past year. He turned out to be right with his assessment of the rookie’s talents, though. Irvin is the top rated pass rusher this year amongst rookies, picking up those eight sacks, two more than Houston’s LB Whitney Mercilus and New England’s DE Chandler Jones.