The Seattle Seahawks are 6-1 with the NFL’s top scoring offense in 2020. They travel to Orchard Park this week to take on the Buffalo Bills in what should be one of the top games of the week. Seattle averages 34 points per game this year, and the Bills average 25, so it almost certainly will be a high-scoring affair.
Each team allows an average of at least 25 points per game defensively, as well, so it could very well be a game where the last team with the ball wins. Which Seattle players will the Bills need to slow down in order to win this week? Here’s our list.
QB Russell Wilson
One of the league’s best quarterbacks is having one of his best starts to a season in his brilliant career. Wilson is sixth in passing yards (2,151), third in yards per attempt (8.4), first in passing touchdowns (26), first in quarterback rating (120.8), and third in completion percentage (71.5%). He is tied for the ninth-most interceptions in the league, however, with six in the early going here. If the Bills can help him add to that total while keeping him from exponentially adding to his passing touchdown number, they’ll have a great chance at victory. Limiting Wilson’s big plays will be key, as well. Seattle’s quarterback has completed four passes of at least 40 yards—second in the league only to Aaron Rodgers. Limiting those splash plays and playing sound contain to keep Wilson in the pocket gives Buffalo their best shot.
WR Tyler Lockett
What a revelation Lockett has been this year, as he’s been remarkably consistent this season. After topping 1,000 receiving yards for the first time in his career in 2019, Lockett is on his way to meeting that milestone again this season, as he leads the Seahawks in targets (64), receptions (49), and receiving touchdowns (7; tied with DK Metcalf). He’s second to Metcalf with 575 receiving yards, as well. Lockett is a threat to go vertical all day long, but he’s not merely a deep threat. He runs the whole route tree well, and the Bills will need to trust their safeties to help out over the top. Whether it’s Levi Wallace or Tre’Davious White on Lockett, the Bills will have their hands full this Sunday.
WR DK Metcalf
Speaking of Metcalf, the big fella is having an excellent season in 2020. He leads the Seahawks in receiving yards with 680, is tied for the lead in touchdowns with seven, and is second to Lockett in both targets (59) and receptions (36). At 6’4” and 230 lbs, Metcalf can out-muscle any corner in the league, but he can also out-run most of them, as we saw by his insane catchup play against the Arizona Cardinals when he tackled Budda Baker after the safety looked like he had a sure interception return touchdown. Buffalo has been great at limiting big passing plays under head coach Sean McDermott, but they sometimes do it at the expense of the running game. They’ll need to focus on containing Seattle’s big receivers this week.
LB Bobby Wagner
For my money, Wagner is the best linebacker in the NFL. He’s the player we should all hope Tremaine Edmunds becomes, as Wagner is outstanding in coverage, is an excellent blitzer, and shows impeccable instincts in the running game. A five-time All-Pro and six-time Pro Bowl selection, Wagner has 74 tackles this year in just seven games with only five missed tackles. He also has four tackles-for-loss, seven quarterback hits, two sacks, and four pass breakups this year. If offensive coordinator Brian Daboll can manipulate Wagner on some play-action calls, the Bills may be able to use Wagner’s aggressive nature against him; however, manipulating a player of his caliber is easier said than done. Throwing outside the numbers is going to be the better move Sunday.
CB Quinton Dunbar
Top corner Shaquill Griffin might miss the game, which would mean that Dunbar could be lined up across from Stefon Diggs more often than normal. Seattle tends to let their huge corners stick to one side of the field in their Cover-3 scheme, so the Bills could manipulate this to their advantage. Dunbar has allowed just 6% of the passes thrown his way to be completed this year, but he has allowed three touchdowns and an average of 13 yards per completion. Look for Josh Allen to target the 6’2” veteran on Sunday whether Griffin is active or not.