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Ben Gretch is back with his picks, predictions, and preview for the Seattle Seahawks and New Orleans Saints matchup on Monday Night Football.

Monday Night Football Week 7 Preview and Prediction: Seattle Seahawks vs. New Orleans Saints

Seattle Seahawks vs. New Orleans Saints Start Time, Where to Watch, and Odds

Date: Monday, October 25, 2021

Game Time: 8:15 p.m. ET

Where to Watch: ESPN and ESPN2 (with Peyton and Eli)

  • Key Stat: New Orleans ranks 31st in Pass Rate Over Expected (PROE). Seattle had a season-low PROE in Week 6 in Geno Smith’s first start.

Click Here For Seahawks vs. Saints Odds

Seattle Seahawks vs. New Orleans Saints Preview

Monday Night Football in Week 7 features New Orleans heading to Seattle for a contest that could be impacted by the elements. As of Saturday night, forecasts have the likelihood of rain during the game north of 80%, with winds estimated over 15 miles per hour. Both teams are content playing slow and leaning on the run. If you read my Sunday Night Football preview, you probably know where I’m going with this.

New Orleans ranks 31st in Pass Rate Over Expected (PROE), meaning the elect to run the ball far more frequently than their game situations like down and distance, score, and time remaining would dictate. Seattle has at times been willing to throw this year, but they were comfortably negative in PROE in Week 6 with Russell Wilson out, and after a scoreless first half they got back into that game by establishing the run.

Defensively, the Saints have the best success rate in the NFL against the run, but they are also top 10 against the pass, and Geno Smith isn’t likely to consistently beat them in a windy setting. I’m not sure that will matter — do we really think Pete Carroll will let the strength of an opposing run defense get him away from trying to establish it?

Carroll has said that Alex Collins will play, which is good news for Seattle after Collins had a nice game on Sunday Night Football in Week 6. The Seahawks will also welcome back Rashaad Penny in his return from IR, so they’ll be deeper at running back than they’ve been in some time. Star receiver DK Metcalf, meanwhile, was limited in practice Friday and was listed as a DNP on Saturday due to a foot issue. There have been no reports he could miss the game as of this writing, and he’s played through the foot ailment prior to this week, but it doesn’t sound like he’s at 100%.

New Orleans has been run heavy all year, opting after their quarterback switch to Jameis Winston to use the ground game to set up play-action passes. Winston and Smith are both mistake-prone quarterbacks who could get into trouble in the elements, but based on what we’ve seen from both coaching staffs recently, the expectation is both sides will be comfortable playing an old school grind it out football game.

One potential quirk is the Saints are coming out of a bye week, so they might have some new ideas to incorporate. But they’ve shown us a willingness this year to be very run heavy and play slow with leads — no team has averaged a slower time to snap with leads of seven or more points so far in 2021. If Seattle takes a lead, we can probably expect similar — they’ve played somewhat fast with leads so far in 2021, but have a long history under Carroll of playing slow in those situations, including finishing outside the top 20 in time to snap with leads of seven or more each season from 2017 to 2019. They played a little faster early in 2020 before losing their nerve, and as I mentioned were much slower with Smith under center last week than they had been with Wilson here in 2021, so if they were to build a lead I very much expect their strategy to shift to trying to shorten the game.

Seattle Seahawks vs. New Orleans Saints Pick

The quarterbacks could be wildcards, but there’s plenty of reason to believe both coaching staffs will manage this game like they are trying to win a low-scoring affair. I’m once again on the under in our second straight Week 7 primetime matchup of two teams that are willing to play slow and establish the run, who are facing off in suboptimal conditions for the passing game.

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Ben knows his football. A fantasy football expert who was most recently seen at CBS Sports, he'll be helping bettors find value ahead in the NFL with OddsChecker.

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