It’s been 12 years since the Seattle Seahawks stepped foot in Buffalo to take on the Bills. The last time the Seahawks were there, Marshawn Lynch scored the game’s first touchdown for the Bills, and Buffalo would go on to seal a 34-10 victory.
Two years later, Lynch would go on to play for Seattle.
Seattle did travel to play Buffalo in more recent years, however. During Russell Wilson’s sensational rookie season in 2012, the eventual franchise quarterback routed the Bills 50-17 in Toronto, as part of an annual experiment in Canada that ended in 2014.
A lot has changed since Seattle’s last time in Buffalo, but also much has remained the same. Wilson is still at the helm in Seattle and has won nearly every award since his first season. He was Rookie of the Year, has been named to seven Pro Bowls, received two All-Pro nods, and won Super Bowl XLVIII. There’s one award he’s still lacking, though, the coveted NFL’s Most Valuable Player Award.
MVP frontrunner Wilson will look to improve upon his campaign Sunday as the 6-1 Seahawks take on the 6-2 Bills in Week 9. The Bills are having arguably their best season in years after starting the season 4-0. After opening the season with wins over the Jets, Dolphins, Rams and Raiders, the Bills then lost their next two games, 42-16 at Tennessee and 26-17 at home to Kansas City.
Buffalo did bounce back over the past few weeks with an 18-10 win over the Jets and recently, a 24-21 victory over the Patriots in Week 8.
After suffering their first loss of the season to the Arizona Cardinals in Week 7, the Seahawks took down their divisional rivals, the San Francisco 49ers, 37-27 at CenturyLink Field. DK Metcalf torched the No. 5 ranked 49ers defense with a career-high 15 targets, 12 catches, 161 yards and tied his career-best with two touchdowns, but it was the Seahawks defense that had people buzzing.
The defense took a necessary step forward with Bobby Wagner once again reminding the NFL why he’s the league’s best linebacker. With safety Jamal Adams expected to return from injury and pass rusher Carlos Dunlap “hungry” and ready to eat, there’s a lot on the line for the two teams. Seattle is looking for its second 7-1 start under Pete Carroll while Bills are craving a 7-2 mark for the first time in 27 years.
Here’s what you need to know about the Week 9 matchup:
- Pete Carroll began his NFL coaching career with the Bills in 1984 as the team’s defensive backs coach
- Buffalo's last win over Seattle came in 2008 when the Bills beat them 34-10 with Trent Edwards as the quarterback. Marshawn Lynch led Buffalo in rushing yards with 18 attempts for 76 yards and one touchdown. Two years later, Lynch would go on to play for Seattle.
- The Seahawks lead the series over Buffalo with an 8-5 record. Seattle has beaten the Bills in their last two meetings in 2016 (31-25) and 2012 (50-17).
Bills defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier on Russell Wilson’s MVP campaign:
"Russell is off to a great start," Frazier said. "He is off to an MVP-type season, and he's definitely one of the premier quarterbacks in our league. We'll have to find ways to corral him to slow him down. He does a great job of moving into pockets similar to Pat [Mahomes] and making plays outside the pocket as well as in the pocket. He presents a lot of problems to defenses, and we have to find ways just to slow this offense down in general."
Bills head coach Sean McDermott on Pete Carroll’s success:
"I have a lot of respect for Coach Carroll," McDermott said. "He's one of the best to coach our sport. He's been coaching professional football for a long time now, a Super Bowl winning coach. [He has] Russell Wilson and a talented roster. Along with Russell and dynamic playmakers, I think they're the highest scoring offense in the league. So, we won't sleep much this week. Maybe they will, but I can tell you we won't. But we've got to have a great week of preparation, and we've got a lot of respect for them and what they do."
MONEY LINE: -- Seahawks: -150 —Bills: +130
POINT SPREAD: -- Seahawks: -2.5 (-121) -- Bills: +2.5 (+100) -- O/U: 55 (-110)
HOW TO WATCH:
When: Sunday, November 8
Where: Bills Stadium | Buffalo, New York
Start time: 10 a.m. PT
TV channel: FOX
[Listen to the latest Talkin' Seahawks Podcast with host Joe Fann]