Seven games into the season, and the Seahawks (4-3) next opponent is the Detroit Lions (2-4). The Seahawks have started off the season fairly well, and are looking to improve on what they have started. The Lions on the other hand have started the season off on the other side of the grid.
The Lions are averaging 406.3 yards a game(306.7 passing and 99.7 rushing), where the Seahawks are managing 293.6(161.9 passing, and 131.7 rushing). The Lions led by Matthew Stafford have amassed 133 points so far after 6 games. Russell Wilson and his Seahawks have managed to put up 116 points. Stafford has completed 164 of 264(62.1%) for 1754 yards, 5 touchdowns and 6 interceptions. Wilson on the other hand has completed 104 of 175(59.4%) for 1230 yards, 8 touchdowns and 7 interceptions. Stafford has been sacked 12 different times, whereas Wilson has hit the ground 14 times. Oddly enough both offenses are 33% on third down.
Pete Carroll is very high on Russell Wilson.
“We think that Russell is busting his tail to do everything and he’s getting better, he’s feeling (better),” Carroll said on 710 ESPN Seattle radio. “Every game is so important to him as he grows to understand what it takes and all of that.”
Marshawn Lynch is still running beast mode for the Seahawks. He has carried the rock 147 times for 652 yards. Lynch has carried the ball more himself than all of the total rushing plays for the Lions. The Lions have run the football 144 times for 595 yards. Second year back Mikel Leshoure is leading the pack with 66 carries for 295 yards. Kevin Smith has run the ball 29 times for 115 yards. Rookie running back Robert Turbin has carried the ball 26 times, also for 115 yards.
Stafford has been good at spreading the ball around, but his number one target is still Calvin Johnson. Johnson has caught 38 passes for 592 yards, and only 1 touchdown. Johnson (6’5″ 236 lbs.) is known for being a big physical receiver that can shield his body against defenders and reel in off the mark catches. Wilson also has been spreading the ball around himself, although not one receiver really stands out like Johnson does for the Lions. Sidney Rice has been the most steady with 22 catches for 312 yards. Rice himself can make spectacular plays going up and grabbing off-center throws as well.
The two defenses have been playing very well so far this season. The Lions are boasting the 8th overall defense allowing 319.3 yards per game(210.5 passing and 108.8 rushing). The Seahawks are riding the 5th overall defense allowing 297.3 yards per game(212.3 passing, and 85 rushing). The Lions are allowing 25 points per game, while the Seahawks are only allowing 15.1 per game on defense. Detroit has only picked off two passes this season. They have also managed to sack opposing QB’s 17 different times, forcing three fumbles. Seattle on the other hand has managed to pick of seven different passes, and they have put the QB on the ground 19 times, and they have forced 8 fumbles. Chris Clemons(Seahawks) is leading the charge for both teams with 7 sacks. Cliff Avril(Lions) and Bruce Irvin(Seahawks) are second in line with 4.5 each.
The Seahawks and the Lions have squared off eleven different times. Seattle leads the series 7-4. Four of those games have been played in Detroit. Those four games have been split between the two teams. In the last 5 meetings between the two teams, Seattle has won the last three by a combined score of 76-40. The last time Seattle lost to Detroit was in 1999 in Seattle. The last time Seattle lost in Detroit was 1997, where the Lions edged out the Seahawks 17-16.
Just this week, Richard Sherman has changed his Twitter handle to read “Optimus Prime“. Calvin Johnson has been using the moniker “Megatron” for several years now. The battle heating up between the two could lead to a very interesting game. Detroit has a slight edge being as they are playing the game at home. For Seattle to win this game, a few things must occur.
- Marshawn Lynch must get going early. A healthy dose of Lynch will run Detroit down. They are already missing a few key players in the secondary, if Lynch gets back there he could take it to the house. Lynch taking care of the workload will allow Seattle’s offense to keep Matt Stafford off of the field and ice-cold.
- Contain Calvin Johnson. Johnson is a game changer. He can be covered well for three quarters, and left alone, and still have a huge game for Detroit. Seattle needs to keep him as a focus for all four quarters, every play, whistle to whistle. Limiting Johnson’s catches will be a huge asset for Seattle.
- Fluster Matt Stafford. Getting to Stafford early and often will only help Seattle. Chris Clemons, Bruce Irvin, Brandon Mebane and Red Bryant all need to get started early to wear down the offensive line. Putting Stafford on the ground will get him edgy and off-key.
The countdown to the showdown has begun, and Sunday morning both of these teams will clash. Ford Field will be in full throat trying to keep the Seahawks from getting to .500 on the road. The Seahawks need to stay focused and keep their ears pinned down. This won’t be an easy win for either team, and the battle should be going at every position. Both defenses are playing very well and it very well may be a low scoring game again. If the Seahawks can keep the score low again, they will have another opportunity to come back to Seattle with another road win. This game is key for both teams, the Lions needing to get back into their division, and the Seahawks need to keep the pressure on first place 49ers. Whichever team is more on their game will come away with the win this week.