Week 8: Detroit Lions Vs. Seattle Seahawks
- QuarterbackThe Lions have not been anywhere near the offensive team this year that they were a year ago and much of that falls on quarterback Matthew Stafford. In addition to lacking accuracy and consistency on the medium- and long-range passes, his timing has been off this season. Stafford has only thrown five TD passes after tossing 41 last year.The Seahawks have been relatively pleased with rookie quarterback Russell Wilson, who plays with courage and throws an accurate short pass. Wilson is smart and poised and he has won the respect of his teammates. Wilson can make things happen with his quick feet and that causes problems for the defense.
- OffenseThe Lions had three red zone turnovers in the Week Seven Monday night loss to the Bears and that kept them from making a run at winning that key NFC North game. Mikel Leshoure and Joique Bell each had red zone fumbles. Calvin Johnson has not been the weapon he’s been in past years.The Seahawks can’t just ask their rookie quarterback to throw the ball. They need consistent production from the running game. They can get it from Marshawn Lynch, who has been a good between-the-tackles runner. He has power and also has a burst to take it to the outside. Sidney Rice is the Seahawks’ best outside receiver, while Ben Obomanu can make the tough catch over the middle.
- DefenseThe Lions are playing hard-hitting and solid defense. However, they are not taking the ball away from their opponents. Defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh had an explosive sack of Jay Cutler in the second quarter and that play is likely to get the attention of Wilson and every other quarterback who faces the Lions the rest of the year.The Seahawks bring pressure and will try to punish Stafford early and often. The key to their pass rush is the speed and the ability to turn the corner of defensive end Chris Clemons, who has 7.0 sacks. Outside linebacker K.J. Wright had 10 tackles in the Week Seven loss to the 49ers.
- Special TeamsThe Lions’ coverage teams are a major liability. They have given up big plays on special teams throughout the season and return specialist Stefan Logan fumbled twice (lost one) against the Bears. Jason Hanson is a dependable field goal kicker and punter Nick Harris is dependable at stopping his punts deep in the opponents’ territory.The Seahawks know they will be challenged on the road against a desperate team. However, if they can keep it close, they know they have an advantage on special teams. Leon Washington is a big-time return specialist who can take advantage of the hosts’ faulty special teams
The Lions have a major talent advantage on the offensive side of the ball, but that has not made much of a difference to this point in the year. The Seahawks have one of the fastest and hardest hitting defenses in the league and they are not afraid. Still, Wilson will have a tough time on the road. The Seahawks will try to take advantage of the Lions’ weak special teams.