Seattle-The Seattle Seahawks will face the Detroit Lions on Saturday at 5:45 p.m. in the Wild Card. The Seahawks have been inconsistent with being the dominate team that we are accustom of seeing. Injuries to key players have plagued Seattle this year. They have been hurt on the offensive line, as well as in the secondary with Earl Thomas breaking his tibia. Since his injury, the Seahawks have let opponents averaged 24.5 points against them.
In the beginning of the season Russell Wilson was dealing with a leg injury that kept him from stretching the defense or extending drives with his legs. He is now healthy, but he has been consistently pressured. The Seahawks has not been able to run the ball since Marshawn Lynch retired. C.j. Prosis had impacted the running game a bit, but he has not been consistent with staying healthy. Prosis has 30 carries, 5.7 YPC, but he has only been in the back field for six games. Currently he is sidelined, because of a shoulder injury.
“We keep running. We have to keep running to make sure that we have the mix that we want. That’s our style of play, and it doesn’t always matter how you run the ball early in the game. It’s more important how you finish running the ball so that you can finish running the game just like we needed to do,” said Seahawks’ head coach Pete Carroll.
The last three games the Seahawks have averaged around 79 yards on the ground with an average a 2.9. In order for the Seahawks to win they will have to established some type of running attack. They have to get the running backs involve early and not rely on Wilson to make something happen the entire time. The Lions can put pressure on Wilson and that struggling offensive line to make it tough for him, but they are averaging 19.8% of pressure when Quarterbacks are dropping back. If given time in the pocket Russell could do some damage in the Lions’ secondary.
Lions- The Lions have lost their last three games and lost a chance to win the division with a lost to the Packers last week. They have suffered a lot of injuries on the offensive side, as well as Matthew Stafford with a finger injury, but this team does not quit. The Lions need to find some rhythm in their running attack. They have struggled to find a running back to eclipse 50 yards in a game. Zack Zenner has provided a spark in the last two games. Even though he has carried the ball 20 times and has only 60 yards, he still has been productive with finding his way to the 1st down mark when the Lions need him.
It will be interesting to see if the Lions could establish a run game against the second ranked run defense in the league.
Stafford is going against a secondary that is banged up and has let opponents scored an average of 24 points on them. Stafford is known to throw in tight coverage and sometimes that is a risk. With the Seahawks, who are known to play tight and physical coverage, he has to be careful with letting it go.
Keys to victory
The Lions have to exploit the Seahawks’ secondary on the offensive end. They have to let Anquan Bolden and Golden Tate get their touches early. They need to stretch out the field and take their shots down the middle of the field. On the defensive end pressure Wilson, make him throw the ball early and stay in the pocket. they have to keep a quarter back spy on him at all times, because Wilson likes to extend plays with his feet. The key word is pressure!
The Seahawks have to let Jimmy Graham get his touches. In the last few games, they have left him out of the game plan a bit. They need to get him involved on crossing patterns, streaks down the field, and stop and go routes. The Lions will probably play a soft coverage on Graham, because they do not want to get beat down the field. On the defensive end make Stafford and the offensive front one dimensional. They do not have a running game. The Lions have not had a person to run over a 100 yards in a long time. Do not let Zenner come up big on third downs. Put pressure on Stafford and make him roll out to his left. He is not comfortable with throwing on his back foot.
More stories you might like