It seems like a long time since the Detroit Lions play a home game but they finally get that chance again on Sunday with the Seattle Seahawks set to play at Ford Field. I took some time this week to get some thoughts from Keith Myers, editor of 12th Man Rising, about the game.
1. The Seahawks are 1-3 on the road and 3-0 at home, what do you attribute that difference to?
Keith Myers: This is a young team that is still learning how to win. They just seem to make more mistakes on the road then they do at home. They are also a defense-based team, and playing at home always helps the defense. This is especially true when you play in Seattle which has the loudest stadium in the NFL.
2. Many questioned the draft choice of Bruce Irvin but you were on-board with it earlier than most Seahawks fans, what has stuck out most about his play early on?
KM: Irvin has an explosive first step and tremendous speed for a defensive lineman. Those skills remind me of a young Jevon Kearse, before all the injuries. He’s just a natural pass rusher. There was a play in the preseason were he chased down a wide receiver 30 yards downfield after the corner had fallen down in coverage. How many other defensive lineman can make that play?
A lot of people jumped off the Irvin bandwagon in the preseason when he failed to show up on the stat sheet for 3 of the team’s 4 games. But, if you look at the film it was easy to see why. Irvin spent the preseason working on inside moves and techniques that aren’t strong points of his game, rather than just using his speed and compiling stats. The work has paid off. While he’s still much better as a speed rusher around the corner, his inside moves have proven to be a nice change of pace to keep offensive tackles honest.
3. With the way Russell Wilson has handled starting duties, will Matt Flynn ever get a chance to start for the Seahawks? Was signing him a mistake?
KM: I don’t think Flynn gets a chance to start unless Wilson gets hurt, but signing Flynn wasn’t a mistake. He would have been a nice upgrade over Tarvaris Jackson even if Wilson hadn’t lasted long enough in the draft for the Seahawks to get him in the 3rd round, or if Wilson had needed additional time to get ready to be the starter. Signing him allowed the Seahawks to get a pair of defensive upgrades early in the draft, instead of having to try and trade up to get a definite starter. He’s also not exactly getting starter’s money, though he is a well-paid backup.
4. What do the Lions need to do to have success against the Seahawks?
KM: Stop Marshawn Lynch, and get pressure on Russell Wilson. If Lynch goes into beast-mode and runs over the defense, the play-action passing game becomes a great ally for the rookie passer. Wilson has struggled when under pressure, so if the Lions can stop Lynch and get some pressure on Wilson, the Seahawk offense will struggle to move the ball.
5. What is your prediction for the game?
KM: If there was ever a corner capable of stopping Calvin Johnson, it’s Richard Sherman. He’s already stopped a bunch of the league’s top receivers (Larry Fitzgerald Steve Smith) ,and even changed his twitter handle to Optimus Prime this week in honor of taking on Megatron. With that in mind, I don’t think the Lions have much success offensively against what has turned out to be a very good Seahawk defense. Thus, I expect a very low scoring game.
I’m going to have to go with the road team in this one. After watching the Lion’s offense struggle to do almost anything against the Bears, I can’t imagine that they’ll have much more success against the Seahawks. Expect Lynch and Wilson to do just enough to pull out the win.
Seahawks 16, Lions 13