Lions vs. Seahawks: Full game preview by position
Special teams is a mixed bag for the Detroit Lions. Their punting and kicking game is strong, but their return game is not. And they are just plain awful at defending returns. Seattle has a strong punting game and an average kicking game. They are good at defending returns, but not great at returning kicks themselves.
Lions punter Sam Martin has punted 20 times for an average of 45.65 yards per punt. Seahawks punter Michael Dickson has been slightly better averaging 46.26 yards per punt. Motor City’s placekicker Matt Prater has hit on 13/16 field goals and all 16 extra points. Seattle placekicker Sebastian Janikowski is 8/11 on field goals and has made all 17 extra points.
Detroit’s return game has been average when given the chance averaging just six yards per punt return and 28.1 yards per kickoff return. However, their defense of kickoff and punt returns is terrible.
Motown has given up 21.5 yards per punt return on average, including a 78-yard touchdown return. The Lions have also been below average when defending kick returns allowing 26.1 yards per return on average, including a 90-yard return.
Seattle has not been any better at returning kickoffs or punts as they are averaging 6.6 yards per punt return and 20.6 yards per kickoff return. Their return defense, however, has been much better than Detroit’s. The Seahawks are only giving up 8.2 yards per punt return and 23.2 yards per kickoff return.
The Lions have the better kicking game and are about the same as the ‘Hawks when punting. The two teams are basically even when returning as well (Detroit is better at returning kickoffs; Seattle is better at returning punts).
However, the major standout here is that the Lions are awful at defending returns while the Seahawks are not. For that reason, Seattle earns the advantage here.
Overall Special Teams Advantage: Seahawks
The Detroit Lions have the clear upper hand on offense, while the Seattle Seahawks have a slim lead on defense and special teams. With that being said, the Lions are playing great football right now and it’s hard to see the Seahawks beating the Lions this weekend. Another well balanced offensive day should be enough to help the defense stay off the field the whole game.
The Detroit Lions will top the Seattle Seahawks 31-29.