Detroit Lions vs. Seattle Seahawks: 3 key matchups for Week 4

Credit: Kevin Sabitus/Getty Images
Credit: Kevin Sabitus/Getty Images /

Coming off a tough loss in a winnable game, the Detroit Lions are looking to bounce back against the Seattle Seahawks in Week 4. Here are 3 key matchups to look for on Sunday.

The sting of a loss in a tightly contested game has a way of sticking with a team throughout the following week. For the Detroit Lions, Week 3 served as a reminder that this organization is still working to get the stench of losing out of their system.

This week they will be returning home to take on the Seattle Seahawks. Like Detroit, Seattle is sitting with a 1-2 record this season, having lost back-to-back games.

Here are 3 key matchups to pay attention to on Sunday.

Detroit Lions vs. Seahawks: 3 key matchups

Matchup 1: Lions DE Charles Harris vs. Seahawks LT Charles Cross

During training camp one of the storylines was how dominant Charles Harris looked. After the Lions drafted Aidan Hutchinson, Harris seemed poised to face fewer double-teams in pass rush situations. That has translated to the regular season. It’s true Harris has faced far fewer double-teams so far this season, but he has failed to take advantage of his matchups.

This week, Harris draws a matchup against a highly drafted rookie in Charles Cross. Drafted ninth overall in April, Cross was brought in to hopefully anchor the Seahawks line at left tackle. So far Cross has provided an adequate level of play, which is a positive sign.

While Cross has been pretty solid, he is still a rookie. Harris so far this season has one good game and two disappointing ones. He will be given a golden opportunity to provide Cross with a “welcome to the NFL” moment on Sunday.

Matchup 2: Lions WR DJ Chark vs. Seahawks CB Tariq Woolen

Similarly to Charles Harris, DJ Chark has not been very consistent so far this season. In Week 1, Chark saw a large target share and caught half of his eight targets on the day for 52 yards and a touchdown. However, after that impressive start, Chark has just three more catches on 10 targets for 46 yards in the two games since then.

On the other side of this matchup is another Seahawks rookie, cornerback Tariq Woolen. Unlike his teammate Cross, Woolen was not a high pick (fifth round). Through the early stretch of the season, he’s gradually earned more playing time as he keeps leaving a positive impression.

The biggest challenge facing Chark is Woolen can match both his size and his athleticism. Meaning Chark will have to use his experience to get an edge in this matchup. With Amon-Ra St. Brown dealing with a minor injury, the other wideouts need to step up. Last week proved Josh Reynolds could be counted on. Now it’s time for Chark to show he can step up too.

Matchup 3: Lions S JuJu Hughes vs. Seahawks TEs Noah Fant and Will Dissly

Last Sunday Detroit was dealt a significant blow, as Tracy Walker tore his achilles and is now out for the season. Asking anyone to fill the void both on and off the field is way too tall a task, but JuJu Hughes will be the primary fill-in for the Lions’ captain.

In Week 1, after Walker got ejected, Hughes checked into the game and was immediately picked on by the Eagles. In Week 2 he didn’t see the field as much, but in Week 3 he was a lot more effective in relief of Walker. Hughes was successful in implementing the Lions’ strategy to take away Justin Jefferson as he helped Jeff Okudah.

This week Hughes will have to help pick up the mantle in coverage by taking on the Seahawks duo of tight ends. Both Noah Fant and Will Dissly have been factors in the Seattle offense. The Seahawks run a lot of “12” personnel (one running back, two tight ends), so they are on the field together a lot. Fant and Dissly are third and fourth respectively for Seattle in catches through three games.

Hughes will have to step up in this game and going forward. If he can provide passable play, the Lions’ secondary might not sink without Walker.

Related Story. 4 external options for the Lions to replace safety Tracy Walker. light