2015 NFL Monday Night Preview – Detroit Lions vs. Seattle Seahawks

This week’s Monday Night Football game has the winless and hapless Detroit Lions visiting the upward mobile Seattle Seahawks. The game opened with Seattle at minus 9. The Seahawks are now presently at minus 10.5. Is that too big of a spread?

Consider that Seattle obliterated last week’s 14.5 spread when they played Chicago. Also think about the fact that the Lions are not much better than the Bears and that the Hawks are now playing exceptionally well, and it becomes clear that Seattle does have a shot at winning by 11 or more points.

Detroit Offense vs. Seahawks Defense

The Detroit offense has scored just 56 points this season. That might be enough if their defense hadn’t allowed at total of 83 points. That’s the story for this team in a nutshell. It all starts with QB Matthew Stafford who has been struggling. Stafford, with a rating of 78.7 and a completion rate of 64.1%, has tossed 5 touchdown passes, 5 interceptions, and been sacked 6 times.

He does have some solid, skilled receivers, including WR Calvin Johnson and TE Eric Ebron. Johnson, who has 20 catches for 199 yards and 1 TD, is averaging 10 YPC. Ebron, who has 2 touchdowns, has made 13 catches for 157 yards and is averaging 12.1 YPC.

The frontline has been problematic for the Lions, putting Stafford in jeopardy and undermining the running game, which is led by Ameer Abdullah. Abdullah has gained 82 yards in 21 attempts, averaging 3.9 YPA. He’s made 1 touchdown. That’s not enough output to make a difference.

For the Seahawks the one defensive stat that stands out in a negative way is the number of interceptions they’ve had thus far- 0. They have not had one yet. They have posted 5 passes defended, 5 forced fumbles and 4 recovered, 6 sacks and 10 tackles for a loss. The frontline, featuring Michael Bennett (2 Sacks, 3 TFL) and Jordan Hill (4 TFL), is prime, and the linebacking unit, which is led by Bobby Wagner (13 Solo Tackles, 13 Assists), is tenacious. They will cause problems for Stafford and company.

Seattle Offense vs. Lions Defense

Seattle’s Russell Wilson has the makings of a great quarterback. He’s a sound leader, a fine athlete who can pass and run, and a tough competitor. His QB rating is sound at 94.2 and his completion rate of 70.3% is excellent. He’s tossed 4 TDs and 2 INTs while also running for a total of 137 yards. That last stat, along with an average of 5.7 yards per carry, makes him the team’s leading rusher.

Wilson has got quality receivers, like TE Jimmy Graham and WR Doug Baldwin, at the ends of his passes. Graham has 14 catches for 147 yards and 2 TDs, while Baldwin has caught 17 balls for 162 yards and 1 TD. Add to that the fact that Seattle puts Marshawn Lynch, one of the best running backs in the NFL, on the field each week, and you’ve got an offense with a lot of potential.

The Detroit defense has had a hard time containing opposition rushing and passing attacks. They’re allowing an average of 27.7 PPG. It’s hard to imagine them containing the Seahawk offense. If they are going to be effective, the Lions will need some big plays from the likes of linebacker Stephen Tulloch, DE Ezekiel Ansah, and FS Glover Quinn. These are the guys who have been stepping up thus far this season, but they need to do so in a concerted effort in order to shutdown the Seahawks.

Other Considerations

In their last two games, which were against the Vikings and Broncos, the Lions averaged 15 PPG. In those same games, they allowed 25 PPG. In their initial loss of the season, Detroit put 28 on the scoreboard while Chargers scored 33. The Lions have to figure out how to generate an effective offense, and it’s doubtful they will do so against Seattle.

It isn’t because the Seahawks have a premium defense. But they do have a good one that can control offenses that are weaker or unable to play consistently. They shut out the Bears after giving up 27 points to the Packers and 34 to the Rams. And although they have allowed 61 points, they have, in that time, scored 74.

The Seahawks have the upper hand going into this game. However, the Hawks have been hurt by some bad coaching calls. With all that’s been said, a few miscues by the coaching staff could turn this game in favor of the Lions.

Best Bets

The best bet would have been Seattle at minus 9, but if you didn’t act quickly then that opportunity is gone. Still, the Seahawks at minus 10.5 is a good deal. The over/under of 43 depends on the Lions’ ability to score. Seattle will certainly put points on the board. Can Detroit manage 10 points at least? The answer is probably not against this team. Take the under.

October 5, 2015 by : Posted in NFL No Comments

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