Kyle Terada-US PRESSWIRE
Week 7 wasn't the funnest fun time I've ever funned, but it certainly did suck. Well, not completely. Here are some of the good parts.
In my opinion, every day is a good day to be a Seahawks fan. We aren't given it easy, we aren't handed anything, we live the rough and tumble fan life. We're stronger for it and we can take the punches. Maybe we aren't "shot callers" but I think each and every one of you boys and girls are "ballers" for sticking with the Hawks through and through. You didn't hop on any bandwagon, because there is none, instead you got dysentery. Do not pass Oregon Trail, do not collect $200, but do hold your head up high because you're a part of the greatest fan base in the NFL!
Now that I've buttered you up, let's talk about some facts from the Niners game. (You needed the buttering up to take this.)
As per usual, the Seahawks defense took over a game in the first half. The 49ers were held to three points and on their final three drives of the half and they ran nine offensive plays (yeah, three 3-and-outs) for 12 yards. Seattle led 6-3 and we know it could have, or should have, been more than that.
The Hawks have allowed one, yeah one, touchdown in seven first quarters. (Wes Welker 46 yards from Tom Brady.) Overall they've given up 16 points in the first quarter, the same amount of points that the Buffalo Bills allow before the CBS camera crew is even finished setting up. That works out to 2.28 points per 1st quarter and it's always important to get out to a fast start and Seattle is averaging 5.14 points per 1st quarter. (Obviously, that's not that much but it's a start.)
Where Seattle could improve is the third quarter, where they've allowed 29 points after halftime adjustments to their defense. We've seen in particular where teams like Green Bay and San Francisco have benefited from a strong ground game. Pete Carroll spoke about how the 49ers were able to take advantage of some schemes and that they will adjust going forward so that future teams don't do the same.
After forcing three straight punts to end the first half, the 49ers next three drives were very successful and resulted in 10 points; Saved only by Alex Smith looking as if he almost literally found Brandon Browner in the end zone. But overall San Francisco gained 191 yards on those first three drives of the second half. The Niners only gained 115 yards on their other six drives.
Overall Defensive Numbers
The Seahawks took a hit on their run defense numbers, obviously, but still rank tied for 5th with 3.7 yards per carry and 4th with two rushing touchdowns allowed. Smith was no threat to the pass defense and Seattle is tied for 5th in yards per pass play, tied for 1st with 6 passing touchdowns, and tied for 3rd in overall yards per play allowed.
Here is a fun fact about Aaron Rodgers: After Seattle held Rodgers to 223 passing yards and 0 touchdowns, he has thrown 16 TD and 2 INT in four games. The Hawks have faced some soft offenses this year, like the Cardinals, Rams, and inconsistent Dallas Cowboys, but they've also seen some of the best.
What do we get to see against Detroit? Well, I think if you watched the game last night you'll have an idea: All of the mistakes! Seattle hasn't forced as many turnovers as you'd like to see a top five defense force, but maybe the Lions can help remedy that.
Detroit is first in the NFL in pass attempts and second in yards, but only 18th in net yards per pass attempt. Overall, Matthew Stafford has thrown just 5 touchdown passes and they have all come in the fourth quarter. If you combine how bad Detroit is in the first half with how good the Seattle D is, we can expect a 31-0 early lead. However, if you combine how good the Lions are as the game goes on, are we going to be able to protect it?
Calvin Johnson is still, in my opinion, the best receiver in the NFL and makes an argument as the best non-QB on offense in the league. However, I'd argue that if the Bears, Vikings and 49ers can hold him under 100 yards so can Richard Sherman and the Seahawks. Even if they don't, will it matter? The Lions got a major blow last night with Nate Burleson out for eight months on a broken leg, and even if Burleson isn't the most productive receiver in the league (as we know) it's going to be interesting to see if they can replace him.
It looked early on like Detroit would be a real test for this pass defense, but now it seems like it would be a failure to do anything but shut down the Lions offense completely. Stafford's 6.6 yards per attempt is considerably lower than Russell Wilson's.
The Detroit running game doesn't look to be much of a threat. Though Mikel Leshoure has looked well above-average at times, we've seen where boneheaded mistakes and poor decisions have cost his team dearly. Joique Bell doesn't provide much of a threat and made one of the worst decisions I've ever seen a running back make when he Superman'd a football right into the chest of Brian Urlacher at the one.
"Here, we don't want this. I obviously wouldn't be leaping three yards away from the end zone into a pile of Bears with the intention of scoring."
One of my favorite NFL running backs is Jahvid Best, but his loss since the middle of last season has been a major blow to the Lions. It might not seem like much, but wins are pretty much everything: The Lions started out 5-0 and then lost Best in Week 6 of last season. Since losing Bell, they are 7-10, including playoffs.
None of this means that Seattle is going to beat the Lions in Detroit, but I'd be disappointed with any sort of defensive breakdown against an offensive unit that is injured and ineffective. That still leaves us with the fact that the Seahawks need to find a way to score and the Lions defense has played fairly well this year.
This just in: Probably another low-scoring game that comes down to the final drive!
- The 49ers were only 1-of-4 in the Red Zone including a turnover. However, the Seahawks were 0-for-1.
- Both David Fucillo of Niners Nation and I said that special teams would be a key to the game. Well, the 49ers gained 111 return yards compared to the Seahawks 5 return yards. It's not so much the yards given up, but without gaining better field position on a consistent basis, whether it was kickoffs or punts, the Hawks didn't do their bad offense any favors. Additionally, Browner didn't do us any favors by trying to return his interception.
- Speaking of which, our best starting field position was at our own 33. We started inside our own 20 five times. SF started outside their own 20 six times.
- Seattle gained 37 yards on their final four drives.
- Not including his final pass to Ben Obomanu, Russell Wilson was 2-for-8 in the second half for 3 yards.
- It should be noted however how the division of plays went because Seattle got the ball to start the second and they ran it on their first five plays, including a Leon Washington run on 3rd-and-4.
- Don't feel bad for Lions fans, the Tigers are in the World Series. As a matter of fact, even though the game is in Detroit, it will be interesting to see what a bigger draw is: The 2-4 Lions against the Seattle Seahawks... or Game 4 of the World Series, which is in Detroit on Sunday.
- If the Tigers win the World Series that day and the Lions beat the Seahawks, Clint Eastwood and Eminem have to get legally married. Hashtag: Bawitdaba
- Oh shit, I just remembered what happened the last time we went to Detroit.
- Oh wait, I just looked it up and Seattle's next game after Super Bowl XL was a 9-6 win in Detroit. Cool, thanks Universe.
- Never draft a kicker early in a draft? It would seem like the most Lions thing to do, but 56th overall pick Jason Hanson is in his 21st season with Detroit. The Cougar great goes on whereas 1st overall pick, Husky Steve Emtman, last played in 1997. He was drafted the same year as guys like Emtman and Desmond Howard. /ignores all talk about how it's different to be a kicker than a defensive end or anything else. /drops mic