A brief Seattle at Detroit preview

Tim Fuller-US PRESSWIRE

So far this season Seattle's defense has traveled well but the offense has not. Detroit is explosive on offense but mistake-prone. The return/coverage game may well decide things.

Kickoff and Kickoff Return

Advantage: Seattle -- Not shockingly, I think Seattle must dominate field position to win. Seattle's kickoff returns have been very good while Detroit's coverage is a laughing stock. Nice, but we hope Leon Washington is creating field position on punt returns, not kickoffs. Detroit is better on kickoff returns (though still poor) while Seattle and Chicago are tied (for all practical purposes) for best coverage. Kickoffs should be a clear Seattle win.

Detroit offense vs. Seattle defense

Advantage: Seattle (slight) -- On a per drive basis, Detroit is basically Dallas' twin. The Lions, like the Cowboys, pile up yardage on explosive plays but their points per drive is pedestrian (1.81).* Dallas just ends drives on turnovers while Detroit is more apt to punt. As we saw against Chicago though, the Lions can push a defense down the field even while making mistakes. The Lions will miss Nate Burleson (though I like Ryan Broyles and Titus Young quite a lot) against Seattle's defense, which is 4th in forcing punts and 5th in points per drive allowed (1.38). I like Seattle's ability to stall out a number of Detroit's drives and hold them below their normal productivity.

*The Giants lead in points per drive at 2.76.

Detroit defense vs. Seattle offense

Advantage: Detroit -- The Lions have a talented front four but are comparatively weaker in the back seven. DVOA bears this out. The Lions are strong against the run (12th) and weak against the pass (22nd). Like virtually all Gunther Cunningham-led defenses, Detroit's is boom-or-bust; 31st against power running (short-yardage/goal) but 3rd in stuffing runs for losses or no gain. The pass defense is ugly. All receivers are killing them, both WRs and TEs. Running backs are not. So there's that. Detroit's sack rate is middling, but they can generate pressure.

On paper, I'd love to see Seattle pass to set up the run like they tried (to some extent) vs. SF. But, without Baldwin the passing game is just as boom-or-bust as Detroit's defense... unless the offense can work consistently on a short field.

Punts and punt returns, FG/PAT

Advantage: Seattle (slight) -- Neither team is great in the punt game. However, Detroit's punt coverage is awful, hence the slight Seattle advantage. Punt return is the most likely way Seattle can create field position. Leon and the return team will have to put in work. Seattle must convert field position to points because on Detroit's side Jason Hanson can win the game by himself.

Overall

Advantage: Detroit (slight) -- I love having ten days to focus on Detroit and to scheme around Doug Baldwin's absence. I see real advantages for Seattle on defense and special teams. And yet, it's hard to win on the road even if with matchup advantages. Seattle's presumed matchup advantages are not so great that home field might not offset them (perhaps easily so). I have every confidence that Seattle can win. I just wouldn't bet my kid's meager college fund on it.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Field Gulls

You must be a member of Field Gulls to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Field Gulls. You should read them.

Join Field Gulls

You must be a member of Field Gulls to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Field Gulls. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9341_tracker