Good morning folks. It’s a bit chilly here in the Motor City, with temperatures in the 40s. But the Seahawks are playing inside today at Ford Field, so whether should not be a factor.
Here’s my five keys for the Seahawks as they try and get their second road victory of the season.
Win the turnover battle: Seattle has -3 turnover differential on the road this season, and the Lions are a team that will give you some opportunities to get the ball defensively, especially with as many chances Matthew Stafford takes in the passing game. So Seattle needs to take advantage of the opportunities presented defensively. The Lions have a -5 turnover differential this season, and the Seahawks need to steal a couple turnovers.
Score TDs in the red zone: The Lions have one of the top passing offenses in the league, and are averaging 22.2 points a contest. So Seattle needs improvement from its red zone offense, which is one of the worst in the league. Making things harder for the Seahawks is they face a red zone defense in Detroit that is tops in the league.
Get Rice involved: Seattle’s No. 1 receiver Sidney Rice had only one catch through the first three quarters last week at San Francisco. That can’t happen today. Seattle needs to have balance offensively and give Rice at least four targets in the first half to keep that Detroit defense from stacking the box against Marshawn Lynch and Seattle’s running game. By the way, the last time Rice played in Detroit, he finished with seven catches for 201 yards.
Catch the ball: Seattle’s only throwing 25 times a game, so you can’t drop 20 percent of those chances and expect to win games. Seattle receivers finished with at least five drops last week against San Francisco. Golden Tate had two of those drops, and finished without a catch for the first time as a starter. I expect Tate to bounce back and have a good game today.
Contain Megatron: There’s been some entertaining back and forth between Seattle’s Richard Sherman and Detroit’s Calvin Johnson this week, but don’t expect the Seahawks to put Sherman and Brandon Browner too much on an island against one of the best receivers in the league. The Seahawks don’t want to give up explosive plays and let the Detroit offense get some confidence, so expect Seattle to try and stop the run with seven in the box, and a roll a safety to whatever side Johnson is on.
Here’s my advance for today’s game, which focuses on receiver Golden Tate.
Clare Farnsworth of Seahawks.com writes that for Seattle to win on the road against Detroit the Seahawks have to create more turnovers.
Danny O’Neil of the Seattle Times says the Seahawks should not be afraid to keep passing if they have success throwing the ball in the opening quarter.
Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press predicts a 14-9 win for the Lions.
More Birkett: Former Seattle defensive end Lawrence Jackson says he feels no bitterness toward Pete Carroll for trading him two years ago. But Jackson says this about Carroll: “He didn’t think I was a first-round pick. I felt like out of his whole run of that era, the one thing you look at that’s a constant was me playing out there. I started 51 of 52 games, produced at a high level, things like that, but I just wasn’t one of his guys. From that regard, I always felt disrespected in a sense.”
Dan Pompei of the National Football Post writes that the reason Sidney Rice hasn’t been targeted as much is because he did not have an opportunity to develop chemistry with Russell Wilson during the preseason. I’m not buying that. Pompei: “The oft-injured Rice didn’t have a chance to work with new quarterback Russell Wilson in the offseason because he was rehabbing from shoulder surgeries, and he missed a good portion of camp and the preseason. As a result, Wilson and Rice were not clicking very well on the field. Their chemistry has improved, but it still has a ways to go. While Rice was working his way back into the offense, Golden Tate became the team’s primary vertical threat. But it’s likely the Seahawks coaches will push Rice back to the forefront now. It’s obvious they need his big play potential.”