5 months ago
The Detroit Lions and Seattle Seahawks have a lot in common this year.
Both teams are 3-3. Both teams have already had their bye week. And both teams will be playing at Ford Field on Sunday afternoon when they battle each other.
How that battle will go largely depends on the running game of each team.
For Seattle, they’ve relied on a committee of backs this season as Rashaad Penny, Chris Carson, and Mike Davis have all had cracks at toting the rock.
Expect to see all three backs in the mix on Sunday as Seattle already runs the ball more than any other team in the NFL and has even more of an incentive to do so against a Lions defense that has permitted opposing backs to average more than six yards per carry this season.
Also, Detroit’s pass defense has been decent and they lead the NFL in sack rate at 10.3 percent. That should only improve as the team added defensive lineman Damon “Snacks” Harrison this week via a trade with the Giants. It’s unclear exactly how much he will play, but look for the heat against Seahawks QB Russell Wilson to be turned up a few degrees.
On the other hand, Detroit’s rushing attack has been dormant for large parts of the season but they may have awakened it last week by letting Kerryon Johnson loose last week.
With complementary back Theo Riddick on the shelf, Johnson erupted for 179 yards on 21 touches and played a season-high share of snaps at 55.3 percent.
To get it done against Seattle, Johnson will have to be heavily involved once again to take some pressure off quarterback Matthew Stafford.
At least that’s how pro handicapper Dave Michaels of SportsInformationTraders sees it.
“The Lions come in having won three of four and looking impressive on both sides of the ball in the process,” Michaels told RealClearLife. “Last week they established the run early against the Dolphins and didn’t look back.”
And on defense, the addition of Snacks should help the Lions stifle whatever Seattle tries to do on offense, passing or running.
“Snacks is known for generating pocket push, but stopping the run is not his specialty,” Michaels said. “He will help have an impact by freeing up others to do more damage.”
Detroit’s rushing attack and Snacks being in the fold should be more than enough to make gobbling up the Lions at -3 a solid wager.
“Seattle is coming off their most impressive win of the season, albeit against the reeling Raiders, but I just don’t see them generating enough of a push on defense to slow down the Lions rushing attack,” Michaels said. “Look for the Lions to cover comfortably this weekend at home.”
Michaels is now 3-3-1 on the season with his picks after taking the Jaguars to cover as home favorites against the Texans last week in Jacksonville. The Jags were unable to do that thanks to the poor play of quarterback Blake Bortles, who was benched during the game, and fell to Houston 20-7.
Let’s see what happens this weekend in Detroit.