Week 8: Seahawks-Lions preview

The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

Seattle at Detroit
Sunday, 1:00 p.m. ET, at Ford Field, Detroit - TV: FOX; DirecTV: 705
*TV announcers: Chris Myers, Tim Ryan, Jaime Maggio
*Keys to the game: The 49ers were able to take advantage of the Seahawks' aggressive edge rush and tendency to over-pursue in a 16-9 victory over Seattle in Week 7. The result was several big runs up the middle and moving the chains on screen passes. The problem for Detroit? The Lions lack San Francisco's ground-and-pound personnel. The key for the Lions, who tend to start slow offensively, is for their wide receivers to beat their defenders off the line and create quick separation for QB Matthew Stafford before Seattle's pass rush can get home. Any lead tips the scales decidedly in Detroit's favor because Seattle's offense struggles to put points on the board. RB Marshawn Lynch continues to churn out yards against eight- and nine-man fronts, but rookie QB Russell Wilson fails to see too many open receivers. The Lions' secondary presents the opportunity to move the ball through the air; the question is whether Detroit's defense can control the line of scrimmage and prevent Wilson from sliding outside of the pocket to find passing windows.
*Matchup to watch - Seahawks CB Brandon Browner vs. Lions WR Nate Burleson: Burleson is a Seattle-area native and spent four seasons with the Seahawks before landing in Detroit. Browner is a big, physical cornerback who will attempt to knock Burleson off his route in the first five yards (49ers coach Jim Harbaugh claims even longer). If Burleson can win off the line, Browner lacks top-end speed to keep pace.
*Player spotlight - Lions LG Rob Sims: Another former Seahawk, Sims was jettisoned after four seasons in Seattle when Pete Carroll & Co. came to town.
*Fast facts: Wilson has thrown just two touchdown passes and seven interceptions in road games this season. ... Stafford has just one touchdown pass with three interceptions and a 73.4 passer rating at home this season.
The Lions' propensity to take three quarters to get the offense revved up will play into Seattle's blueprint. The Seahawks, with an extra three days to rest and prepare, can turn the Lions one-dimensional offensively, generate turnovers and capitalize on short fields.
*Our pick: Seahawks 24-23

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