Once again, the Detroit Lions need a bounce back win at home after a tough road loss. Seattle's Best" also known as the Seahawks, enter Ford Field with a chance to send the Lions scrambling a bit with a win. Detroit can also rebound in a big way once again, especially if they're able to finally get a sleepy offense going. East meets west in another critical NFC showdown, but who has the edge? Here's five things to watch which will provide those clues.
1. Can The Lions Rattle Russell Wilson? The young quarterback has played well at home, but Seattle's two worst losses of the year have been on the road in domed environments. It will be very important for Gunther Cunningham to dial up some pressure in the face of Wilson, trying to whip the crowd into a frenzy. Ford Field can be a tough place to play, and the rookie quarterback is going to need to execute nearly flawless football in order to come out ahead. That means plenty of big plays while avoiding mistakes which cost his team. He's been intercepted seven times this year, so the Lions will need to try and make it eight or more to shut him down.
2. The Passing Game. The Lions passing game has been troublesome lately, not manufacturing enough positive plays to make a difference. Matthew Stafford hasn't hooked up with Calvin Johnson for a touchdown yet, and Titus Young has been inconsistent. Now, Nate Burleson is gone, meaning Ryan Broyles and others will need to step up. Detroit will be facing Seattle's solid defense, specifically their excellent secondary. This will be the key match up of the day. If the Lions crack the code and finally hit a few deep passes, that could be the difference in a big win.
3. Marshawn Lynch. As mentioned in our Seattle scouting report, Lynch is the man to watch today on offense for the Seahawks. If Seattle can't run first with Lynch, their passing game under Wilson might struggle mightily. Even with Lynch going crazy, Seattle's offense doesn't produce a ton of points. If the Lions can do a nice job with Lynch (nicer than they did with Matt Forte) that will make the task of shutting down everybody else on the offense much easier. If not, Wilson could find a flow throwing, making it much easier to move the ball on Detroit.
4. Turnovers. On Monday night, the Lions had several critical ones, essentially fumbling away their chances of winning. Against another solid defense this week, they need to limit their mistakes and unforced errors. There also must be much more attention to detail in the red zone, where Detroit must cash in opportunities and put points on the board in order to score. They cannot continue to make crippling errors and expect to win.
5. Home Atmosphere And Passion. It's a special time in Detroit, with the Tigers back in the World Series (albeit facing elimination) and the Lions scheduled to play hours before. It's the first home game since the team was blanked against Minnesota, and fans will be excited to be back. Can Detroit finally get off to a fast start, powered by some enthusiasm in their home stadium? They need to ride some early emotion and get things going in a hurry, scoring the first points of the game. Trailing late should not be an option, nor should looking disinterested, dropping passes and playing listlessly. It's time to turn on the jets and flip the switch.
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