After a tough loss on the road to the Vikings, the Detroit Lions head home to face off against the 1-2 Seattle Seahawks. Last week, the Lions played well, but key mistakes by both players and the coaching staff allowed the loss to slip away. This week, the Seahawks present a great opportunity for the Lions to get right and beat a less talented team. Since getting revenge on former QB, Russel Wilson, the Seahawks have expectedly not looked good. They were blown out by the 49ers and then lost to Marcus Mariota and the Falcons. Here are the 3 keys to beating the Seattle Seahawks to avoid the upset at home.
DSN's 3 keys to beating the Seattle Seahawks
Key #1: Generating explosive plays on offense
To start our 3 keys to beating the Seattle Seahawks, the Lions have to be more explosive on offense. This season, the Lions have been great at generating big plays, and the Seahawks' defense has been susceptible to giving up big plays. That should bode well for the Lions. However, the Lions' two biggest big playmakers, D'Andre Swift and Amon-Ra St Brown are injured, and won't be playing on Sunday. In their absence, the Lions will need other offensive players to step in to generate big plays. Jared Goff can look to DJ Chark or Josh Reynolds in the air to stretch the defense. The biggest opportunity might be over the middle. TJ Hockenson should have opportunities to make big plays and turn his season around.
On the ground, Jamaal Williams should slide seamlessly into the starting role. Williams does a great job churning out yards but does not have the explosiveness of Swift. Behind him, the Lions do have some speed with Craig Reynolds and Josh Jackson. Both players will be competing for carries to help spell Williams. Either player can make a big push for playing time by breaking a long run. The Seahawks have given up more than their fair share of big plays this year. Without their biggest playmakers, this week should provide a good opportunity for other players to step up against a weaker opponent.
Key #2: Making Geno Smith uncomfortable
Here is key number 2 of our 3 keys to beating the Seattle Seahawks. After the trade with the Broncos, Geno Smith beat out newly acquired Drew Lock for the starting job. Smith struggled in the 2nd half of Week 1 and Week 2 but had a nice bounce-back performance in Week 3. Unfortunately for the Seahawks, they have one of the worst run games in the league, so they need Smith to drive the offense. Smith is like most mediocre quarterbacks. When everything around him works, he can play well, but if not, it can get ugly fast.
To ensure Smith can't find his groove, the Lions need to get pressure on him. Against the Vikings, the Lions' front four stunk and could not generate a pass rush without blitzing. Aidan Hutchinson and Co. need to get going for the Lions to have a respectable defense. Luckily for them, the Seahawks still do not have a good offensive line. This will be a great opportunity for the defensive line to get on track and make Geno Smith's life miserable.
Key #3: Take away the tight ends
Finishing up our 3 keys to beating the Seattle Seahawks, the tight ends are key to victory. With Russel Wilson at the helm, DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett were the centerpieces of the offense based around deep passes. Now, with Geno Smith, the focus of the passing game has switched more to the tight ends down the seams. Also, it is not just one player. Colby Parkinson, Will Dissly, and Noah Fant have all had solid starts to the season. They all are capable of exposing mismatches and providing Smith with an easy target to hit.
The Seahawks will definitely look to use their tight ends often, especially with Tracy Walker out. Instead of relying on Walker, the Lions must use multiple different players to match up with the tight ends. Second-year safety, Ifeatu Melifonwu, should get a lot of time covering tight ends. Melifonwu converted from corner and has great size, so he should be able to match up with any of the tight ends even athletic freak, Noah Fant. In addition, the Lions will also rely on DeShon Elliot, Malcolm Rodriguez, and Alex Anzalone. To this point, the Lions have done a good job limiting tight ends, but Sunday will be a real test without Walker.
This week provides the Lions with a great opportunity to get right after last week's disappointing loss. The Lions match up well and have the talent edge. However, to pull off the win, the Lions will need to rely on their depth. With Swift and St. Brown out, the Lions will need their other skill position players to step up. T.J. Hockenson and others will have the opportunity and now, just need to take advantage of this. On the other side of the ball, the Seahawks have a poor run game and mediocre quarterback. It's not an inspiring combination, but the Lions can't waltz into this game expecting a cakewalk. The Lions need to pressure Smith and take away his tight ends. If they can follow these 3 keys to beating the Seattle Seahawks, the Lions should be able to get back into the win column.