This Sunday, the Seattle Seahawks return from their bye week and will hit the road to face a Detroit Lions team who is starting to find themselves after a rough 0-2 under first-year head coach Matt Patricia. Here are five important things you need to know about the Lions before Sunday’s contest in Detroit.
Ziggy’s status up in the air
The big injury news for the Detroit Lions in recent weeks has been the status of defensive end Ziggy Asnah. Lions head coach Matt Patricia said that Ziggy is continuing to be evaluated after injuring his shoulder in Week 1 against the New York Jets. Last week he was downgraded to doubtful on Friday and ruled out on Saturday before the Lions faced the Dolphins.
Keeping pace in the playoff hunt
For both the Seahawks and Lions, Sunday’s game looms large as both teams are apart of a five-team logjam into getting the final playoff spot in the NFC. As for the Lions, they face a logjam in their own division with the Vikings and Packers ahead of them in the standings. The Lions have only played one divisional game while the Packers have played the most out of everybody with three. However, Detroit will see multiple division opponents in the coming weeks. More on that later.
KERRY-ing the Lions running game
Detroit’s running game came alive with a fantastic performance against the Dolphins with a 248-yard effort, the most by the team since 1997 when Barry Sanders helped the Lions rush for 249 yards against the Colts. The star this past Sunday was Kerryon Johnson, who dominated the Dolphins with 158 yards on 19 carries, including this run below. Johnson ranks the highest among rookies with 6.4 yards per carry. Johnson has easily placed himself among the top contenders for NFL Rookie of the Year.
Stafford’s struggles with the Seahawks
In three games against the Seattle Seahawks, Matthew Stafford has gone 1-2 and that includes their last matchup which was in the 2017 NFC Wildcard game, a 26-6 loss. Stafford has averaged a shade over 250 yards passing in each of the games but has turned the ball over a total of six times. If the Seattle defense can continue their success from the trip in London, it could be another long day for Stafford vs. the Seahawks.
Lions road gets even tougher after this
Following Seattle, the Lions have a very important five-game run, three of those games coming against divisional opponents and two others who are currently in the playoffs and/or leading their division. The total win percentage for the next nine opponents following Seattle is above the .500 mark. If Detroit is wanting to rebound after a rough start to the season, they will need a win against the Seahawks because an unforgivable stretch awaits them the rest of the way.
Although he’s got the demeanor of his old boss, Bill Belichick, Lions head coach Matt Patricia knows how to have a little fun, especially when it comes to his trusty pencils.