Cary Emondson-US PRESSWIRE
The well-rested Seahawks visit the Lions, who had a short week of preparation, as both teams will try to rebound Sunday from low-scoring losses in Week 8.
Seattle hasn't played since last Thursday night, when they fell on the road to the NFC West division-leading San Francisco 49ers, 13-6. At 4-3 overall, the Seahawks are right in the thick of what is a tight division race, currently sitting tied for second with the Arizona Cardinals. Both are one game behind the 5-2 Niners and a game ahead of the 3-4 St. Louis Rams.
The Lions, meanwhile, at 2-4 have to try and avoid slipping further behind the rest of the NFC North, as the closest team to them is the third place Green Bay Packers, who own a record of 4-3. Detroit's 13-7 Monday night loss to the division-leading Chicago Bears didn't help matters, either, as it adds another divisional loss in the column along with the 20-13 defeat at the hands of the Minnesota Vikings in Week 4.
Meet the Detroit Lions
Quarterback Matthew Stafford and the Lions rank second in the NFL with an average of 307 passing yards per game, however it hasn't always translated into points, as Detroit's 22.2 points per game average is 19th-best in the league.
Calvin Johnson, with 38 receptions for 592 yards on the season, has been the main focus of opposing defenses, and he's only scored one touchdown to date. On the ground, the Lions rank 19th in the league with an average of 99.3 rushing yards per contest.
Meet the Seattle Seahawks
Seattle has used a strong running game and stifling defense to keep games close, allowing rookie quarterback Russell Wilson the opportunity to win games late. Running back Marshawn Lynch is third in the NFL with 652 rushing yards, while the Seahawks' defense is only surrendering 15.1 points per game to opponents, which is also good for third-best in the league.
Wilson has had his ups-and-downs, throwing for 1,230 yards -- completing 59.4 percent of his throws -- with eight touchdowns and seven interceptions this season.
Local Takes: Lions
Sean Yuille from Pride of Detroit says this about Detroit's injury report:
The fact that (Calvin) Johnson practiced, even on a limited basis, indicates that he should be good to go on Sunday. The same goes for the other guys who were limited, although (Bill) Bentley's status is probably still a bit in question considering he was out on Monday night. Staying in the secondary, it seems unlikely that (Jacob) Lacey and (Amari) Spievey will play on Sunday given that they are still out with concussions.
Local Takes: Seahawks
Joey Rebbe from Field Gulls assesses Seattle's 4-3 start:
When we take a step back, one thing is clear: Every single game has been competitive. Each of our three losses were by one score or less. Considering that we've played three of the top teams in the league, three Super-Bowl favorites, that's pretty freaking impressive. This team is legit. The defense may bend, but it holds when it has to (like in the red zone). For a short rookie, Russell Wilson is showing marked improvement every game.
Follow the Fun
Add these fine follows to your Twitter timeline:
Would you like some cheese with that whine, Brandon Marshall? sbn.to/TefJsA— Pride Of Detroit (@PrideOfDetroit) October 23, 2012
@Curtis_Crabtree -- Seahawks reporter for Sports Radio KJR.
This matchup between Richard Sherman and Calvin Johnson is going to be highly entertaining.— Curtis Crabtree (@Curtis_Crabtree) October 25, 2012
@davebirkett -- Lions beat writer for the Detroit Free Press.
Calvin Johnson on Richard Sherman changing Twitter name to Optimus Prime: "I can use it, definitely use it as motivation, no doubt about it"— Dave Birkett (@davebirkett) October 25, 2012
What happened to the Lions? Last season, they scored more than 29 points per game on average. This year, Matthew Stafford's offense is averaging 22.2 points per game. I suspect that the Lions offense will find its way. Stafford has thrown for 300 yards or more in his last four home games; there are signs of life. For now, I'll bet on Seattle's defense.
The pick: 23-21, Seahawks.
The Lions opened the week as 1½-point favorites, but the most recent lines, provided by OddsShark, have Detroit favored by anywhere from 1-to 2½-points in what figures to be a tooth-and-nail contest. The over/under for total points opened at 43½ points and now sits at 43.
Next week, the Lions travel to Jacksonville to take on the struggling Jaguars. Seattle, on the other hand, will host a resurgent Adrian Peterson and the surprising Minnesota Vikings on late Sunday afternoon in Week 9.