During Week 7 of the NFL season, the Detroit Lions took on the Miami Dolphins, walking away victorious with a score of 32-21. They now head into Week 8 defending Ford Field as they take on the Settle Seahawks. Can the Lions continue to add onto their hot streak?
Offensively, rookie running back Kerryon Johnson could have yet another impressive performance. Johnson had 158 rushing yards against Miami in Week 7. That was his second one-hundred yard performance of the season. Johnson may not be the biggest running back, but his ability to run and avoid tackles makes him a special player within the Lions offense. Currently, Johnson has 444 yards on the ground, which showcases the Lions’ much-improved run game. The effectiveness of the ground game could help lead the Lions to success in the near future.
Defensively, newly-acquired defensive tackle Damon “Snacks” Harrison could have an impressive performance in his first game with Detroit. Detroit gave a fifth-round pick to the New York Giants to acquire Harrison to improve their run defense. Harrison has been ranked in the top four in the previous three seasons among interior linemen in the league. Harrison’s ability to recognize the play prior to the snap and shed the block allows him to make big defensive stops. This could benefit the Lions heading into a tough remaining schedule in November (Vikings, Bears, Panthers).
This week’s dark horse for Detroit is kicker Matt Prater. Prater has been consistent for the Lions this season and throughout his career. His ability to kick field goals anywhere from twenty yards to fifty-five yards has not gone unrecognized by fans of Detroit. Due to Seattle’s defense, I believe Prater will attempt more extra points than field goals in the game. However, I still expect a rather dominant performance from members within Detroit’s special teams.
Offensively, the Seahawks should receive a solid performance from quarterback Russell Wilson. Although the Seahawks offense has been plagued with injuries, Wilson has been able to connect with those players who stepped up when given the opportunity. Even though Wilson does not have the strongest arm, his most impressive feature is his ability to scramble out of the pocket and run for positive yards. Wilson has shown this throughout his career thus far.
Defensively, Bobby Wagner may see himself with a strong performance against Detroit. Wagner is skilled enough to read the quarter back’s eyes and anticipate the play. However, with the Lions newly found run game Wagner may play more run stop situations rather than passing. His veteran leadership is key to lead the Seahawks young defense. Wagner will likely be matched up against rookie Kerryon Johnson or second-year tight end Michael Roberts. Both players had career games against Miami and should pose a huge threat. Wagner has the versatility due to his experience in the league to play coverage against both of these players.
The dark horse for Seattle this week is Doug Baldwin. Throughout Baldwin’s career, he has showcased his ability to make big plays in tight coverage. Due to his success on the field, Baldwin is an easy favorite for quarterback Russell Wilson not only in the red zone but also in short passing situations. Currently this season, Baldwin is averaging just over eleven yards a reception. However, throughout his career, Baldwin is averaging just over thirteen yards. Even though this difference doesn’t seem big, Baldwin has been plagued with injuries recently. His matchup this week will be against Detroit’s cornerback Darius Slay. Both players are highly skilled, so their matchup will be challenging on both ends.
Johnson will continue to find success in the run game for the Detroit Lions. This will ultimately power them to a 35-21 victory over Seattle.