Flip The Switch: A Seahawks Vs Lions Preview And Prediction

It is no joke what these 2022 Seattle Seahawks ave looked like through their first three games. They’re a team that is capable of showing decent spurts of offense, but they can’t stop the run right now, and if you cannot stop the run, you won’t win many football games in a football season.

On the surface, they have a tough task of traveling into Detroit, and beating a Lions team that seems to be really good at running the ball, and scoring points. Even for as banged up as the Lions appear to be right now, they have to be looking at Seattle’s defense, and salivating like an apex predator that their names suggests.

The Seahawk defenders have been playing the run like dainty gazelles. They need to be a pack of angry rhinos, instead.

The good news is that this is still early into an NFL season where Seattle has completely shifted from its traditional 4-3 defense into a new 3-4 looking scheme. Given the fact that off-season training is more limited these days, as is the amount of contact in August training camp, it really shouldn’t be a total shock that Seattle’s shift to a new front has looked sloppy, thus far. It should get better, and I think, as the coaches now understand the players more in it through these early games, tweaks to this defense are coming.

It is just a matter if whether or not the turnaround can happen soon enough, and they will be able to flip the switch against Detroit. I completely understand the doubters on this one. Many are projecting Detroit to be some sort of darling team on the rise this year.

I have a more tempered view of this Lions team. Through three games, they look like they are playing better ball, especially offensively, but injuries are starting to mount, and your best ability will always remain availability in this league.

Is the hard hitting style that Dan Campbell imposed on this team during training camp (as seen on HBO’s Hard Knocks) starting to take toll? I think it’s possible.

They recently lost their defensive leader in safety Tracy Walker, so the backend of their defense will be thinner against Geno Smith, who has been tossing the rock surprisingly well enough for Seattle. They could also be without their star running back, star receiver, among others this Sunday.

So, while I was very tempted to pick Detroit as the winner in this match, I’m going to be the ultimate homer again this week, and pick my Seahawks in this one. I think this could be shaping up into a week for the Seahawks to catch the Lions on the road, and get things better on track.

As bad as Seattle’s defense has been against the 49ers and Falcons, they were at least respectable against the Broncos. I think the talent is there for this defense to be better than what it has been over the past two weeks. That talent just needs to be better used.

Rookie edge defender Boye Mafe, in his limited snaps, is recognized as one of the best run stoppers in the league as graded by the analytic minds of Pro Football Focus (they have him currently in the top ten). Pete Carroll indicating that we will now see him more on early downs in place of Darrell Taylor should be seen as a positive by Seahawk fans. Uchenna Nwosu is a good veteran edge player on the other side, and Darrell Johnson has graded out pretty decently, as well.

Carroll indicated that he likes the new scheme, but the coaches have to do better to adjust it to the talent they have. I found this pretty intriguing, and kind of encouraging, to be honest. I won’t predict what I think those changes will be, but if I had to guess, I would think it might have something to do with the players they have up front.

I went back and looked at old footage of the 3-4 defense Seattle ran with great success in the 1980’s when Chuck Knox was the coach. They were a bit undersized with Jacob Green, Joe Nash, and Jeff Bryant as the main dudes up front, but they used their athleticism more on stunts, and when all three of these guys were working together with the linebackers, it created sort of a beautiful symphony of pressures against the run and pass. They were an exciting front with an attacking mentality.

I’m not saying that these Seahawks of today have the makings of that special unit back then, but I think it is safe to say that guys like Poona Ford, Quinton Jefferson, and Shelby Harris are probably better up the field one gapper types than they are as zero technique two gap types like Big Al Woods. In short, I think it’s possible we see Seattle do some adjusting with them, and that might open up things more for the linebackers, as well.

I would also say that by playing against Jared Goff, Seattle doesn’t have to fret about playing against the running quarterback that they’ve had to prepare for going against Russell Wilson, Trey Lance, and Marcus Mariota. This might make Clint Hurtt and Pete Carroll feel like they can turn their guys up front loose more.

As for the Detroit defense, its is fair to say that they are pretty middling of the right now. They also have one of the worst pass rush win rates in the league, and that was before the loss of Walker on the back end. They can only get pressure by blitzing, and without Walker, that could make the backend of their defense even more vulnerable, if Geno Smith is able to find the hot read, and Geno has been pretty good about getting the ball out quickly.

They have also given up six rushing touchdowns through three games, and that feels like a lot. This could be the game to get Rashaad Penny and Ken Walker III smelling the end zone.

So, yeah, I am going to Seahawk homer up in this one, and say it again that I think my Seahawks take this one. I think Seattle will continue getting the run game going with Geno Smith continuing to make good choices, peppering it around, and occasionally taking advantage of Detroit needing to blitz. I also think Clint Hurtt is going to turn it loose a little more against Goff, and that might surprise.

In the end, I see Seattle walking out with the close score win of 20-17. Afterwards, the narrative around this team shifts more positively again as they head into a game at the Super Dome the following week against a struggling Saints team.

I’m saying it now, loud and proud. This game in Detroit is where the 2022 Seattle Seahawks flip the switch and turn it around, and I’m here for it.

Go Hawks.


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