Detroit Lions at Seattle Seahawks (-10, 43 o/u)
All is not well in the Pacific Northwest. The Seattle Seahawks (1-2, 1-0 home) got into the win column in Week 3, pitching a 26-0 shutout over the Jimmy Clausen-led Bears. But the offense continued to struggle and the two-time defending NFC champs look vulnerable. That said, Seattle has a great chance to get back to .500 this Monday when they welcome the Detroit Lions (0-3, 0-2 road) to CenturyLink Field (8:30 PM Eastern).
The Lions are already playing their third road game of the season and six of those eight quarters have not gone well. Detroit opened up a huge first-half lead in San Diego in Week 1, but watched that evaporate in the second half, ultimately falling 33-28. In Week 2, they traveled to Minnesota and gave up 192 total yards to Adrian Peterson en route to a 26-16 loss.
The team hasn’t done anything well this season, sitting an identical 27th in the league in both total offense and total defense. The run game has been particularly poor, averaging a league-worst 45 yards per game. The Seahawks have looked vulnerable against the run at times this year (giving up a shade over 100 yards per game), but certainly have the pieces to keep the likes of Joique Bell and Ameer Abdullah under control.
The Seattle run game, which led the league in both yards per game and yards per attempt last year, hasn’t been as dominant as it was in 2014. Thanks to departures on the o-line and Lynch’s lingering hamstring injury, the Seahawks are fifth in the league in ground yards, with QB Russell Wilson’s scrambling talents accounting for much of the damage. Whether Lynch will be able to suit up on Sunday remains unclear. But even if he can’t, Robert Turbin and Frank Clark should still be able to muster some yards against a Detroit d-line that lost its two starting DTs in the offseason (Ndamukong Suh and Nick Fairley).
In the passing game, Wilson and the Seahawks have improved a bit from last year, but not by the leaps and bounds predicted when TE Jimmy Graham was acquired from New Orleans. Head coach Pete Carroll has struggled to implement the Miami product into the offense and Graham has just 14 catches for 145 yards through three games. (Those numbers don’t look so bad at first glance, until you consider that Graham had 24 catches for 254 yards at this point last season.)
The silver lining is that Graham has managed to find the end zone twice and is coming off his best game as a Seahawk, with seven catches for 83 yards (including a 30-yard TD catch) against Chicago.
With Graham seemingly starting to heat up and Seattle desperate to keep up with the 3-0 Cardinals in the NFC West, look for the Seahawks to come out and dominate an underwhelming Lions team at home. Take Seattle and lay the double-digit points.
Pick: Seattle -10.
(Photo credit: Philip Robertson from New York, NY, USA (Loudest crowd roar at a sports stadium Seahawks-10) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons. Photo may appear cropped.)