It’s a sunny, warm, early-autumn game day in Seattle for the Seahawks (1-2) and Detroit Lions (0-3) on Monday Night Football. Kickoff at CenturyLink Field is 5:30 p.m.
Our live, News Tribine game chat from the press box with colleagues Dave Boling, Kenny Via, Todd Milles and me begins at 4:45 p.m. here on the Seahawks Insider blog and at http://www.thenewstribune.com/sports/?rh=1.
Seattle is 9-1 in its last 10 Monday night games. The Seahawks are 13-2 in primetime games since coach Pete Carroll took over in 2010, out-scoring those foes 384-181. But that includes a 27-17 loss at Green Bay on a Sunday night two weeks ago. And this is the first of those 15 primetime showcases Marshawn Lynch won’t play. The running back and foundation to Seattle’s offense is out with a hamstring injury. It will be just the second game he’s sat out in six seasons for the Seahawks, his first since missing a 6-3 loss at Cleveland in October 2011.
The Lions, an 11-5 playoff team last season, are now the league’s only winless team after Chicago beat Oakland on Sunday.
With a win Seattle could move within one game of Arizona in the NFC West heading into the Seahawks’ trip to undefeated Cincinnati this coming weekend. The previously unbeaten Cardinals lost at home on Sunday to the 2-2 Rams.
DETROIT LIONS (0-3) at SEATTLE SEAHAWKS (1-2)
Monday, 5:30 p.m., CenturyLink Field
TV: ESPN; KONG Channel 6/16 Radio: 710-AM, 97.3-FM
The series: Seattle leads the series 7-5. The Seahawks have won three of the last four meetings -- though the Lions won the last matchup 28-24 on Oct. 28, 2012, at Detroit. The Lions haven’t won in Seattle since Sept. 12, 1999, at the Kingdome, on a day Charlie Batch out-passed the Seahawks’ Jon Kitna. The series dates to Seattle’s expansion season of 1976.
SEATTLE’S KEYS TO VICTORY
Step, kick – and punish: Seattle’s defensive backs have talked recently about their "step-kick" technique of stepping into opposing receivers to jam them at the line and then kicking their legs for a drop step to run along pass routes. The Lions are last in the NFL in rushing offense and are coping with an iffy line by having battered Matthew Stafford throw more quickly to shorter routes; he’s gotten the ball out faster than anyone in the NFC this season. Cornerbacks Richard Sherman and Cary Williams jumping all over Calvin Johnson’s and Golden Tate’s many short routes risks a home-run ball deep. But that seems to be a Seattle risk worth taking with the state of Detroit’s offense.
Enjoy life without Suh…: When stuffing tackle left for Miami’s megabucks in free agency this spring he apparently took Detroit’s No. 1 rushing from last season with him. The Lions are 20th now against the run. Even with Marshawn Lynch (hamstring) out for only the second game in six seasons for Seattle, the Seahawks vow to stay with who they are. That’s power running early to set up everything else. Be it Thomas Rawls, Fred Jackson, Derrick Coleman or Lynch as the ball carrier.
…while resting Lynch: Yes, he’s the foundation upon which the Seahawks have built their offense and collective, smashing persona. But no matter how bullish he is and indestructible he’s been, why risk the league’s leading rusher and touchdown maker in this game even if he can play through his hurt hamstring? That’s why Lynch is out for this one. Not that the winless Lions are as bad as Chicago, but Seattle plays at undefeated Cincinnati next week and has 12 games left to catch 3-0 Arizona again in the NFC West. The Seahawks will need Lynch and his hamstring more in November and December – and perhaps January – than they do Monday night.
No. Name Pos. Ht. Wt. Year
25 Richard Sherman CB 6-3 195 fifth
Always comes up with something in prime time. Him, Calvin Johnson at line game’s best matchup
56 Cliff Avril DE 6-3 260 eighth
5 years with DET, including 0-16 in ’08. SO thankful he’s on home side in this one. Will play like it.
31 Kam Chancellor SS 6-3 222 sixth
Much more central to game plan in second game of his return covering DET TE Ebron.
No. Name Pos. Ht. Wt. Year
15 Golden Tate WR 5-10 198 sixth
4 TDs in last 4 MNF games. Said teams know before snaps what DET’s offense is running.
85 Eric Ebron TE 6-4 255 second
13 catches 7th among NFL TE’s, 1 fewer than Jimmy Graham, more than half he had last season
92 Haloti Ngata DT 6-4 345 10th
Signed to replace Suh but hasn’t matched production. Just 4 tackles in 3 games.
The pick: Seahawks 27-13. The get-well part of the schedule continues with the line still trying to put it all together, Russell Wilson getting harassed and the offense just getting by. This team remains dependent on a defense that will further batter the beaten-up Stafford.