Oct 22, 2012; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Bears middle linebacker Brian Urlacher (54) recovers a fumble by Detroit Lions running back Joique Bell (35) at the goal line during the third quarter at Soldier Field. The Bears won 13-7. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-US PRESSWIRE
Well St. Louis Rams fans week 8 is almost upon us, nearly half of the NFL season is already in the books and the NFC West is as competitive as ever. I decided to head on over to the ESPN discussion board for the Seahawks game against the lion this week and I was almost shocked at how overly confident Seahawks fans are about this game, especially considering it is going to be on the road where the Seahawks have struggled. That and the fact that the recurring theme of the 2012 season is that no game is a sure thing and any team can win on any given Sunday. What are the reasons most of the Seahawks fans are citing for why they will blow out the Detroit Lions at Ford Field?
Defense. As I was watching the Seahawks play the Patriots the other weekend I was really irritated at how many times the commentators referred to the Seahawks as the number 1 defense in the NFL. At the time they had allowed the fewest yards in the NFL but that is probably the most meaningless game statistic their is available, they were not the number one scoring defense and they were somewhere in the bottom half of the league on 3rd down conversion. Well after hearing it enough Seahawks fans seem to be very confident that they have the best defense in the NFL, one fan commenting on the upcoming Lions game stated that since their defense is better than the Bears defense they will dominate the Lions. I do believe the Seahawks have a top 5 defense in the NFL, but there is no evidence to support them as the best in the NFL and probably not even in their own division. So lets look at some stats.
SFPoints Per Game#3 #1#215.11314.3Yards Per Game#5#6#1297.3299.3272.3Passing Yards Per AttemptT#3#2#18.104.22.168INTT#17#1T#206145QB Rating#7#1#474.262.773.6Sacks#8T#5#24192111Rushing Yards Per CarryT#5T#9T#22.214.171.124Rushing Yards Per Game#6#2T#108571.398.93rd Down Conversion#16#4#738%29%34%
From the statistics it looks to me like the Chicago Bears have the best defense in the NFL, and the table here doesn’t even mention that the Bears defense has scored 5 touchdowns this season.
Russel Wilson. The same fan who mentioned that the Seahawks defense was better than the Bears defense also stated that Russel Wilson is better than Jay Cutler. I am not a huge Cutler fan but I thought to myself that is a pretty bold statement, so I checked out the statistics for each this season and to my surprise they are practically dead even in every statistical category. There is one major thing that the Seahawks fan had overlooked though, and that is that Wilson has thrown only 2 TDs and 7 INTs while on the road this season, and of course this game is in Detroit. Of course all of this overlooks the fact that the Seahawks will be playing against Matthew Stafford and not Jay Cutler but I understand the comparison the fan was trying to make about if the Lions can’t beat Cutler then they wont beat Wilson.
Overall Talent. Here is an area that the Seahawks most definitely fall short of the Detroit Lions. The Lions have been beating themselves each week with turnovers and special teams mistakes. I am not going to say that they will correct those issues any time soon but this team is explosive and if they do correct their turnover and special teams errors they are good enough to beat anyone in the NFL. The Seahawks on the other hand have a good enough defense to stay in close games but if the Lions stop getting in their own way the Seahawks wont be able to keep up in a shootout. Seattle’s cornerbacks rely heavily on physical play, some of it within the 5 yard allowance but quite a bit of it outside of what is written in the rulebooks. After Jim Harbaugh publicly questioned the legality of their play will the officials be keeping a close eye on that in Detroit? Even if they don’t throw more flags I can’t imagine Megatron having two down games in a row regardless of who is covering him.
This should be another good game but until Wilson proves that he can play well on the road I dont’ trust them to win. The Lions are also in desperation mode and will come out swinging, look for them to force feed Megatron early to get him into a rhythm.