Lions are hurting but Seahawks defense is so bad it may not matter
By Lee Vowell
The Lions might be without two key players in Week 4 against the Seahawks. But Seattle hasn’t really shown they can stop anyone who doesn’t stop themselves.
Here’s what we know: The Lions most likely won’t have running back D’Andre Swift on Sunday. Swift is off to a brilliant start to 2022 and has averaged 8.6 yards a carry on 27 rushes. But he injured his ankle prior to Week 3 and then hurt his shoulder this past week. The Seahawks won’t face him.
Seattle probably won’t be playing against receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown who hurt his ankle in Week 3. St. Brown is off to a very good start with 23 catches for 253 yards and 3 touchdowns in the first three weeks.
But does this mean Seattle has an easier game in Week 4? No. The reason is that Seattle’s defense has a way of turning players like Cordarelle Patterson into receiver-turned-running back into an All-Pro running back. The Seahawks defense stinks and the Lions still have enough talent to expose Seattle’s defense even down some top-end players.
Seahawks might be in trouble in Week 4 even if Lions are missing key players
Detroit still has players that can, and probably will, hurt Seattle. Jamaal Williams has enough experience and talent to do so for sure. While Swift’s average yards-per-carry is ridiculous, Williams has more carries and also is tied for the lead in rushing touchdowns in the NFL with 4.
Williams probably isn’t going to break a ton of tackles, but the Seahawks defensive line has allowed itself to be blocked extremely well (or poorly if are a Seattle fan) so wide-open holes are the for running backs to run through. Williams has two 100-yard rushing games in his career and he could make it three on Sunday.
The Seahawks are currently 22nd in yards-allowed-per-carry at 4.9. (For what it’s worth, the Lions are 25th allowing 5.0 so Rashaad Penny better get the ball a lot in Week 4.) Seattle also allowed 51.9 percent of opponent’s drives to end in a score, 31st in the NFL. But don’t worry because Seattle is consistently bad as they are 26th in QBR-allowed at 100.6. So teams can pass or run against Seattle with seeming ease.
This is why even if the Lions don’t have St. Brown, they will probably be fine. Josh Reynolds is averaging 16.2 a reception on 10 catches in 2022. DJ Clark has not caught most of his targets but still averages 14 yards a catch on 7 receptions. The point is that the Lions can still do damage even without St. Brown and do that damage deep downfield.
The point in all this and what will save the Seahawks season, if it can be saved, is that the defense has to improve immediately. It’s easy to blame Pete Carroll but he’s had good defenses before. Clint Hurtt is in his first season as defensive coordinator and maybe he is just in over his head currently. Or maybe Seattle’s defensive woes rest on the players who are getting paid to do a job they aren’t doing well. But if the D can be good in Week 4, Seattle might just be OK this year.