Seattle Seahawks-Detroit Lions Preview: Somebody Has to Win!

Todd WilliamsCorrespondent INovember 7, 2009

ARLINGTON, TX - NOVEMBER 01:  Head coach Jim Mora of the Seattle Seahawks at Cowboys Stadium on November 1, 2009 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

The past two years have not been kind to either of these teams. Detroit is coming off a winless 2008 campaign, and the Seahawks struggled to four wins. This year hasn't looked all that much better.

The Lions were able to snap their losing streak against the mess that is the Washington Redskins this year, but then promptly went out and lost to the St. Louis Rams, who had been winless prior to their 17-10 win at Detroit.

Since then, the Lions have started another losing streak, which stands at four games coming into this weekend.

The Rams are one of the two teams that Seattle has managed to defeat this season. Since the Jacksonville win, the Seahawks have been disastrous, losing their last two games 65-20. Not exactly how the Seahawks were planning on following up their 41-0 win over Jacksonville.

For Sunday, the biggest question for the Lions is if star wide out Calvin Johnson, who is listed as probable at this point, and quarterback Matthew Stafford will be able to go.

Johnson, who missed the last three games, will prove important as the play of Stafford is dependent on Johnson and his big-play abilities. Stafford is coming off of a knee injury that cost him two games, and a poor performance against the Rams.

If Johnson is able to play it looks to improve upon Stafford’s performance last week of 14-for-33 for 168 yards. In the four games played with Johnson, Stafford is 79-for-139 for 894 yards.

Look for those two to try and re-establish a connection to improve upon the Lions woeful passing numbers. Detroit is averaging just 189 yards through the air this year. With Stafford and Johnson playing together, the passing game was an improved 223 yards per game.

In addition to Stafford and Johnson, starting running back Kevin Smith is also banged up. Smith re-aggravated a shoulder injury in the loss to the Rams. All three are expected to play come Sunday.

The Seahawks defense has been stronger against the run, 10th overall, than the pass, 18th, so it will be important for the Lions chances to have their passing game at full health.

The Seahawks are looking to get an offense going that has struggled all year, averaging only 19 points a game. Injuries across the offensive line have hindered Seattle’s ability to get a running game established, which was the coaching staff's desire entering the season. It hasn't worked out, as the Seahawks are ranked 29th in rushing offense.

A healthier Matt Hasselbeck and core of healthy wide outs will be what the Seahawks need to rely on to put points up. Free agent acquisition T.J. Houshmandzadeh has been disappointing by his own standards, but you can see his passion and desire for winning.

Like all good receivers, he believes he is open on every play, and wants to contribute as much as possible for the Seahawks.

Some have looked at this from the perspective that it can hurt team chemistry, but it doesn't seem like it is bothering Hasselbeck. Everyone knows they have to start producing.

The passing game has been more effective than running (ranked 17th), but the Hawks need more production out of their running game if they want to turn around the season.

Despite the struggles the last few weeks, this sets up well for a Seahawks victory. For the first time this year, every active Seahawk on the roster was able to practice.

After traveling to Dallas and enduring another rough game, a game at home against the struggling Lions is exactly what Jim Mora and the Seahawks need.

Even with the return of Johnson, and the probability that Stafford and Smith are playing, the Lions will continue to struggle to put up points facing off against a Seattle D that has either looked great or terrible.

The two shutouts against the Rams and Jaguars were impressive, but otherwise they are giving up 29 points per game. However, this is one of those games they have a chance to perform well.

Look for the Seahawks to continue to play Jekyll and Hyde as they should take it to the Lions. But the question is; will they be able to build on it, or fall apart like they did after Jacksonville?

Seahawks 28, Lions 7.