Detroit vs. Seattle: Do Two Bad Teams Make For Good Football?

Seattle Lion FanAnalyst IINovember 7, 2009

I get the rare opportunity to write about two teams that have been a part of many football seasons for me.

As many of you know, I am a born and raised Michigander (why that isn't Michiganian is beyond me) and moved to the Seattle area in 1990, when I became a Washingtonian (see, isn't that better?).

From about 1972 until 1989, I was only a Detroit Lion fan, seeing players such as Greg Landry, Bill Munson, Charlie Sanders, Alex Karras, Billy Sims, Lem Barney, and of course Barry Sanders. 

I've watched games during frigid winters in Tiger Stadium where my Dad introduced me to the wonders of peppermint schnapps on those cold days to the cavernous Pontiac Silverdome. My wife and I enjoyed numerous games as her Mom got us free tickets from her company. Wasn't too difficult, since the Lions were at best mediocre, even back then.

Moving to Seattle, we were introduced to the AFC and the many battles Seattle had with the Oakland Raiders and Denver Broncos. Seeing Brian Bosworth literally run over by Bo Jackson was perhaps the funniest thing I've ever seen on a football field.

Seahawks had some fine players on their rosters as well: Dave Krieg, Steve Largent, Curt Warner, Rufus Porter, Bryan Blades, and James Jones, to name a few. And I had the opportunity to see them play in the Kingdome as well as the elegant Qwest Field, which from what I understand is on par with Ford Field.

Perhaps the most bittersweet event was the 2005 Seattle Seahawks traveling to Detroit to play in the Super Bowl against Pittsburgh. It was hard to watch my adopted team play a game, in Detroit's backyard, knowing the Lions have never been to the big dance...and knowing they may never get there in my lifetime.

OK, enough of the melancholy bull. Time to talk about the current versions of both teams. 

Every one on the planet is aware of what the Lions accomplished last year. The Seahawks didn't fare much better, going a shocking 4-12 after winning the NFC West crown four years in a row. Injuries decimated the roster last year as well as this one.

Both of these teams have a lot to prove to themselves, their fans, and the rest of the NFL— namely, that they belong in the league.  

I've not written any articles on the Seahawks for B/R since, for whatever insane reason that rattles around in my brain, I am still a die-hard Detroit Lions fan. But I do read articles posted there and have commented to some on the state of the team.

It's been an interesting past six seasons. Watching the Seahawks go from a West Coast version of the Lions from 1976 to 2000, they had similar success both in the regular season and the postseason.

During that time, the Seahawks played in eight playoff games, winning two of them in 1983. Not all that much better than the Lions' lone playoff victory in 10 playoff games. 

So here we are, the Seahawks having fallen from grace to the Lions trying to just gain respectability. The Seahawks are getting old and the Lions are young. Both have new head coaches with the edge—as far as experience—going to Mora as he coached the Atlanta Falcons from 2004 to 2006. 

Both teams need some serious upgrades to their offensive line and running game.  Seattle's downfall began when they lost Steve Hutchinson to the Vikings and just hoped outstanding left tackle Walter Jones would never age or get hurt. 

The Lions have never really faced up to the importance of the offensive line, relying rather on the likes of Billy Sims and Barry Sanders to run to daylight. The Lions have never had a dominating offensive left tackle since the days of Lomas Brown.

Since Shawn Alexander fell from his Pro Bowl-form in 2005, the Seahawks have had very little success in running the ball. In fact, the Lions signed one of their more effective running backs this year in Maurice Morris. Unfortunately, Morris hasn't been able to duplicate his spot duty success with the Lions as he did with the Hawks. Starting Lions running back Kevin Smith is a steady-but-nothing-spectacular type of back.

Both defenses have become suspect. It was almost expected the Lions would improve little on that side of the ball, despite the upgrades at linebacker with former Seahawk Julian Peters and former Pittsburgh Steeler Larry Foote.

But the Seahawks have been like the Three Faces of Eve as far as defense goes. In the two wins against St. Louis and Jacksonville, they held both teams scoreless, getting eight sacks, two turnovers, and pretty much dominating both teams while the offense scored a combined 69 points.

In the five losses against San Francisco, Chicago, Indiana, Arizona and Dallas, the defense basically disappeared, giving up 147 points. The offense didn't help matters any, scoring only 66 points. Very Lionesque, if you ask me.

Granted, veteran QB Matt Hasselbeck has been toughing it out the last few games battling a rib injury. Mora sent a message to the team by not pulling Hasselbeck out of the fourth quarter of the Dallas game despite the fact Hasselbeck kept getting hit. My guess is Mora doesn't have any faith in backup Seneca Wallace or rookie Mike Teel.

I have to give the edge to the Seahawks, though. The Lions don't play well on the road, especially on the West Coast. And if Hasselback finds his rhythm, he can carve up the Lions' weak secondary.

But wouldn't it be sweet if the game came down to Washington State Cougar alum Jason Hanson to win the game with a field goal?

Seahawks 24, Lions 17.


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