1:00 PM ET, October 28, 2012
Ford Field, Detroit, MI
History says a second straight trip to the postseason is highly unlikely for the Detroit Lions after multiple turnovers cost them a chance at a victory in their last contest.
Holding on to the ball has been particularly difficult for the Seattle Seahawks on the road.
After squandering countless offensive opportunities in their latest losses, the Lions and Seahawks will look to bounce back when they meet Sunday in the Motor City.
Detroit (2-4) sits at the bottom of the NFC North and committed three red-zone turnovers -- four overall -- in Monday night's 13-7 loss at Chicago. Only 18 of the 208 teams that started the season with the same record have made the playoffs, most recently accomplished by Tim Tebow-led Denver last season.
"Talk is cheap," Stafford said. "We can talk about taking care of the football. We can talk about making sure we're on the same page. We can talk about making plays, but we just have to go out there and do it.
"I'm glad it's a short week. I don't want to be sitting around thinking about this one too much longer."
The three giveaways inside the 20 gave Detroit an NFL-worst five red-zone turnovers. The Lions had three all of last season.
"If you face a tough opponent on the road, that's not a very good recipe to score," coach Jim Schwartz said.
Seattle is all too familiar with that sentiment, as nine of its 11 total giveaways have come while going 1/3 on the road. Russell Wilson threw a fourth-quarter interception in a 13-6 loss to San Francisco on Oct. 18 that kept the Seahawks (4-3) from taking over first place in the NFC West.
Despite coming away with points on 16 of their 18 trips to the red zone, Seattle has scored a TD only a third of the time -- the NFC's worst success rate.
"You've got to score touchdowns when you get in the red zone," fullback Michael Robinson said. "Three points just isn't going to do it."
Wilson finished 9 of 23 for 122 yards and went only 3 of 10 for 19 yards in the second half. He has led Seattle to victories in each of its three home games while throwing six touchdowns and zero interceptions with a 116.9 passer rating, but he's tossed seven picks with a 55.7 rating in his road starts.
Despite that clear discrepancy, coach Pete Carroll is confident his rookie quarterback will continue to improve -- though he won't have receiver Doug Baldwin (ankle) at Ford Field.
"We've noticed the numbers are quite a bit different there," Carroll said. "He's grown, he's corrected things, he's totally in control poise-wise. I think he can do special things. It's just going to take time.
"We're expecting him to have a great second half of the season."
Despite blowing a chance to turn the NFC North into a tight four-team race Monday, Detroit's ability to get in position to score certainly can be viewed as a positive as it hopes to make consecutive playoff appearances for the first time since a run of three straight from 1993-95.
Still, only one team in the highly competitive NFC has a worse record than the Lions.
"We have a lesser margin of error than we did (Monday)," Schwartz said. "We need to move on to the next one. ... We have to put it in a spot and move on to Seattle. We have a home game coming up and we're a team that needs a win."
The offense, though, will have to move ahead without former Seattle wide receiver Nate Burleson, who suffered a broken leg against Chicago. Calvin Johnson will look to bounce back after he was held to season lows of three catches and 34 yards on Monday.
Moving the ball likely won't be easy for either team Sunday. The Seahawks rank fifth in the league in total defense, allowing an average of 297.3 yards, while the Lions are eighth, giving up 319.3 per game.
Seattle has won three straight matchups, including a 32-20 victory in the most recent meeting Nov. 8, 2009, when Stafford threw a career-worst five interceptions at CenturyLink Field and Detroit blew a 17-0 lead.
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• Roll coverage to Megatron: Seattle has large, physical cornerbacks who can physically match up with most receivers in the league. As big as they are, Seattle's corners will still be giving up 2-3 inches to Calvin Johnson, so look for defensive coordinator Gus Bradley to roll coverage to provide help over the top on Johnson's side. The key will be how well the Seahawks can single cover on the backside, where Detroit will be missing its No. 2 receiver, Nate Burleson, who is out for the year.
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|Avg Points Allowed||16.8||24.9|
Team Averages & NFL Ranks
|TEAM OFFENSE||TEAM||PER GAME AVERAGE|
|TEAM DEFENSE||TEAM||PER GAME AVERAGE|
|Pass Yds Allowed||SEA|
|Rush Yds Allowed||SEA|
Head to Head Matchups (Since 2001)
|Seattle leads 3-1|
|Nov 8, 2009||SEA 32, DET 20|
|Sep 10, 2006||SEA 9, @DET 6|
|Nov 16, 2003||SEA 35, DET 14|
The Lions have made first contact with a rusher in the backfield on 25.5 percent of opponents rushes this season, the second-highest rate in the NFL. Marshawn Lynch has been first hit in the backfield on 8.2 percent of his rushes this season, third-lowest among players with 50 rushes.
Matthew Stafford has faced four or fewer rushers on the highest percentage of dropbacks this season. Stafford has completed 61.3 percent of his throws against such pressure, compared to 68.3 percent against five or more.[+]
ESPN Stats & Information