The Detroit Lions are coming off a successful 2014 campaign that saw them make the playoffs for the second time in the Matthew Stafford era, only to lose in the Wild Card round once again.
Detroit was hoping o make it back for a second consecutive appearance, something the franchise has not done since the days of Wayne Fontes and Barry Sanders. Instead, the Lions are 0-3 and playing the Seattle Seahawks on Monday Night Football at CenturyLink Field.
It seems like an impossible position for the Lions, who currently are the only team in the league without a victory. The defense has been nothing special, with the secondary playing suspect football. The group has already allowed two 300-yard passers while Detroit has done little to force pressure up front.
In Seattle, the Seahawks are going to be without bruising running back Marshawn Lynch, who is nursing a sore hamstring. With Lynch out of the lineup, Seattle will turn to tight end Jimmy Graham more often and rely on quarterback Russell Wilson to hit Doug Baldwin and Jermaine Kearse on the outside.
Another x-factor in the game is returner/receiver Tyler Lockett, who already has two return touchdowns on the season. Lockett, a third-round rookie out of Kansas State University, has shown both tremendous instincts and blazing speed.
The best matchup on the field will be Calvin Johnson against Richard Sherman, who are arguably the best players at their respective divisions. If Detroit has any chance of pulling off the upset, Stafford needs Johnson to make some plays down the field.
Pick: Seattle 30, Detroit 13