Coming off one of the biggest wins the franchise has had in years and some extra days rest, the Detroit Lions will be back home on Sunday to host Geno Smith and the Seahawks. Both teams surprised football fans last season and came into this year with higher expectations, and we’ll preview their matchup before going over my play on the total.
Seattle opened the season with a divisional game against a finally healthy LA Rams team, and the Rams showed they can still play like the team that won the Super Bowl two seasons ago. In the Seahawks' 30-13 loss, Geno Smith finished the game with 112 yards and one touchdown, a stat line we rarely saw from him in 2022 since Seattle finished 11th in passing yards and 4th in passing touchdowns.
Not only did Smith fail to get anything going downfield, but the Seattle run game was nonexistent. While they were not a strong running team last year, there was some optimism that Kenneth Walker III could right the ship a little bit, but instead, Seattle finished with 85 rushing yards on 18 attempts.
Offense was not the only struggle for Seattle over the weekend, as their defense was burned for 334 passing yards and allowed three rushing touchdowns. Seattle was better at limiting passing games in 2022, but Matthew Stafford got whatever he wanted on Sunday, and the Seahawks’ secondary will only be challenged more with Jared Goff this weekend.
Detroit attempted the 11th most passes in the league last season, and Goff dropped back 35 times in week one against Kansas City. When these two teams met in 2022, the Lions gunslinger put up 378 yards and four touchdowns on the Seattle secondary, and he’s only picked up more weapons since then.
The Lions 2023 offensive draft picks flashed some potential in week one, with Sam Laporta pulling in five catches for 39 yards and Jahmyr Gibbs rushing for 42 yards on seven carries. Defensively, the Lions were a mess in 2022, but in week one, they showed improvement by holding the Chiefs' offense to 90 rushing yards and getting a big pick-six off Patrick Mahomes, which may have been on the receiver, but still counts.
The total for this game can be found at 47.5, and I’ll be taking the over for my play. These two teams scored a combined 93 points when they met last season in Detroit, and while they may not be near that number this weekend, I think we see plenty of points on the board by the end of the game.
Geno Smith put up 320 yards on the Lions last season, and I think, like most teams in the league, week one was almost a preseason game for Seattle’s starting offense. DK Metcalf, Jason Smith-Njigba, and Tyler Lockett had a combined eight catches in week one, and I don’t think we see them record that low of a number the rest of the season, let alone against a Lions secondary that was 30th in passing yards allowed in 2022.
On the other side, the Lions offense will take the field with a ton of momentum, and to make things better, they’ll be on their home field, where they averaged a league-high 33.1 points per game last season. After watching Seattle let Tutu Atwell go for 119 yards last week, it’s hard to imagine they can slow down Amon-Ra St. Brown and handle what might be a heavier dose of Jahmyr Gibbs.