The Detroit Lions have been among the NFL’s biggest disappointments on the young season and now face the daunting task of trying to record their first victory at one of the league’s most hostile venues. Struggling Detroit will be looking to avoid its first 0-4 start since 2010 when it pays a visit to the Seattle Seahawks on Monday night.
The Lions blew an early 21-3 lead in a season-opening loss to San Diego and have gone down meekly in losses at Minnesota (26-16) and to Peyton Manning and Denver (24-12) in last weekend’s home opener. “I think our team is right there,” Detroit coach Jim Caldwell insisted. “You just can’t see it, but we can.” The Seahawks finally broke into the win column last weekend but could be without standout running back Marshawn Lynch, who is dealing with a hamstring injury and is expected to be a game-time decision. Seattle is playing its third consecutive NFC North opponent, blanking Chicago 26-0 in its home opener after losing at Green Bay 27-17 in Week 2.
TV: 8:30 p.m. ET, ESPN.
LINE HISTORY: Books opened the Seahawks as 10-point home faves. The total is up a half-point from the opening 42.5.
RB Joique Bell (Questionable, ankle), LB DeAndre Levy (Questionable, hip), TE Brandon Pettigrew (Questionable, hamstring), DE Ezekiel Ansah (Questionable, groin), G Larry Warford (Questionable, ankle).
DE Demarcus Dobbs (Probable, shoulder), RB Marshawn Lynch (Questionable, hamstring), CB Tharold Simon (Questionable, toe), S Steve Terrell (Questionable, hip), TE Luke Wilson (Questionable, back), DT Brandon Mebane (Questionable, groin).
WEATHER: Clear skies with temperatures in the high-60s. Wind will blow toward the south endzone at around five mph.
COVERS POWER RANKINGS: Lions (+3.5) + Seahawks (-3.0) + home field (-3.0) = Seahawks -9.5
WHAT CAPPERS SAY: “The Lions better start winning at home, because their next three road games are all extremely tough: at Seattle, Kansas City and Green Bay. The Seahawks offense continued to struggle against the weak Bears defense on Sunday, 0-2 in the red zone while failing to convert on 11 different third down tries.” Covers Expert Teddy Covers.
The Lions don’t have cheerleaders, so here’s double-dose of the Seahawks squad.
ABOUT THE LIONS (0-3 SU, 0-3 ATS, 1-2 O/U): Quarterback Matthew Stafford has thrown as many interceptions (five) as touchdown passes and is receiving little support from a ground game that is averaging a league-low 45 yards per game and has done almost nothing since a solid NFL debut by rookie Ameer Abdullah. Wideout Calvin Johnson has 18 of his 20 receptions over the past two games while Golden Tate – second on the team with 15 catches – should not be lacking for motivation as he faces the team with which he played for four seasons. A defense that has been gashed through the air and on the ground is hoping for the return of linebacker DeAndre Levy (hip), who led the team in tackles last season.
ABOUT THE SEAHAWKS (1-2 SU, 1-2 ATS, 1-2 O/U): Although Seattle pitched a shutout against the banged-up Bears last week, it was not an especially sharp effort – the Seahawks led 6-0 at the half before dynamic rookie Tyler Lockett returned the second-half kickoff a franchise-record 105 yards for a touchdown. Russell Wilson made it a point to target tight end Jimmy Graham, who had seven catches for 83 yards and a TD, while undrafted rookie Thomas Rawls did a nice imitation of Lynch by rushing for 104 yards on 16 carries. Pro Bowl safety Kam Chancellor ended his two-game holdout and made his season debut last week for Seattle, which is 23-2 at CenturyLink Field since 2012 and has won seven in a row at home.
* Home team is 4-0 ATS in their last four meetings.
* Lions are 1-7 ATS in their last eight road games.
* Seahawks are 7-1-1 ATS in their last nine Monday games.
* Under is 7-1 in Lions’ last eight Monday games.
COVERS CONSENSUS: Fifty-six percent of Covers users are backing the Seahawks.