BY SPNW Staff 06:30AM 10/28/2012

Seahawks’ Wilson needs to step it up on road

Playing their fourth road game in five weeks, the Seahawks won their past three meetings with the pass-happy Detroit Lions, last in the NFC North (2-4).

Ford Field in Detroit will host the Seahawks-Lions game Sunday morning. / Wiki Commons

GAME: Seattle Seahawks (4-3, T1, NFC West) at Detroit Lions (2-4, 4th, NFC North). TYPE: Regular season. WEEK: 8. WHEN: Sunday, 10 a.m., PT, Ford Field, Detroit. MEETING: 12th (Seahawks lead 7-4). STREAKS: Seahawks L 1; Lions L 2. HEAD COACHES: Pete Carroll, Seattle; Jim Schwartz, Detroit. LINE: Detroit by 2. TV: FOX. RADIO: ESPN 710 AM, KIRO 97.3 FM.

Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson has to like the three words most associated with the Detroit Lions this week — “reeling,” “disarray” and “mess” — because the rookie probably needs an opponent in that condition (four losses in the past five games) to get himself going on the road, where Wilson has largely struggled.

Despite an above-average effort  — 82.2 passer rating — in Seattle’s 16-12 win at Carolina, Wilson has a 55.7 rating overall in the Seahawks’ four road games, three of them defeats. In those four, Wilson has thrown two touchdown passes and seven interceptions.

In games at CenturyLink Field, Wilson has six touchdown passes, no interceptions and a 116.9 passer rating. The Seahawks are 3-0 in those games.

“We just need to clean things up and protect him better,” said coach Pete Carroll when asked about Wilson’s home vs. road performances. “We need to make sure we’re making our plays in catching the football. He’s got to be sharper, too. Just all around. He’s obviously very comfortable at home, and we have played better at home than we did on the road.

“We just have to get through that. He had a very good game at Carolina. Hopefully, we can crank it up again. We need to get this behind us so that his numbers start going in the right direction. It’s just about executing really well and being really clean in all phases. Everybody contributes to what he does.”

Wilson denied that noise in road stadiums has affected his performances.

“I don’t feel any different,” Wilson said. “I’ve played in a lot of loud stadiums, and the noise doesn’t affect me at all. I think the biggest thing is just that we have to execute and make plays.”

Wilson will face a Detroit defense, ranked 22nd overall, that has allowed opposing quarterbacks to compile a 91.9 passer rating. The Lions were thoroughly undressed Sept. 23 by former University of Washington quarterback Jake Locker of Tennessee.

In a 44-41 Titans win, Locker completed 29 of 42 passes for 378 yards and two touchdowns for a passer rating of 113.0.

Wilson will be missing the services Sunday of WR Doug Baldwin, out with an ankle injury. Charly Martin will fill in for Baldwin, leaving a mediocre receiving corps even thinner. But Carroll doesn’t seem to be worried.

“I think we’re fine, I think we’re alright,” Carroll said. “We’re always going to try to keep getting better. I don’t think that has anything to do with what’s going on. I think it’s the process we’ve been through in developing a quarterback and the offense. It’s taking away from the numbers.

“Our guys can make the plays. I don’t have any problem with that. I think you’ve watched Golden Tate emerge and he’s become a big factor for us. Sidney Rice being healthy is a big deal. Ben Obomanu is not getting the ball like we’d like, but nobody gets it enough and that’s just part of the problem with receiving. We’re OK. I like where we are.”

The best part of Detroit’s defense is its front seven, led by Ndamukong Suh, the player that offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell will be most concerned with Sunday.

“You can’t wear him out, he’s not going to quit,” said Bevell. “He’s going to spring at every single play. I can talk about each one of those guys (front seven) doing similar stuff on the front. You have to block them. It’s going to be a big duty for our offensive line.”

Detroit will throw the ball a lot. The Lions average an NFL-high 46 pass attempts per game.

“Matt Stafford is an excellent quarterback who can make all the throws,” said Carroll.

The Seahawks will be playing their fourth road game in five weeks. But after the Seahawks take on the Lions, they will have five of their final eight at CenturyLink Field. Three will be against division opponents San Francisco, Arizona and St. Louis, teams the Seahawks are 0-3 against this season.

SERIES: Dates to Oct. 24, 1976 when the Seahawks sustained a 41-14 beating in the Kingdome, in which Seattle QB Jim Zorn threw a franchise-record six interceptions. The Seahawks have won the past three meetings, most recently a 32-20 decision Nov. 8, 2009, in a game highlighted by five Seattle interceptions, including Josh Wilson’s 61-yard INT return for a TD and four Olindo Mare field goals.

LAST MEETING (Seahawks 32, Lions 20, Nov. 8, 2009): After Detroit took a 17-0 lead, the Seahawks roared back with 25 unanswered points on Julius Jones’ 3-yard run, field goals of 37, 37, 24 and 20 yards from Mare and a 2-yard TD pass from Matt Hasselbeck to T.J. Houshmandzadeh. Mare’s 20-yard field goal gave Seattle a 25-17 lead, and Wilson capped the day with his 61-yard INT return TD.

Seahawks: 4-2-0, T1, NFC West; scored 110 points (18.3 per game), ranking 26th; allowed 93 points (15.5 per game), 2nd; differential of +17 points ranks 13th. Lions: 2-4-0, 4th, NFC North; scored 133 points (22.2), ranked 19th; allowed 150 (25.0), 22nd; differential of -17 points ranks 21st.

SEAHAWKS HEAD COACH: Pete Carroll (51-51-0 career, 18-20-0 Seattle) is in his third season. In 2010, he directed Seattle to the NFC West title, the Seahawks becoming the first team in NFL history to win a division with a losing (7-9) record. Prior to joining the Seahawks, Carroll served as head coach at Southern California, where his Trojans won seven Pac-10 titles.

SEAHAWKS QUARTERBACKS: Russell Wilson at Arizona — 18 of 34 for 153 yards, 1 TD, one INT, 62.5 passer rating; vs. Dallas — 15 of 20, 151 yards, 1 TD, 0 INTs, 112.7 rating; vs. Green Bay — 10 of 21 for 130 yards, 2 TDs, 0 INTs, 99.3 passer rating; at St. Louis — 17 of 25, 160 yards, 0 TDs, 3 INTs, 45.8 passer rating; at Carolina — 19 of 25, 221 yards, 1 TD, 2 INTs, 82.2 passer rating; vs. New England, 16 of 27, 293 yards, 3 TDs, 0 INTs, 133.7 passer rating; at San Francisco, 9 of 23, 122 yards, 0 TD, 1 INT, 38.7 passer rating . . . Matt Flynn –  DNP all games.

SEAHAWKS STATS / NOTES

  • SEASON SUMMARY: Record: 4-3. Home: 3-0. Road: 1-3. Vs. NFC: 3-3. Vs. AFC: 1-0. Vs. NFC East: 1-0. Vs. NFC North: 1-0. Vs. NFC South: 1-0. Vs. NFC West: 0-3. Points For: 116 (16.6). Points Against: 106 (15.1).
  • NFL RANKS: Scoring Offense –16.6 (26); Total Offense – 293.6 (30th); Rushing Offense – 131.7 (8th); Passing Offense — 161.9 (31st); Scoring Defense – 15.1 (3rd); Total Defense — 297.3 (5th); Rushing Defense — 85.0 (6th); Passing Defense — 212.3 (8th).
  • INJURY REPORT: Out — WR Doug Baldwin (ankle), DB Byron Maxwell (hamstring). Questionable — OG John Moffitt (knee). Doubtful — De Jason Jones (ankle).
  • Heading into Week 7, Marshawn Lynch is the NFL’s third-leading rusher, averaging 91.6 yards per game. Lynch has rushed for more than 100 yards in eight of his last 15 games.
  • Russell Wilson’s 78.4 passer rating ranks 22nd overall and second among rookies; his 176.0 yards per game rank 3nd.
  • Leon Washington averages 31.7 yards on kickoff returns, which ranks fourth in the NFL.
  • Chris Clemons is ranked third with 7.0 sacks.
  • With 4.5 sacks, DE Bruce Irvin ranks second among NFL rookies to Chandler Jones’ 5.0.
  • 12th Man Flag Raisers: Tennessee — Steve August; Oakland – 2012 area Summer Olympians; Dallas — Shawn Springs; Green Bay — Trent Dilfer; New England — Walter Jones.

TEAM OFFENSIVE RANKINGS

Seahawks Stat Rank Lions Stat Rank
Total Yards 2055 27 Total Yards 2438 11
Yards / Game 293.6 27 Yards / Game 406.3 11
Rush Yards 922 8 Rush Yards 598 23
Rush / Game 131.7 8 Rush / Game 99.7 23
Pass Yards 1113 31 Pass Yards 1840 5
Pass / Game 161.9 31 Pass / Game 306.7 5
Points 116 26 Points 133 21
Points / Game 16.6 26 Points / Game 22.2 21
Differential +17.0 13 Differential -17 21

TEAM DEFENSIVE RANKINGS

Seahawks Stat Rank Lions Stat Rank
Total Yards 2081 10 Total Yards 1916 5
Yards / Game 297.3 10 Yards / Game 319.3 5
Rush / Allw. 595.0 7 Rush / Allw. 653 13
Rush / Game 85.0 7 Rush / Game 108.8 13
Pass Allw. 1486 14 Pass Allw. 1263 4
Pass / Game 212.3 14 Pass / Game 210.5 4
Points Allw. 106 3 Points Allw. 150 18
Points / Game 15.1 3 Points / Game 25.0 18

SEAHAWKS OFFENSIVE LEADERS

Rushing

Player G Att. Yards TDs Long Y/G
Marshawn Lynch 7 147 652 2 36 93.1
Russell Wilson 7 35 119 0 14 17.0
Robert Turbin 7 26 115 0 15 16.4
Leon Washington 7 10 33 0 11 4.7
Team 7 227 922 2 36 131.7
Opponents 7 161 595 2 23 85.0

Passing

Player G Att. Cmp. Yards TDs/INT Rate
Russell Wilson 7 175 104 1230 8/7 79.5
Team 7 175 104 1230 8/7 79.5
Opponents 7 256 148 1588 6/6 74.2

Receiving

Player G Rec. Yards TD Long Y/G
Sidney Rice 7 22 312 2 46 44.6
Zach Miller 7 14 179 0 30 25.6
Golden Tate 7 13 191 3 51 31.8
Doug Baldwin 6 11 149 1 50 24.8
Marshawn Lynch 7 10 83 0 16 11.9
Robert Turbin 7 9 68 0 15 9.7
Team 7 104 1230 8 51 175.7
Opponents 7 148 1486 6 52 212.3

SEAHAWKS DEFENSIVE LEADERS

Category Skinny
Tackles Wright 52, Wagner 50, Chancellor 47
Sacks Clemons 7.0, Irvin 4.5, Jones, 2.5
Quarterback Hits Clemons 13, Irvin 8, Branch 4
Interceptions Sherman 3, Browner 2, Thomas 1
Passes Defensed Sherman 11, Clemons, Thomas, Browner, 4
Forced Fumbles Browner 2, 5 tied with 1
Fumbles Recovered Mebane, Browner, Branch 1

LIONS NOTES: The Lions defeated St. Louis (27-23) and Philadelphia (26-23) and lost to San Francisco (27-19), Tennessee (44-41), Minnesota (20-13) and Chicago (13-70 . . . Detroit’s roster includes three ex-Seahawks: WR Nate Burleson, TE Will Heller and DE Lawrence Jackson . . . Burleson has caught 27 passes for 240 yards and two touchdowns, but won’t play for the rest of the year due to a leg broken in Monday night’s game against Chicago. Rookie Ryan Broyles, a second-round pick, will replace Burleson against the Seahawks . . . Jackson, Seattle’s first overall pick in 2008, has appeared in five games for Detroit but has yet to make a start . . . Scott Linehan, who coached wide receivers and served as offensive coordinator at the University of Washington from 1994-98, is Detroit’s offensive coordinator.

LIONS QUARTERBACKS: Matt Stafford has completed 164 of 264 passes for 1,754 yards, five touchdowns, six interceptions and a passer rating of 78.4. Stafford has produced three, 300-yard passing games this season: 355 and one TD vs. St. Louis, 319 vs. Minnesota and 311 and one TD vs. Philadelphia.

LIONS HEAD COACH: Jim Schwartz is in his fourth season. After opening with a 2-14 record in 2009, Schwartz went 6-10 in 2010 and 10-6 last year. A University of Maryland graduate, Schwartz coached on the college level at Minnesota, North Carolina Central and Colgate. He joined the Cleveland Browns in 1993 and spent three years (1993-95) with them before going first to the Baltimore Ravens (1996–98) and then the Tennessee Titans, where was defensive coordinator from 2001-08).

KEY DATES: Nov. 18 — Seahawks bye week; Jan. 5-6, 2013 — Wild card weekend; Jan. 12-13 — Divisional playoffs; Jan. 19-20 — Conference championships; Jan. 27 — Pro Bowl (Honolulu); Feb. 3 — Super Bowl, New Orleans. Feb. 20-26 — NFL combine (Indianapolis); April 25-27 — NFL draft.

TRANSACTIONS

  • Aug. 26: Waived LB Jameson Konz, DE Pep Levingston, DB Roy Lewis, TE Cameron Morrah, WR Phil Bates, OT Edawn Coughman, CB Donny Lisowski, CB Ron Parker, RB Tyrell Sutton, OT Alex Barron, OG Deuce Lutui, WR Terrell Owens.
  • Aug. 27: Traded LB Barrett Ruud to New Orleans to for an undisclosed future draft pick; waived DE Dexter Davis and re-signed CB Denny Lisowski, an undrafted rookie free agent from Montana who attended O’Dea High; traded QB Tarvaris Jackson to Buffalo for an undisclosed future draft choice.
  • Aug. 31: Waived/released CB Phillip Adams, DE Pierre Allen, LB Allen Bradford, WR Deon Butler, WR Kris Durham, G Paul Fanaika, G Rishaw Johnson, WR Jermaine Kearse, LB Kyle Knox, DE Cordarro Law, WR Ricardo Lockette, TE Sean McGrath, C Kris O’Dowd, QB Josh Portis, S DeShawn Shead, LB Korey Toomer, WR Lavasier Tuinei, TE Cooper Helfet, RB Vai Taua.
  • Sept. 1: Released TE Kellen Winslow; signed to practice squad LB Allen Bradford, G Rishaw Johnson, WR Ricardo Lockette, TE Sean McGrath, QB Josh Portis, S DeShawn Shead, LB Korey Toomer.
  • Sept. 3: Signed to practice squad T/DT Edawn Coughman, WR Jermaine Kearse; signed TE Evan Moore.
  • Sept. 13: Released G Rishaw Johnson and LB Korey Toomer from the practice squad and signed LB Allen Bradford and OT Mike Person in their places.
  • Oct. 1: Released OG Allen Barbre as soon as he came off the suspended list for violating the league’s policy on performance-enhancing drugs.

NFC West Standings

Team Overall vs. Div. Next
S. Francisco 5-2 1-0 Monday at Arizona
Arizona 4-3 1-1 Monday vs. S. Francisco
Seattle 4-3 0-3 Sunday at Detroit
St. Louis 3-4 2-0 Sunday vs. New England

COMING UP: Seahawks return to CenturyLink Field Sunday to face the Minnesota Vikings. After hosting the New York Jets Nov. 11, the Seahawks will have their bye week.

2012 Seahawks Preseason Schedule

Date Opponent Time TV W/L Score Rec.
8/11/12 vs. Tennessee 7 p.m. Q13 W 27-17 1-0
8/18/12 at Denver 6 p.m. Q13 W 30-10 2-0
8/24/12 at Kansas City 5 p.m. Q13 W 44-14 3-0
8/30/12 vs. Oakland 7 p.m. Q13 W 21-3 4-0

2012 Seahawks Regular-Season Schedule

Date Opponent Time TV W/L Score Rec.
9/9/12 at Arizona 1:25 p.m. FOX L 20-16 0-1
9/16/12 vs. Dallas 1:05 p.m. FOX W 27-7 1-1
9/24/12 vs. Green Bay 5:30 p.m. ESPN W 14-12 2-1
9/30/12 at St. Louis 10 a.m. FOX L 19-13 2-2
10/7/12 at Carolina 1:05 p.m. FOX W 16-12 3-2
10/14/12 vs. N. England 1:05 p.m. CBS W 24-23 4-2
10/18/12 at S. Francisco 5:20 p.m. NFLN W 13-6 4-3
10/28/12 at Detroit 10 a.m. FOX
11/4/12 vs. Minnesota 1:05 p.m. FOX
11/11/11 vs. NY Jets 1:05 p.m. CBS
11/18/11 Bye Week
11/25/12 at Miami 10 a.m. FOX
12/2/12 at Chicago 10 a.m. FOX
12/9/12 vs. Arizona 1:15 p.m. FOX
12/16/12 *at Buffalo 1:05 p.m. FOX
12/23/12 vs. San Francisco 1:15 p.m. FOX
12/30/12 vs. St. Louis 1:15 p.m. FOX

* in Toronto

2012 Seahawks Capsules

Preseason

Aug. 11 Seahawks 27, Titans 17 (at Seattle) — Rookie quarterback Russell Wilson ran for a touchdown and passed for one, leading the Seahawks over a Tennessee Titans team featuring two quarterbacks with strong local ties, ex-Seahawk Matt Hasselbeck and ex-Husky Jake Locker. Hasselbeck threw two interceptions while Locker completed 7 of 13 for 80 yards.

Aug. 18: Seahawks 30, Broncos 10 (at Denver) — Starting his second straight exhibition game, QB Matt Flynn failed to seize control of the quarterback job, finishing 6 of 13 for 31 yards with no TDs or INTs. But Wilson made a case for himself by completing 10 of 17 for 155 yards, two TDs and a passer rating of 28.5. The Seahawks finished with 228 yards rushing, led by Sutton’s 48 yards on three carries.

Aug. 24: Seahawks 44, Chiefs 14 (at Kansas City) – Wilson completed 10 of 17 passes for 185 yards and two touchdowns. With Wilson playing into the second half, Seattle scored 21 points, overcoming a 10-9 halftime deficit. Earl Thomas made the big defensive play, returning an interception 75 yards for a touchdown. Flynn did not play due to injury.

Aug. 30: Seahawks 21, Raiders 3 (at Seattle): Flynn, getting most of the snaps, completed 11 of 13 passes for 102 yards. Seahawks outgained the Raiders 334 yards to 101.

Regular Season

Sept. 8: Cardinals 20, Seahawks 16 (at Phoenix): Despite seven tries inside Arizona’s red zone in final minute, the Seahawks could not score the game-winning touchdown. The Seahawks overcame a tepid first half offensively thanks to an 83-yard kickoff return and a 52-yard punt return by Leon Washington.

Sept. 15: Seahawks 27, Cowboys 7 (at Seattle): The Seahawks took a 10-0 lead in less than five minutes when Michael Robinson forced Felix Jones to fumble the opening kickoff, leading to a short field goal, and Malcolm Smith blocked Chris Jones’ punt and Jeron Johnson returned it for a touchdown. Marshawn Lynch ran for 122 yards and the defense allowed the Cowboys only 34 yards and three first downs in the second half.

Sept. 24: Seahawks 14, Packers 12 (at Seattle): Russell Wilson and Golden Tate hooked up on a wildly controversial 24-yard touchdown pass as the clock ran out, giving the Seahawks a dramatic victory. As Wilson’s pass reached the end zone, Tate committed a pushing penalty that wasn’t called. Green Bay’s M.D. Jennings intercepted the ball and Tate tried to wrestle it away. One official ruled no touchdown, another signaled TD. After review, Tate was awarded the touchdown. The Seahawks had eight sacks in the first half, a record-tying four by Chris Clemons.

Sept. 30: Rams 19, Seahawks 13 (at St. Louis): Rookie kicker Greg Zuerlein booted four field goals, including a club-record 58-yarder which he later topped with a 60-yarder, as the Rams handed Seattle its second NFC West loss. Zuerlein also was a perfect decoy on the biggest play of the day — a fake field goal that turned into a two-yard touchdown pass from punter Johnny Hekker to Danny Amendola. The score put the Rams (2-2) ahead 10-7 late in the first half. Marshawn Lynch ran for 118 yards and a touchdown,Seahawks, but Russell Wilson threw three interceptions.

Oct. 7: Seahawks 16, Panthers 12: (at Charlotte): The Seahawks used a series of big defensive plays, the best pass of Russell Wilson’s NFL career, and a planned safety in the final minute to edge Carolina. Cornerback Brandon Browner made two of the three biggest defensive stops. With Carolina at the Seattle 27-yard line in the third quarter, Browner stripped the ball from DeAngelo Williams, giving the Seahawks a chance to take the lead after they had fallen behind 10-6 on Wilson’s worst pass of the season. Less than three minutes into the second half, Wilson threw behind intended receiver Anthony McCoy, and Carolina’s Captain Munnerlyn snatched the ball and raced 33 yards for a touchdown that put the Panthers ahead 10-6. But after Browner stripped Williams. Wilson, on a third-and-eight from the Carolina 13, rocketed a slant pass to Golden Tate for a touchdown.

Oct. 14: Seahawks 24, Patriots 23: Russell Wilson threw a 46-yard touchdown pass to Sidney Rice with 1:18 to play to give the Seahawks a come-from-behind victory. The Seahawks trailed 23-10 in the second half, but Wilson fired touchdown passes to Doug Baldwin and Braylon Edwards before finding Rice with the game-winning throw.

Oct. 18: 49ers 13, Seahawks 6: Alex Smith threw a 12-yard touchdown pass to Delanie Walker late in the third quarter and San Francisco held off the Seahawks in a battle for first place in the NFC West. Frank Gore ran for 131 yards. The 49ers made just enough plays to win a defense-first game. Marshawn Lynch ran for 103 yards for Seattle, but Russell Wilson couldn’t generate a passing game, going 9 of 23 for 122 yards and a passer rating of 38.7.



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