3 key stats that could imply the result

Neither the Seattle Seahawks nor the Detroit Lions will make the playoffs this year, of course, but both teams clearly want to win and haven’t given up on playing hard. No one can accuse the Seattle players of giving up.

But Detroit might want to win more than Seattle in Week 17. The Lions look young and hungry and have no idea they’re having a losing season. Detroit demolished the Cardinals two weeks ago 30-12 and played like a playoff team.

Before the season, the 12 might have scored that game against the Lions as a win, but not anymore. However, some key stats mean Seattle should still be confident going into the game.

3 stats that could tell the result between the Seahawks and the Lions

Holding time

The Seahawks hold the ball for a stunning 24:48 of a game, easily last in the NFL. That’s almost 2 1/2 minutes less than the next worst team, the Jacksonville Jaguars (27:14). That means Seattle’s defense tires late in games. And that’s one of the reasons Seattle lost to the Bears.

Against Chicago, Seattle had an early lead, but time of possession once again became extremely one-sided. Seattle held the ball for just 21:35 of the game. Detroit likes to run the ball, so if Seattle’s defense tires again, Detroit is capable of winning a low-scoring game with a comeback in the fourth quarter.

Lions rush attempts

Like I said, Detroit likes to run the ball and they stick with it. Lions coach Dan Campbell is in his first season with the team. We didn’t expect Detroit to win many games this year and they haven’t. But Campbell rebuilds the team’s toughness and Detroit improves as the season progresses.

Detroit pitched earlier in the year as they were down early in games, but the past three weeks Detroit have run the ball on 45.83% of their plays, 11th most in the league. In Week 16, Detroit ran the ball 48.53% of the time, 9th most in the NFL.

Campbell is not giving up the run (unlike the Seahawks). Detroit doesn’t have a big offense, but by running the ball they can have control over the game’s high score. This week, the Lions will also recover D’Andre Swift. If Seattle isn’t careful, by the end of the game the Lions could rack up some second-half points against a tired Seahawks defense.

Percentage of drives allowing an offensive score

This is where the Seahawks could get up early and take a huge lead against the Lions. Seattle’s offense is better in the first half (11.5 points in the first half – 16th in the NFL) and not good in the second half (8.9 points – 27th in the NFL). Scoring early will be very important for the Seahawks in Week 17.

But the Lions give up scoring plays on 45.6% of their opponent’s drives, the second-worst in the league. Detroit also gives up 13 points on average in the first half games (4th worst in the league). If Seattle can take advantage of the Lions giving up so many points per practice and scoring early, Seattle could have a big enough lead in the fourth quarter that a tired Seattle defense wouldn’t matter as much.

Karen J. Nelson