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10 QUESTIONS WITH TWENTYMAN: What are the keys to winning in Seattle?

Every week during the regular season Tim Twentyman will answer 10 good questions from his Twitter account @ttwentyman in a feature we call "10 Questions with Twentyman."

20man: 1. Contain Wilson from extending/making plays with his legs. The Lions have to do a better job of containing Wilson than they did Aaron Rodgers last week.

  1. Seattle ranks third in the NFL with 42 sacks on the year. Detroit has to find a way to keep that pass rush at bay at least a little bit by finding some sort of running game early on.
  1. Take advantage of opportunities. The Lions can't miss the same plays they missed early on last week, like the deep ball to Golden Tate or the missed field goal.

20man: Seattle's offense is much different than we're used to seeing, that's for sure.

It's no longer ground and pound after the retirement of Marshawn Lynch. Seattle ranks 25th in the NFL running the football (99.4 yards per game).

From 2012-2015 Seattle had nine games total in which they failed to rush for 100 yards as a team. They've had 10 such games this year. That's courtesy of ESPN stats. Their leading rusher, Thomas Rawls, has 349 yards this season.

Quarterback Russell Wilson's thrown for a career-high 4,219 yards. Receiver Doug Baldwin set the franchise record with 94 receptions on the year. Tight end Jimmy Graham has become a big weapon for them. Their passing game is their big weapon now.

Seattle's 19th in points (22.1) and 12th overall (357.2). It's not a terrible matchup for the Lions defense, as long as they can contain Wilson from doing what Rodgers did to them last week, which is extend and make plays with his feet.

20man: This is a different Seattle secondary without All-Pro safety Earl Thomas.

Since Thomas was lost for the season with a broken tibia on Dec. 5 vs. the Panthers, the Seahawks have gone 2-2, giving up an average of 24.5 points per game. Prior to Thomas' injury, Seattle led the league in points allowed, giving up just 15.6 points per game, according to the Seattle Times.

Steven Terrell, who is filling in at free safety, doesn't have the instincts or cover skills Thomas has in the deep part of the field.

"Obviously Earl (Thomas) brings a mentality to them," Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford said Tuesday. "He's an extremely aggressive player. Trusts his eyes probably more than any safety I've seen. The young guy they've got filling in for him doesn't as much, but they have a great defense."

Seattle's given up some big plays down the field when teams have been able to block up that terrific front seven. That's one area Detroit will have to try to target, and make good when they do.

20man: Defending the tight end position was a huge problem earlier in the year, but Detroit's been better of late. In fact, the most yards they've allowed to a tight end in their last four games were the 56 yards on four catches they allowed to Jared Cook last week.

Is it a coincidence that Detroit's been better in that regard since linebacker DeAndre Levy returned? He is their best cover linebacker.

Graham has been good all year, and he's tough to handle at 6-foot-7 and 260 pounds. Austin will certainly have a plan for him that will involve both the linebackers and safeties.

20man: The ability to make plays in all three phases late in eight games to come back and win. It's impressive how they've simply found ways to win.

However, those wins were against teams that haven't qualified for the playoffs. Detroit is 0-5 against teams that qualified for the big dance this year. I'll be even more impressed if they find a way to make those same plays against the league's better teams. If they don't, it will be another early playoff exit.

20man: I'm not expecting that, but it really just depends on how the game planning goes this week.

Andre Roberts has been good returning kicks, and when given an opportunity, has made some big plays as the team's fourth receiver.

TJ Jones has made plays as the fifth receiver and can also return kicks.

Zenner seems like the team's lead back moving forward, and is expected to get most of the reps.

There's really just not a spot for Billingsley at the moment. I wouldn't be surprised if he was signed to the roster so it guarantees his return this offseason. It seems similar to what the team did with Kerry Hyder late last year.

20man: The easy answer is to get more pressure on the quarterback, but I don't think you go into Saturday's game expecting that after they've really struggled to do so all year.

Lions defensive coordinator Teryl Austin has stated multiple times that he'll concede short passes, the ones which lead to high completion percentages, in lieu of giving up the big play.

Opponents have a passer rating of 78.9 when throwing the ball at least 20 yards down the field on the Lions. Detroit's given up the seventh fewest touchdowns (4) in the league on those plays.

Detroit's defense ranks in the top half of the NFL in not allowing 10-plus-yard plays. They had a nice little streak there in the middle of the season keeping teams under 20 points per game with that strategy.

The key to having that kind of strategy is to be good tackling and good on third down, which they haven't done a good job of over the last month.

I'd expect Austin to enter Saturday's game in Seattle with the same kind of strategy. They'll try to stop the run first and foremost. They'll concede the short completions and quarterbacks getting the ball out of their hands quickly as opposed to taking shots and making big gains down the field.

20man: Matthew Stafford is the quarterback, I get it, but this is the ultimate team game. It doesn't come down to just one player.

The 2011 playoff game in New Orleans is a great example of that. Stafford threw for 380 yards and accounted for four total touchdowns, but Detroit lost 45-28 in a game where New Orleans was never forced to punt the football.

Can Stafford play better? Yes. Does he need to play better? Yes.

But that goes for all three phases. The Lions can go into Seattle and win if they get a similar effort to what they had in New Orleans this year. The offense, defense and special teams all played well. That's what it will take for Stafford to beat a good team on the road.

20man: Possibly. The Lions haven't had a 100-yard rusher since 2013 (Reggie Bush). Detroit's had something like seven 100-yard rushers since Stafford has been here in 2009. That's not a lot of support for your quarterback.

I still believe Ameer Abdullah can be a No. 1 back in this league if he comes back from injury the same player.

Theo Riddick signed an extension this season and will be around for the foreseeable future.

Personally, I'd like to see this team gain a few more playmakers on the defensive side of the ball first. But if they have a chance to get an elite runner, they'd probably have to consider it, especially if the value is right picking where the Lions will be picking this year. Look what Ezekiel Elliott has done in Dallas, and what he's meant for that offense.

20man: He was at the open portion of practice Tuesday, but head coach Jim Caldwell said he was still working through the concussion protocol. We'll see how he progresses throughout the week.

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