Allen Park — Although he couldn’t make out the chant on Sunday at Hard Rock Stadium, veteran defensive tackle Ricky Jean Francois felt the love loud and clear from Lions fans in Miami.
Fans, clad in blue and reveling in the near-90 degree heat, broke out a loud “Let’s Go Lions” chant as the Lions wrapped up a 32-21 win over the Dolphins.
“That helped us, that just gives us another notch of energy,” said Jean Francois, a Miami native. “That showed us how much the Detroit Lions fans follow their team.
“Probably might be because it was cold (in Michigan) also too. And this sun, like, who wouldn’t travel to Miami?”
Taylor Decker, the Ohio State left tackle who grew up in Vandalia, Ohio, has taken note of the passionate fan base.
“It’s unbelievable,” Decker said. “Early in the year, we may not have had the success the way we wanted to, like when we came out for the Sunday night game (against New England), it was packed, so they’re right there with us. We try to embrace that blue-collar attitude of the city and hopefully we can keep performing and they’ll be cheering us on.”
Jean Francois is hoping to hear that passion Sunday at Ford Field against Seattle.
“We need them in there, I’m talking about screaming until you’re hoarse,” Jean Francois said. “Worry about your voice on Monday. But on Sunday, we need you. We need your energy. We need everything behind us to help us beat this team right here."
For all the success that Seattle coach Pete Carroll has had since taking over in 2010, the Seahawks have been ordinary on the road.
The Seahawks are 34-33-1 in regular-season road games and 2-4 in the playoffs. The Seahawks are 34 games over .500 overall in the regular season and playoffs in that same span.
The 1 p.m. EST start time on Sunday will be a 10 a.m. start on the West Coast, a scenario Pacific teams have struggled with. Since Carroll arrived, the Seahawks are 13-13 and 1-3 in the playoffs when playing at 1 p.m. EST.
After not playing a 1 p.m. EST game last season, Seattle has played just one this year — a 27-3 win against Oakland on Oct. 14 in London.
Teams are 26-15-1 in their first game after the London trip, which began in 2007, and 14-6 since 2015.
Four teams in the past two seasons have chosen to not have their bye weeks after London, going 1-3 after returning to U.S. soil. Teams who have had their byes after London, like Seattle, are 13-3 in their next games since 2015.
As voted by his teammates, defensive end Kerry Hyder will be presented with the Ed Block Courage Award on Monday in part for his recovery from a torn Achilles last season.
The Lions announced Hyder will receive the award at the 25th annual Detroit Lions Courage Hours Dinner at Ford Field, which will benefit HAVEN, Oakland County’s center for the prevention and treatment of domestic violence and sexual assault.
After missing all of last year with the preseason injury, Hyder has three tackles in three games played this season.
Matt Schoch is a freelance writer.