The Detroit Lions lost a heart breaker in Seattle last night as they fell to 0-4 on the season. There were some what ifs, a major questionable call, but in the end, the Lions lost this game, not the officiating. More on that later though. Detroit had its chance late in the fourth quarter but ended up losing 13-10.
The Lions actually looked good on defense early, and despite giving up 13 points, played well all game. The Lions did not allow a single point in the first quarter to the Seahawks. Seattle scored its first points on a touchdown pass in the second quarter over rookie Quandre Diggs to Doug Baldwin. Detroit immediately answered with a drive of their own, looking like they were going to tie the game. Instead, the offense fizzled out in Seattle territory and they settled for a Matt Prater field goal to make it 7-3. Detroit could not escape the half without surrendering more points to Seattle, but luckily they forced a field goal from 51 yards that Steven Hauschka made successfully.
On their first drive of the second half, the Seahawks continued to move the ball against the Detroit defense, but again, settled for a field goal, this time of 52 yards. That score put the game at 13-3 in the third quarter. Detroit’s defense played lights out for the rest of the game, but the offense continued to show its true colors as they failed to move the ball and continuously punted. If not for a great defensive play, this game would have stayed 13-3, but Detroit’s Ezekiel Ansah, who was everywhere Monday night, forced a fumble sacking Russell Wilson that was recovered and returned for a touchdown by Caraun Reid. The score made it 13-10.
The Lions defense continued to pressure Wilson, forcing a punt that almost cost the Lions the game when TJ Jones misplayed it and had to field it in the end zone. He returned it to the 9 yard line, forcing an inept Detroit offense to go 91 yards for a game leading touchdown. Detroit did just that, moving the ball on the Seattle defense, driving into field goal range. With the game tying field goal all but certain, Stafford passed to Detroit’s all pro receiver Calvin Johnson on third and one Johnson caught the pass for a first down, was falling into the end zone for the touchdown Detroit desperately needed when Kam Chancellor punched the ball loose into the end zone. KJ Wright batted the ball out of the end zone to secure the touch back, giving Seattle the ball and ending Detroit’s drive.
The game had way too much bad to blame any one factor for the loss. Sure Calvin Johnson not fumbling would have likely given Detroit the lead as he would have crossed the goal line. Even if he did not cross, first down on the 1 yard line with a chip shot game tying field goal as a backup plan, Detroit should have won or at least tied Seattle on that drive. The officials not calling a penalty on Wright batting the ball out of the end zone, which the head of officiating later said should have happened, cost the Lions a first down on the one yard line. None of that mattered though. Detroit’s offense was terrible all game, only yielding 3 points. They only had 2 worthwhile offensive drives. Johnson and Golden Tate, both of whom had 1000 yard seasons last year, finished with less than 60 yards each. Ameer Abdullah, the Lions leading running back could not find any running room. The offense as a whole was listless, unmotivated, and ineffective.
The defense though deserves a ton of credit. They sacked Wilson 6 times, forced 2 fumbles by Wilson, and held Jimmy Graham in check all game. The special teams unit even got a fumble recovery. For two units to play that well and still lose is sad. Teryl Austin has turned this defensive unit around from the one that played poorly in San Diego to the one that held Seattle down. The defense is leading the team again, but the offense is so much worse than last season’s offense that they cannot win games anymore. Something needs to change if this team expects to win next week at home against Arizona.