If you were hoping for the Seattle Seahawks—a team averaging just over 17 points a game—would be a nice bounce-back game for the Detroit Lions offense, I come with terrible news.
Geno Smith and the Seahawks offense did just about anything they wanted against the Lions all day, and even despite a furious effort from a short-handed offense, the Lions fell behind quickly to Seattle and could never catch them.
The defense did not force a single punt the entire game, they did not force a turnover (special teams did get one). The Lions’ defense only had true “stops” when they held Seattle to three instead of six.
Given that the Lions came into this game with the worst scoring defense, there are some serious questions about the job Aaron Glenn is doing, even though he’s dealing with a thin defensive roster.
In the end, the Lions dropped the game 48-45. Here’s your full recap and highlights.
The Lions won the toss and deferred, giving the Seahawks the first opportunity to strike. Detroit pulled a surprising lineup change on defense, starting rookie Kerby Joseph at safety, filling in for Tracy Walker, who tore his achilles last week. Prior to Sunday, Joseph had not taken a single snap on defense.
The Seahawks dinked and dunked their way into Lions territory on the opening drive. Geno Smith picked up a critical third-and-7 with a 17-yard scramble pushing Seattle into field goal territory. A few plays later, Smith attacked the Joseph, who was in tight coverage against tight end Will Dissly but did not get his hands up, and Dissly scored from 17 yards out. 7-0 Seahawks.
The Lions offense did not respond well, with a quick three-and-out, but the Seahawks fumbled the ensuing punt after Malcolm Rodriguez jarred the ball loose.
Goff wasted no time in cashing in, finding a wide open TJ Hockenson for a 32-yard touchdown strike. New kicker Dominik Eberle missed the extra point, though. 7-6 Seahawks.
The Lions defense continued its struggles, though. Smith found Tyler Lockett for 13 yards, then DK Metcalf for gains of 23 and 21 yards plus a roughing the passer penalty that put Seattle inside the 10-yard line just three plays into the drive. Two plays later, a designed quarterback draw worked to perfection and walked in untouched for an 8-yard touchdown. 14-6 Seahawks.
Detroit’s offense was about to counter with another three-and-out, but Dan Campbell dialed up an early fake punt and it worked:
Craig Reynolds kicked off the second quarter with a big 21-yard run. But the drive stalled from there. Detroit settled for a 49-yard field goal attempt and Eberle made amends with a make. 14-9 Seahawks.
Eberle kicked the ensuing kickoff out of bounds, giving Seattle just want the Lions didn’t need—good field position. But a holding penalty and a nice blown-up screen from Rodriguez got the Seahawks behind the sticks and they eventually had to settle for a 56-yard field goal attempt, which Jason Myers nailed. 17-9 Seahawks.
Detroit turned the ball over on the next drive after Jared Goff found Kalif Raymond for a big gain over the middle, but rookie cornerback Coby Bryant punched it loose and the Seahawks recovered at their own 48-yard line.
The Seahawks struck quickly, with Smith finding Metcalf over Jeff Okudah for 55 yards down to the Lions 1-yard line.
The next play, Smith had a wide-open Noah Fant for one of the easiest touchdowns you’ll see. 24-9 Seahawks.
Goff pulled the Lions out of a hole, finding Tom Kennedy for a 28-yard gain after Detroit committed two holding penalties. As the half was running out, Josh Reynolds made a nice adjustment to a Goff pass, and took it 26 yards down to the 1-yard line.
Detroit ran three plays, but did not gain any yards. That left them with a fourth-and-goal inside the 1-yard line with only three second left. Campbell opted to go for it, and Jamaal Williams finally punched it on fourth down, but Eberle missed the extra point. 24-15 Seahawks.
Quite literally, the second half couldn’t have gotten off to a worse start, as Goff threw a pick-six on the first offensive play of the half to rookie Tariq Woolen. 31-15 Seahawks.
Goff and company couldn’t make amends on the next drive. Though they were able to pick up a single first down, Goff took a sack on third-and-8 on the next set of downs, and Detroit punted it away—two possessions in the first four minutes of the second half with -7 points to show for it.
Smith went right back to attacking this Lions secondary, connecting with Metcalf for 26 yards. Then Penny took a draw for another 22 yards, marching their way deep into Lions territory after just two plays. The Lions stiffened up from there, though, as Seattle eventually settled for a 39-yard field goal, but Myers shanked it wide left.
The Lions got another hit to their receiving corps, as Quintez Cephus was announced as questionable to return with a foot injury. Regardless, the Lions went back to the ground, and Williams broke out a 50-yard touchdown after a vicious stiff arm. Detroit went two and a Jared Goff keeper brought the game back to one score. 31-23 Seahawks.
Despite the crowd getting back into the game, the Lions defense still couldn’t stop the Seahawks defense. The Seahawks scored a touchdown on a bizarre series from the officiating.
It appeared the Lions got a third-down stop, forcing Seattle to try a 54-yard attempt. However, before that third-down play, the officials did not reset the play clock separately and attempted to blow the play dead before it happened. Therefore, the third down play had to be replayed. The Seahawks, knowing the Lions would send the house—as they did on the first third-down stop—called a draw play, and it completely caught the Lions defense off guard. Penny took it 34 yards to the house. 38-23 Seahawks.
The Lions tried to answer quickly. Goff hit Hockenson for a short pass, and the Pro Bowl tight end broke several tackles for a huge 81-yard gain. That was the final play of the third quarter.
Two plays later, Josh Reynolds made a nice 4-yard touchdown catch.
Again, the Lions went for two, and Hockenson converted to make it a seven-point game. 38-31 Seahawks.
Detroit’s defense couldn’t get the stop the team so desperately need, after Smith found Tyler Lockett for a huge 34-yard gain, beating a Lions blitz that left Lockett one-on-one with Amani Oruwariye. Lockett cleanly won that battle, bringing the Seahawks quickly into the red zone. However, Smith just missed connecting with Lockett on a third down, and Seattle settled for a field goal. 41-31 Seahawks.
Detroit’s offense was able to move somewhat quickly downfield, thanks to a big fourth-down conversion by Kennedy on a fourth-and-10. Eventually Detroit moved to the Seahawks’ 10-yard line with a fresh set of downs. A few plays later, Goff found Hockenson for their second touchdown of the day. This time the Lions opted to kick the extra point, and Eberle made it with 5:26 left. 41-38 Seahawks.
Detroit’s defense, though, just couldn’t get the stop they needed. With one more opportunity to give the ball to the offense with a chance to take the lead, the Lions were absolutely fooled on a third-and-5 run play that went for 41 yards and a touchdown. 48-38 Seahawks.
Detroit had a little over two minutes to somehow generate two unanswered scores. In short, they didn’t. They were able to add another touchdown, but they failed to recover the onside kick and one Seahawks first down ended it 48-45 Seahawks.
To make matters worse, Oruwariye and Evan Brown suffered injuries late in the fourth quarter.
Alas, the Lions are 1-3 with the Patriots on the way.