Seattle allowed Brandon Pettigrew to receive for 18 before Detroit converted the fourth two different ways. By the official scorer's spot, Kevin Smith ran for three to convert fourth and two. The play was ruled dead because the Seahawks had too many men on the field.
I say Seattle allowed Pettigrew to receive for 18 because that is how the zone was constructed. Jordan Babineaux had perfectly timed a delayed blitz and broke down to sack Matthew Stafford for ten. Seattle then went soft. It dropped a loose zone and rushed four. Seahawks defended the first down marker and opened the underneath. Aaron Curry seemingly knocked Pettigrew another three yards over the marker and for the first.
The ball was marked at the Seattle 29. The Lions raced to the line of scrimmage and snapped before Seattle could set, simultaneously converting the first on the ground and forcing the penalty to convert the first. I guess Seattle couldn't fathom a team going for it on fourth and two.
Jason Hanson missed the field goal attempt, but a play later, Detriot would have the ball again.
Seattle had given itself a big thumbs up to the eye socket. Brandon Mebane had blown up their first run attempt in the backfield. Curry had hit Stafford twice and Babineaux had sacked him for a loss of ten. It had forced three third and longs and allowed two conversions - the unconverted third picked up on fourth down. It attacked and retreated for 14 plays, 16 unofficial, and was spared by dumb luck.
In the jubilant arms of fortune, it threw the ball right back to Detroit.
Matt Hasselbeck passed into triple cover or, more accurately, at single cover. He threw it to Louis Delmas and broke to tackle Delmas before he could score. Hasselbeck didn't see Delmas but Delmas saw him. Looking down T.J. Houshmandzadeh and patting the ball once before firing.
Craig Terrill fired into the right tackle and Cory Redding came untouched from left end on a five man line. Redding hit Smith in the backfield and forced a fumble, but the play was ruled dead. Pettigrew had committed a false start. Pettigrew ran between Seattle's zone and Stafford hit him as he turned in a play that looked indefensible. Stafford's pass was too fast and Pettigrew too large for Seattle's zones to factor.
Seattle had played well but was down seven. It could have been down 10. The Seahawks were executing. Why then were they reeling? Hasselbeck bears the brunt: He made an indefensible pass. But that touchdown reception - rookie to rookie - that looked unstoppable -- what explains that? The 18 yard reception that preceded it, that didn't contest the pass and set up a makeable fourth, what explains that? If zones can make routine plays look unstoppable, maybe it is the defensive game plan that is truly indefensible.