Detroit uses 352 yards passing, 75% third-down efficiency en route to a last-minute victory over Seattle
Russell Wilson was good, and Sidney Rice had arguably his best game as a Seahawk, but the Seattle defense couldn't figure out how to get off the field in the fourth quarter. More curiously, perhaps, was the move away from the rushing game as the game progressed, but I'll get to that in a minute.
The Seahawks offense imposed itself early, hammering the ball at the Lions defense with great ground-game success, including an awesome 77-yard touchdown run by Marshawn Lynch on the first play of the second half. A Steven Hauschka field goal put the Seahawks on the board first after Seattle was unable to break the seal inside the ten. A Matthew Stafford pass to Ryan Broyles put the Lions on top 7-3, until the first play of the second quarter when Lynch unleashed the fury of a thousand suns on the Detroit defense, rumbling for the aforementioned long TD.
Three minutes later, Wilson found Sidney Rice for a nine yard score and Seattle looked in control with a ten point lead. On the ensuing Detroit drive, Titus Young got loose behind Richard Sherman and, whether it was a blown coverage by Sherman or a miscommunication, there was no safety help over the top and Stafford feathered in a 46-yard touchdown to pull Detroit within three before the half.
In the second half, as my hangover began to clear, I was hoping to see Darrell Bevell lean on his backs and take advantage of the Lions' struggles defending the run. Instead, the 'Hawks let Wilson spread his wings, flicking the ball all over the field. And he did well, too, finishing with a line of 24/34, 217 yards, 2 TDs, and one interception. That interception hurt, though, as most do, and killed Seattle's best scoring chance in the third quarter. Stafford then returned the favor, letting a deep seam pass get away from him and into the calming bosom of Earl Thomas. After that, I again figured Seattle would try running the ball, but they continued to throw, letting Lynch, who entered this week as the third-leading rusher in the NFL, finish with only 12 carries, despite turning those dozen totes into 105 yards. All in all, the Seahawks only ran the ball 36% of the time today, which is a bit baffling to me.
Anyhow, after a scoreless third quarter, the ceiling popped off as the two teams combined for 21 points in the final frame. The Lions scored first on a Stafford bootleg, making it 21-17 Detroit. A couple of drives later, Wilson marched the Seahawks right back down Ford Field, converting a fourth-and-two slant to Golden Tate and following it up with a corner lob that Zach Miller turned into a highlight, snagging it with a sprawling, one-handed effort to give Seattle the lead.
From that point, it was just a matter of Seattle's defense getting a stop, but Stafford picked the secondary apart, finding whoever Marcus Trufant was supposed to be covering each play on his way to completing a staggering 12 passes on the final drive. There was a ray of hope ss Calvin Johnson dropped the would-be go-ahead touchdown, but the joy was short lived. The final blow came on a one-yard slant route to Young, who wriggled inside of Brandon Browner to cradle Stafford's perfectly placed game-winner with 20 seconds left.
Some numbers that stood out:
The Lions were 12-16 on third downs.
The Seahawks averaged more yards per rushing attempt (7.0) than yards per pass (6.7).
Detroit ran 73 plays to Seattle's 54.
The Lions scored touchdowns on all three of their red zone possessions.
Sidney Rice finished with 6 catches, 55 yards, and a TD.
Miller's touchdown was his first as a Seahawk.
Bobby Wagner led all tacklers with 12.
Golden Tate had a career high 7 receptions, turning them into 64 yards.
With the first half of the season done, Seattle is sitting at 4-4, with five of their remaining games at home. The playoffs are still a very real possibility, but it'll take better efforts than this one to get there.