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Winners and Losers from Seahawks 48, Lions 45

That was wild.

The Seattle Seahawks (2-2) are back at .500 after a 48-45 win over the Detroit Lions (1-3) that the Seahawks defense went out of its way to lose, but the Seattle offense (and Detroit’s defense, it must be said) would not let that happen. If you bet the under on this game then shame on you, because at least one of these defenses was destined to allow a bunch of points and sure enough they both conceded more than 40.

Let’s get to Winners and Losers, which I don’t believe is that difficult to figure out.


Shane Waldron

That was a brilliantly called game by Waldron. The play-action boot concepts were flawless but the general sequencing of calls and the return of the run game make him the biggest winner. I don’t care how terrible the Lions defense is, it is still very hard in the NFL to rack up north of 550 yards of offense. It’s the 3rd most yards the Seahawks have amassed in the Pete Carroll era, and the 2nd most yards per play (8.8) behind the 35-6 thumping of Arizona in 2014.

Detroit’s blitz-happy tendencies were exploited both by Waldron and Geno Smith, and the execution was generally fantastic. What made me happiest was seeing DK Metcalf’s route tree look way more appropriate for his skill set than we’ve seen to start the season.

Geno Smith

It’s very likely that Smith wins NFC Offensive Player of the Week and I see no one else who’s in real contention. Geno was 23/30 for 320 yards, rushed for another 49, and had three total touchdowns without a turnover. He was attacking all three levels of the field effectively, and it sure helped that he was never sacked. Even the Rashaad Penny touchdown run on 3rd and 16 looked to be Geno calling an audible at the line to counter the blitz.

Geno is playing well, damn well in fact. Will it last the whole season? I don’t know and would lean towards “no” once the schedule of defenses gets tougher. But in the meantime he has exceeded my expectations and the types of throws and decisions he’s making are that of someone who has made the strides necessary to learn from the problems that got him benched when he was with the Jets.

I feared that Genoball would look boring. Save for the 49ers game (against a defense that’s giving up only 3.9 yards per play), the offense has been interesting and the passing attack has been the strength of this team. I’m going to enjoy these Geno performances for as long as they last because I sure as hell didn’t anticipate this level of efficiency.

Offensive Line

This is a post-publish inclusion as I should’ve had him here initially. I think this tweet sums it up better than I could.

Rashaad Penny

Finally the run-blocking got going after being largely ineffective through three weeks and even the early parts of this game. Penny torched Detroit last year and his sequel was 151 yards on 17 carries and a pair of critical 3rd down touchdown rushes. That looked like the Penny who closed last season at a historic pace, and the blocking finally opening up some running lanes helped tremendously.

DK Metcalf

He cooked Jeff Okudah repeatedly and had one of his career-best performances, catching 7 passes for 149 yards and doing everything but get into the end zone. That was a spectacular game by DK and it was as relieving to us as I’m sure his trip to the bathroom was for himself. I also loved his fake block on Rashaad Penny’s first TD run because that risked being an illegal block before he pulled up to avoid the flag.

Tyler Lockett, the receiver

A half-dozen grabs for 91 yards for Lockett, and if not for pressure in Geno’s face he may very well have had a touchdown in the opening quarter. All we’re waiting for is his first touchdown of the season. Meanwhile, his six catches puts him above John L. Williams for 4th all-time in receptions in Seahawks franchise history.

Dee Eskridge?

Sure, why not? Two touches for 16 yards, one of which moved the sticks on Seattle’s penultimate drive. He got more snaps in the offense than we’ve seen in the previous three weeks, which has to be some level of encouraging for him personally.

The TE Trio

Will Dissly with 4 catches for 39 yards and a touchdown, Colby Parkinson with 2 catches for 28 yards (both for first downs), and Noah Fant with his first Seahawks touchdown. This was actually a game where the bulk of Seattle’s receiving yards and targets went to the wideouts, but the tight ends continue to feast in the Waldron/Geno offense.

Michael Dickson

He didn’t need to punt! That’s a great day to me.

Tariq Woolen and Coby Bryant

Two takeaways = 14 points. Woolen had his first career pick-six and it was a thing of beauty, whereas Bryant’s forced fumble resulted in a touchdown a few plays later. It’s good to see the rookies making plays even through otherwise rough performances.

DeeJay Dallas

The Seahawks lose the game if DeeJay doesn’t get the onside kick. Plain and simple. Seattle wasn’t stopping anything or anyone at that point so Dallas really saved the day.


The entire defense

Yeah, Bryant and Woolen include — they’re allowed to be Winners and Losers at once. Collectively, this defense was embarrassing. Amon-Ra St. Brown, D’Andre Swift, D.J. Chark, and Jonah Jackson didn’t play. Khalif Raymond and Quintez Cephus got hurt mid-game. And yet the defense allowed 520 yards — Jared Goff threw for 378 yards, Jamaal Williams had over 100 on the ground — and the only play for Detroit that lost yards was Uchenna Nwosu’s sack. I suppose Nwosu could be a Winner today and he probably would’ve been if not for the dropped pick.

Every aspect of this defense gets a failing grade even with the two forced takeaways. The pass rush again was mediocre at best and wanting more often than not, the run defense is preposterously pathetic, and the coverage busts were plentiful. There is nothing this Seahawks defense does well, especially since their red zone defense has been blown up for two straight weeks.

There is no defending this group. There’s more experience on this defense than there’s made out to be, and it’s embarrassing that they are getting exceedingly worse by the week. If you want my hot take, Geno Smith and the Seahawks offense in general is the unit that’s preventing this team from being maybe the worst in the league. Could you imagine if Geno (or Drew Lock had he played) was putting up objectively below-average numbers more in line with their career stats?

Clint Hurtt, Pete Carroll, the new defensive coaching staff, the players, everyone has to own it. This is beyond unacceptable. They don’t look like they can be fixed any time soon.

Josh Jones

Don’t play him. He is the worst safety I’ve seen this side of Brian Russell. At this rate I’d take Tedric Thompson over Josh Jones. If you can’t tackle and can’t cover — okay I think he had one nice coverage moment on Hockenson — then what do you do? Ryan Neal was hardly anything impressive but Jones is ruinous in ways that make the Jamal Adams injury look like the single most damaging thing to any defense this season. He is that bad.

Cody Barton and Jordyn Brooks

That’s two horrific games in a row for Barton for sure. Film people smarter than me have seen better displays from Cody to start the year, but I don’t need the All-22 to see the ineptitude Barton presented particularly when it came to shedding blocks and some awful tackling. That effort on Hockenson that turned into an 81-yard gain was so poor. It’ll take quite a bit to justify bringing him back in 2023, although I imagine some don’t want to see Barton in a Seahawks uniform much more in 2022.

Brooks was also culpable on the 51-yard touchdown run by Williams and it’s never a good thing when the tackle numbers are high but they’re usually down the field. Brooks doesn’t have a TFL yet this season.

Pete Carroll’s challenge intuition

The fake punt completion was so obviously a catch (but also OPI) and I have no idea what Pete was challenging. He can’t challenge for interference so either he or the booth upstairs believed that was not a completed pass. Even the other challenge was a no-brainer completed pass but at least that one was a “use it or lose it” challenge with barely over two minutes left in the 4th quarter while up by 10.

Tyler Lockett, the punt returner

Lockett has only lost two fumbles in his entire career: 2015 against the Lions as a rookie, 2022 against the Lions again. Both were on punt returns. In 2015 he was one of the most electrifying returners in the NFL. In 2022 he is not that. There has to be a better option, because one of these days the Seahawks will actually dare to force more than 1-2 punts a game.

Final Notes

  • Charles Cross’ two penalties (one of which was a very necessary hold or else Smith might have been strip-sacked) were his first all season.
  • Jason Myers could be a loser for the badly missing field goal, but I wonder if the Carson Tinker snap may have messed up the timing. He otherwise made every other kick, including a 56-yarder.
  • Nick Bellore is normally on the spot on special teams but that onside kick was a mess that Dallas thankfully cleaned up. It was just a misplay that nearly turned into disaster.
  • Kenneth Walker III had just 24 yards on 9 touches, 13 of which came on one play. His lone reception was (surprise, surprise) a failed screen. He did have two rushes for a first down, including a critical 3rd and 1 in the 3rd quarter where it looked like he was stopped.
  • We’ll see if the Seahawks offense can keep this up against a much tougher defense in the New Orleans Saints. If they can, then you can’t knock that compared to the defenses Atlanta and Detroit have trotted out. We also have a Seahawks connection here with Kris Richard serving as co-DC.
  • This is gonna be one long, long, long Enemy Reaction.