Updated: Apr 29
Matthew Silka, Staff Writer
Lions tight end T.J. Hockenson celebrates in the endzone against the Seattle Seahawks. Photo//Duane Burleson/AP
The Seattle Seahawks and Detroit Lions came into Sunday’s game with two of the worst defenses in the league….
….and that may have been an understatement.
The Seahawks got the ball to start the game and immediately marched down the field, led by quarterback and Russell Wilson-replacement Geno Smith. Smith capped off the opening drive by finding tight end Will Dissly in the end zone to begin the shootout.
The Lions went three-and-out on their first drive, but a fumble by Seahawks wide receiver and punt returner Tyler Lockett allowed the Lions to get the ball back deep into Seahawks territory.
Detroit quarterback Jared Goff immediately took advantage, as he found a wide open T.J. Hockenson for six points. However, kicker Dominik Eberle, who was making his debut for the Lions, missed the extra point. 7-6 Seahawks.
Smith did not waste any time on the next possession moving the ball. The Lions’ defense eventually parted the red sea to allow him to rush in for a touchdown of his own. 14-6 Seahawks.
On the ensuing drive, Detroit was forced to punt…or so Seattle thought. Lions coach Dan Campbell decided to play a card from his deck of tricks and elected to try a fake punt, which succeeded. Seattle held the Lions to a field goal try, however, which Eberle made from 49 yards out.
Seattle got more points on the next two drives, as kicker Jason Myers hit a 56-yard field goal which was followed by a Smith TD pass to tight end Noah Fant. This gave Seattle a 24-9 lead.
Detroit did a great job not allowing the game to slip away before halftime as they converted a few long plays to get into the red zone. Goff found wide receiver Josh Reynolds for a score to make it 24-15, as Eberle would miss yet another extra point.
The start of the third quarter saw Goff make one of his only miscues of the game, throwing a pick-six to Seattle cornerback and rookie Tariq Woolen. The offense stalled again after getting the ball back, forcing the Lions to punt.
Seattle marched down the field once again, but could not convert a 39-yard field goal, giving the Lions great field position. Running back Jamaal Williams got loose for a 51-yard touchdown run for Detroit, cutting the Seattle lead to eight.
On the next drive, Detroit thought they had a third-and-16 stop, but an error with the play clock allowed the Seahawks to try the play over again. Running back Rashaad Penny found a hole in the blitzing Lions’ defense for a long touchdown run, pushing the lead to 38-23.
Entering the fourth quarter down two touchdowns, the Lions had to work quickly. “Don’t worry Lions fans,” said T.J. “Hulkenson” as he ran 81 yards through the entire Seattle defense to the goal line, which allowed Reynolds to catch another touchdown on the next play. Detroit punched in a two point conversion to make it 38-31.
After a quick Seattle field goal to add to the lead, Goff was able to march down the field and converted on a fourth-and-nine to keep the Lions’ hopes alive. Later in the drive, Hockenson found himself open yet again for his second touchdown of the day.
Needing a stop, the Lions got Seattle into a third-and-long situation. Defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn decided to try blitzing again, which Penny once again took advantage of, rushing for a long touchdown. 48-38 Seattle.
Detroit marched down the field immediately, capped off by a two-yard reception from running back Justin Jackson. This made the score 48-45 with a minute to go.
The Lions were not out of the game yet since they had all three timeouts, but the defense allowed Penny to convert a third-down and five to win the game.
FINAL SCORE: Seattle 48, Detroit 45
Detroit attempts to recover the onside kick late in the fourth quarter. Photo//Daniel Mears/Detroit News
With star offensive weapons Amon-Ra St. Brown, D’Andre Swift, and D.J. Chark out with injuries, the offense was still able to be extremely successful and looked electric and efficient.
Goff was very impressive, throwing for 378 yards, four touchdowns, while only allowing one interception. Hockenson led the way with eight receptions for 179 yards and two touchdowns, setting the franchise record for most yards by a tight end.
On the other side of the ball, the defense was absolutely horrific, conceding 48 points to a Seattle team with a below average offense. Seattle was able to throw for 320 yards and ran for another 235 on the ground.
Detroit now ranks as the best offense in the NFL in points scored, while the defense ranks dead last in points allowed.
Something must change as an offense this good should result in wins. The Lions (1-3) will attempt to figure out their defensive woes against the New England Patriots (1-3), facing former Detroit head coach Matt Patricia, who now serves as an offensive specialist for New England.