There was a lot of optimism heading into Week 8. After a win in the sweltering Miami sun against Brocktober, the team was looking pretty good. The offense was clicking. The run game was electric. The blocking was excellent. The pass rush was improved. The run game was solid. Then the Lions traded for Damon Harrison, an elite run-stuffer. This was it, the Lions had finally put together a team worthy of winning the division.
Then Seattle happened.
To say this was disappointing would be an understatement. The Lions have been pretenders for many years, and with an opportunity to gain ground in the division and establish themselves as a playoff-caliber team, they had their worst game since the Jets in Week 1. This game marked the return of the Lions’ archenemy Ed Dickson, who famously tallied 175 yards the last time he played Detroit. Funnily enough, it was another Dickson that sealed the game for Seattle.
Kent Lee Platte is on a cruise, so I’ll be providing this week’s stock report. Much like a stormy sea, this game had a lot of ups and downs, and you probably got nauseous.
Stock Up: Marvin Jones Jr., WR
On a day where Tate and Golladay were quiet, Marvin Jones stepped up to once again show that he can be a number 1-A receiver. The Lions struck first with a touchdown, thanks in part to some elusiveness from Stafford. Jones got on the board once more, scoring a 19-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter. He would add some more acrobatic catches en route to a 7-catch, 117-yard performance.
Stock Down: Nevin Lawson, CB
nevin lawson always gets himself in perfect position to break up a play and just watches the wr make a grab instead of playing the ball— spooky bird name (@MansurShaheen) October 28, 2018
It was a no-good day for Lawson. Lawson’s patented “so close yet so far” coverage once again reared its ugly head, allowing a touchdown to Tyler Lockett. The corner playing across from Darius Slay will garner a lot of looks. Unfortunately, Lawson has not been the solution. He still has no interceptions in his career, and his inability to make consistent plays dooms the secondary. Russell Wilson was perfect on the day, going 14-for-17 for 248 yards and 3 touchdowns—a perfect 158.3 passer rating.
Stock Up: Damon Harrison, DT
Seattle ran the ball 6 times in the first quarter when Damon Harrison was not on the field for the Lions for gains of: 9, 6, 5, 2, 11 and 12 yards.— Dave Birkett (@davebirkett) October 28, 2018
Seattle running plays when Harrison is on the field: 1, 2 and 2 yards
Despite the loss, the acquisition of Harrison is looking really good. The scheming, however, is not. Harrison was a dominant force when he was on the field. The run defense was a huge weakness coming into the game, and Harrison provided instant relief in the interior. He had 7 tackles, 2 tackles for loss and even registered a sack. Unfortunately, Harrison was absent from many plays. I understand that he was only acquired this week, but when you have one of the best run defenders in the league, you play him. Seattle, conversely, shredded the defense with its rushing attack. When Seattle ran right at Snacks, it was usually ineffective. When they ran at anyone else, it was a massacre.
Stock Down: Teez Tabor, CB
Tabor saw the TD Lawson gave up and decided to one up him— 3rd and 1. Riddick in at RB (@Redruckus81) October 28, 2018
Lawson wasn’t the only member of the secondary to struggle. There was a double dose of dreadful defending, thanks to the terrible Teez Tabor. Throughout the season, Tabor has been one of the worst defenders on the team. His lack of speed shows, and his play-making is nonexistent. The former second-round pick is a huge liability in coverage. Coupled with Lawson, teams are having their way against the Lions secondary by simply avoiding Slay. Tabor clearly decided to dress up as burnt toast for Halloween.
Stock Up: Kerryon Johnson, RB
Normally, running eight times for 22 yards would garner a stock down. I’ll address that later with the offensive line, however, because Kerryon made up for it in the passing game. With pass catcher Theo Riddick inactive, Johnson handled most of the receiving duties. He racked up a nice 69 yards on six catches, highlighted by yet another incredible stiff arm, this time against Justin Coleman. Johnson has the skill set to be a three-down running back, and a game like today showcased that.
Stock Down: Rick Wagner, RT
Rick Wagner is absolutely getting owned today.— Justin Simon (@justincsimon) October 28, 2018
It was a brutal game for Wagner. While Stafford was only sacked three times, Wagner was heavily responsible for at least two. The right side of the pocket was under barrage all game, courtesy of former Michigan player Frank Clark. Wagner struggled immensely with Clark’s speed. Wagner has been one of the Lions’ best linemen so far this season, but today was his first real negative performance.
Golden Tate, WR: He is still the #YACKing. He turned seven catches into only 50 yards, but he was dynamic after the catch as usual.
Luke Willson, TE: He had an awful drop to kill a drive, but posted three catches for 21 yards. Look, I need to put people in the Stock Up section.
Tyrell Crosby, OT: He actually saw action on offense. Nothing glaring, so I’ll take that as a win.
Romeo Okwara, DE: His run defense wasn’t great, but he created some decent pressure on Wilson, including a sack and tackle for loss. Most importantly, Wilson barely scrambled.
Jarrad Davis, LB: He’s showing a lot of improvement this season. Miami was his best game, and he showed some good run stopping this week, though he did miss a tackle on Seattle’s touchdown run. The defense as a whole struggled, but Davis wasn’t a huge reason for it.
Trevor Bates, LB: He didn’t record a special teams penalty, so that’s a win—you’ll see why in the Stock Down section.
Darius Slay, CB: It was a pretty quiet game from Slay, but on a day where the opposing quarterback was essentially perfect by targeting other members of the secondary, that works.
DeShawn Shead, CB: He was in a secondary consisting of Lawson and Tabor, so he looked good by comparison.
Tavon Wilson, SS: I hardly remember seeing him, so I guess that’s okay.
Tracy Walker, SS: I hardly remember seeing him, so I guess that’s okay.
Matt Prater, K: Prater was perfect on the day. Yes, he only kicked two extra points, but I need to be positive about something.
Sam Martin, P: He had one touchback, but pinned the Seahawks inside the 20 twice.
Brandon Powell, WR/PR: He was finally active, which is a huge win for him. He didn’t do much on special teams, though I did see him on offense at least once.
Don Muhlbach, LS: He wasn’t mentioned at all, and for a long snapper, that’s a job well done.
Matthew Stafford, QB: I was really tempted to put him in the Stock Up section, and for good reason. Stafford was great most of the game, putting up 310 yards and 2 touchdowns. Unfortunately, he had some awful mistakes late in the game. A fumble and interception killed any hopes the Lions had of a comeback.
Matt Cassel, QB: He’s an elite clipboard holder. Hopefully we don’t see him on offense.
Theo Riddick, RB: Inactive due to injury. This is normally a bad thing, but Johnson performed admirably in his stead.
LeGarrette Blount, RB: He had three carries for 3 yards. He’s just not effective with the ball. He did have a 23-yard screen catch though, so that’s something.
Ameer Abdullah, RB/KR: He fumbled a kickoff. Abdullah’s biggest enemy is himself right now.
Nick Bellore, FB: The run game as a whole struggled. Bellore didn’t see the field much, and was ineffective when he was in.
Kenny Golladay, WR: These are back-to-back quiet games for Golladay. This week, he only had one target, a 12-yard catch. Golladay, or whatever nickname you wish to bestow on him, is still a blossoming young receiver in a talented receiver arsenal—he’s going to have down games.
TJ Jones, WR: Inactive for the first time this season. He and Powell are fighting for special teams snaps.
Levine Toilolo, TE: He had a 12-yard catch, but was mediocre as a blocker.
Michael Roberts, TE: Coming off his two-touchdown performance, there was some hope he could develop into the tight end the Lions have needed all season. He quelled that with zero catches. His blocking was okay.
Taylor Decker, Frank Ragnow, Graham Glasgow, T.J. Lang, OL: It was a bad game for the entire offensive line. No running room at all, and the pass protection was lacking. It is worth noting that Lang and Decker missed snaps for Kenny Wiggins and Tyrell Crosby, respectively.
Kenny Wiggins, OG: He’s not good.
Andrew Donnal, OT: Inactive.
Joe Dahl, OG: Inactive. He might see some action if Wiggins keeps playing poorly.
Ezekiel Ansah, DE: Another day, another inactive game for Ansah.
Kerry Hyder, DE: Inactive. He was once in the running for a starting role, but is now on the brink of being cut.
Da’Shawn Hand, DE: He finished with a single tackle. The defensive line was brutal against the run, and Hand is one of the prime suspects.
Eric Lee, DE: The stats show he had a tackle. I have no clue when it happened.
A’Shawn Robinson, DT: He was good when Harrison was on the field, bad when Harrison was off the field.
Ricky Jean Francois, DT: You could tell when Francois was playing instead of Harrison. Chris Carson gashed the interior during these plays.
Devon Kennard, Eli Harold, OLB: There was minimal pass rush from both of them.
Christian Jones, LB: He had a weird day: Started with a special teams penalty. Gave up a touchdown to Nick Vannett, but it was ruled that he had stepped out of bounds. Upon review, it shows that Jones nudged him out. That’s a positive heads up play, but on the other hand, he got beat in coverage for a would-be touchdown.
Jalen Reeves-Maybin, LB: Despite some poor linebacker play from teammates, he hasn’t been able to move up the depth chart. He had a special teams penalty and was shaken up at one point in the game.
Cre’Von LeBlanc, CB: Lawson was hurt for a few plays, and LeBlanc filled in for him. It was a frightening thought, which shows how badly LeBlanc shouldn’t be on the field.
Lenzy Pipkins, CB: Inactive.
Quandre Diggs, SS: He had a nice tackle for loss, but gave up a touchdown catch and got bulldozed by Chris Carson on a touchdown run.
Glover Quin, FS: Quin continues to show his age. He was late on numerous plays, including a near-interception.
Charles Washington, FS: He had a good special teams tackle, but committed a penalty.
Miles Killebrew, FS: He committed a special teams penalty. Notice a trend?
Matt Patricia, Head Coach: Stock Down
The Lions had momentum after wins versus the Packers and Dolphins. After a touchdown to Marvin Jones, it looked like the Lions could pull away early. Ameer Abdullah’s fumble quickly dashed those hopes, and then the wheels fell off. Touchdown David Moore. Touchdown Ed Dickson. The Seahawks scored 21 points in the second quarter. The Lions fumbled once and punted twice. All of a sudden, the Lions were tilted off the face of the Earth. How would the Lions respond?
The Lions managed to get a touchdown in the fourth quarter, bringing back a glimmer of hope. Time for another patented Stafford comeback. The next two drives? Fumble. Interception. While I understand that these specific miscues are on the players — specifically Stafford — it is disheartening that the Lions seem to spiral out of control when the tide starts to turn. In the end, it comes down to the head coach to rally the troops. That didn’t happen this week.
Jim Bob Cooter, Offensive Coordinator: Stock Down
I actually like the game that Cooter called. Without Theo Riddick, Cooter was wise to utilize Kerryon Johnson in the passing game, and he did so with a lot of success. Even Blount managed to snag a long completion on a screen play. There weren’t many gadget plays that I’ve often been critical of. Unfortunately, the execution wasn’t there, and the well-balanced offense that we saw last week stalled. This was a 2017 Lions game, with a one-dimensional passing offense. Sure, the Seahawks have a decent defense—better than the Dolphins—but it is still discouraging to see such a lackluster performance.
Paul Pasqualoni, Defensive Coordinator: Stock Down
Dare I say that this is one of the worst defenses the Lions have had since 2009? The Seahawks ran the ball down Detroit’s throat, and they had no answer for Russell Wilson’s aerial attack. No facet of this defense was good. Even the players I listed in the Stock Up section were okay at best. Why do you go out and trade for one of the best defensive tackles in the league, only to sub him out throughout the game? Learning a scheme is incredibly important, but it became obvious that Harrison was the difference between giving up a 10-yard run and a 2-yard run. I expect this to change next week. Perhaps we were too eager to expect a defensive turnaround, but this performance only further showcases that our defense will cost us a playoff opportunity.
Joe Marciano, Special Teams Coordinator: Stock Down
Unlike previous weeks, the Lions did not give up any significant returns. Hooray! Unfortunately, this team was incredibly undisciplined. The biggest mistake was Ameer Abdullah’s fumbled kickoff. Fumbles have been a concern for Abdullah throughout his career—albeit one I think is overblown—and this issue reappeared at an awful time. This immediately set up Seattle with fantastic field position, which they turned into a 15-yard David Moore touchdown catch a mere three plays later after. Elsewhere on special teams, there were some awful penalties that pinned the Lions deep. And how could I forget? Punter Michael Dickson ran an impromptu fake punt to seal the game:
Aussie Aussie Aussie, Ow Ow Ow.