The Detroit Lions Week 4 comeback fell short as they lost to the Seattle Seahawks by a score of 48-45. The Lions now find themselves 1-3 on the season. The defense struggled all game, but the offense managed to put up big numbers once again—despite missing D’Andre Swift, and DJ Chark—and several players set career marks.
A few of those players made the list as candidates for this week’s game ball.
Stats: 8 receptions, 179 yards, 2 touchdowns, 2-point conversion
Career-high: single game yards, longest single play (81 yards), single-game touchdowns (2)
With most of the Lions top skill players out due to injury, Hockenson was able to elevate his game despite a lot of extra attention coming his way.
“Yeah, it was really good,” coach Dan Campbell said of Hockenson’s day. “We needed him to step up for us, he was going to be more of a focal point today, and he did that. He certainly did that. He stepped up and had a monster game for us.”
Despite accounting for 14 of the Lions points, Hockenson’s most impressive play was arguably his 81 yard catch and run that fell just short of the end zone. Per Next Gen Stats, the play (video clip below) was expected to have just seven yards gained after the catch, but Hockenson’s ability to keep the play alive earned him an extra 68 yards beyond expectations—the most yards after catch beyond expectations in the NFL this season.
81 yards for 88‼️#SEAvsDET | FOX pic.twitter.com/AFicFxqrYA— Detroit Lions (@Lions) October 2, 2022
“I mean, I loved it,” Hockenson said of the 81 yard play. “I loved getting out and getting loose. I got the ball in some space and was able to make something happen. It was nice to see, when I came around that corner, and eight (Josh Reynolds) is right there. I made one miss, and then I see my guys downfield blocking.”
Stats: 19 carries, 108 yards, 2 touchdowns
Career-high: single rush yards (51), touchdowns in a single season (6), games with multiple touchdowns (3)
With Swift out, the Lions once again leaned on Williams to carry the load. Of the team’s 25 carries, Williams received 19 of them and ran to daylight several times—including a 51-yard run for a touchdown. On the play, Williams runs right and the running lane is so well blocked that he is 12 yards down the field before he is touched. Well, I should probably say, until he touched someone, as he buried the defender with a monster stiff arm, then took it to the house.
Jamaal 'Two Touchdown' Williams!#SEAvsDET | FOX pic.twitter.com/cgdZtSLRBk— Detroit Lions (@Lions) October 2, 2022
After being fined for last week’s touchdown celebration, Williams made sure to conserve his pumps this week.
Stats: 10 tackles, tackle for loss, QB hit, forced fumble
Career high: single-game tackles (10)
Rodriguez was once again a bright spot in an otherwise disastrous day for the defense. He flew all over the field, recording 10 tackles, including blowing up a beautifully read screen for a five-yard loss.
He also made an impact on special teams, forcing a fumble during punt coverage. The ball was also recovered by long snapper Scott Daly.
.@malcolmlrod forced the fumble and @sdaly61 recovered ❗️#SEAvsDET | FOX pic.twitter.com/a5kcIuPUtN— Detroit Lions (@Lions) October 2, 2022
Stats: 7 receptions, 81 yards, touchdown
Jared Goff’s security blanket once again stepped up when the team needed him to. During several of the game's key moments, Goff looked Reynolds’ way and the veteran receiver came through. His ability to keep his body under control in the end zone is beginning to become a weekly highlight:
.@J_Rey_11 holds on for the touchdown!#SEAvsDET | FOX pic.twitter.com/XHwv3zYRmE— Detroit Lions (@Lions) October 2, 2022
Stats: 26 of 39 for 378 passing yards, 4 touchdowns, an interception, 1 rushing yard, two-point conversion
Goff’s interception, which was returned for a touchdown, was surely a bad play—one that he called a “late, bad decision”—but beyond that, he was remarkably sharp, especially considering the weapons at his disposal.
“I think a lot of the stuff in the pass game has settled in for us and (offensive coordinator) Ben (Johnson) is doing a hell of a job getting us ready every week,” Goff said after the game. “I know we had the receivers we had today, but I felt really good with those guys. Q (Quintez Cephus) and TK (Tom Kennedy), and Kalif (Raymond), I got a lot of reps with them. So on the outside, maybe it looked like we had a bunch of backups in there, but to me personally, it was a lot of guys I got a lot of reps with and we were able to roll a bit offensively.”
Goff’s calm presence and ability to spread the ball around—he completed passes to eight different skill players—kept the Lions in striking distance in this game. It’s hard to fault an offense that scores 45 points, and under his leadership, they have overcome several obstacles.
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