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3 winners, 3 losers from Detroit Lions’ overtime loss against the Seahawks

Were the Lions able to avoid a hangover after winning in Week 1?

NFL: Seattle Seahawks at Detroit Lions Junfu Han-USA TODAY Sports

After defeating the defending Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs on the road in Week 1, the Detroit Lions made their 2023 home debut at Ford Field against the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday. After the big win last week, Lions safety C.J. Gardner-Johnson went to Instagram wearing a blue ski mask, saying “It’s not the same Detroit“ as he was hyping up his teammates after the win. After explaining why he wore the ski mask and asking for fans to wear them as well, the fans responded by selling them out on Amazon. The fans bought in and were loud during the game.

Heading into Week 2, the Lions would be without their starting left tackle Taylor Decker due to an ankle injury. To compensate for his absence, usual starting right tackle Penei Sewell moved over to left tackle while Matt Nelson took over at right tackle. While Detroit was down one starter, the Seahawks were banged up all around. Safety Jamal Adams, linebacker Boye Mafe, and offensive tackles Charles Cross, and Abraham Lucas were just some of the players who missed the game.

Last season it was a shootout between these teams and this year was similar. While it wasn’t as high-scoring, both teams traded blows and each had some big plays, needing overtime to settle the difference.

Check out my winners and losers from the game against the Seahawks


Jared Goff

After an above-average performance against the Chiefs, Goff came out with another strong game this week against Seattle. Goff finished the game 28-for-35 for 323 yards with three touchdowns and an interception. Last week, Goff didn’t make any poor throws but didn’t do anything to jump off the couch. This week, Goff made some excellent passes to wide receivers Amon-Ra St. Brown, Kalif Raymond, and Josh Reynolds.

Goff looked great overall. He remained cool under pressure and rarely threw any risky passes. He stood tall in the pocket and was able to place accurate throws where they needed to be. He also has progressed as a quarterback as he has gotten better at reading defenses, audibling to different plays, and ones that work out better for the team. His streak of throws without an interception unfortunately ended on a poor throw, but one bad throw in two games is fine.

In his first year in Detroit, Goff had a rough first half of the season but finished 2021 strong. In 2022, Goff improved but again it didn’t show mostly until the second half of the season. This season, Goff has looked good early on. He trusts his wide receivers, doesn’t crumble under pressure, and can take a hit as he throws the ball if need be. Goff needed to improve this year and be consistent all year long instead of waiting for the back half of the season. So far, it appears he is doing just that.

David Montgomery

The run game for Detroit was making things happen. The offensive line was moving bodies and someone else who was moving bodies was running back David Montgomery. Montgomery is not an easy player to tackle and he showed that in the game today. Montgomery consistently got more yards than were advertised as every time he got hit, he didn’t go down instantly.

How he is as a runner is impressive and something the Lions have been needing in a running back. He also gets help from his offensive line at times as they push him forward and help him keep his legs churning. Montgomery wasn’t perfect though, as he fumbled the football on the opening drive of the second half for the Lions. Overall he had a nice game until an injury forced him out of the lineup, finishing with 16 carries for 67 yards and a touchdown.

Run defense

In 2022 against the Seahawks, the Lions allowed 235 rushing yards and three touchdowns on 33 carries. The team struggled to defend the run early on last year, and so far this year they have done much better. The Lions defense held the Seahawks to 82 yards and allowed two touchdowns on 25 carries this time around.

Detroit could use some tackles for loss to make their lives easier on defense (they did not register any in this game), but overall they did a fair job at limiting the damage the ground game did to them. Sure they allowed two touchdowns, but the longest run was by Seahawks quarterback Geno Smith for 15 yards. Smith was also held in check on the ground, though, totaling 20 yards on three carries even with that 15-yard play.


Pass Rush

Against the Chiefs in the opening week, the Lions failed to sack quarterback Patrick Mahomes, but they were able to get seven quarterback hits. Despite missing both starting tackles and starting center Evan Brown missing some time during the game, Seattle’s quarterback Geno Smith experience little pressure from the Lions defensive line this week. Defensive end Aidan Hutchinson had a great first game, but was quiet in the home opener with just two tackles and a pass deflection in the fourth quarter.

Hutchinson wasn’t the only player responsible on this defensive line for the lack of pressure, though, since nobody on the Lions defensive line was able to get a quarterback hit, sack, or even tackle for loss. Linebacker Alex Anzalone was the only player who was able to get a sack as he got Smith late in the fourth quarter on a huge third down play to force a punt. Part of this was because Seattle planned to get the ball out quickly in the passing game, so the offensive line didn’t have to deal with pressure as long as normal. The few times Seattle forced their offensive line to block well, they did so as Smith only had to escape the pocket a handful of times.

At least Detroit did a better job at containing the quarterback though, as Mahomes was the leading rusher in Week 1 and Smith wasn’t the leading rusher for the Seahawks this week. That is a positive takeaway for the defensive line, but going up against two and sometimes three backups at once and coming away with nothing to show for it in pass rushing isn’t promising. The Lions need to generate pressure, regardless of whether the passes come out quickly or not.

Fourth-down decisions

After forcing the Seahawks to punt for the first time in the game, the Lions offense was driving down the field and making good progress toward scoring. They would be stopped on third down at the 31-yard line to bring up fourth down. Instead of deciding to kick the field goal to potentially take a 10-7 lead, Lions head coach Dan Campbell went for it on fourth down and the play failed to convert.

For some reason, Campbell wanted to risk it and instead of taking the lead while in field goal range, got bit and lost on the fourth down attempt. The offense isn’t able to score touchdowns every time they are on the field and if you are in field goal range, take the points. Points matter in the end, no matter how you score them and I don’t think Campbell cares which is the frustrating part. There is aggressiveness, but there is also carelessness and Campbell is reaching the point of carelessness on fourth down.

The second fourth down attempt worked and would lead to a touchdown and the lead, but that was another field goal range level kick as it was inside the red zone. The third attempt on Detroit’s own side of the field up 21-17 was reckless. Playing with a small lead in the third quarter, punting the ball could have pinned the Seahawks inside their own 10. Instead, the play failed and Seattle gained possession with great field position. The decision would end up haunting the Lions as the Seahawks took a 24-21 lead with a touchdown off that drive in the fourth quarter.

If Campbell had kicked the field goal earlier in the game, the game would have been different. Instead of going to overtime, the kick by Riley Patterson in the fourth quarter would have won the game and Detroit emerges 2-0. This is why these decisions are heavily criticized because they have a huge impact on the game and make you wonder what would happen.


Heading into the game, Detroit had only one starter dealing with an injury serious enough to be held out of the lineup. By the end of this game, though, they had multiple players banged up. Early on, safety Kerby Joseph left the game for a while and would return after dealing with a hip injury. Gardner-Johnson missed a few plays as well but would return, but that is where the injury news stops being positive.

David Montgomery left the game in the second half and didn’t return due to an injury. Linebacker James Houston IV left the game with an injury and didn’t return. Starting right guard Halapoulivaati Vaitai left the game in the fourth quarter as well with a knee injury. The injuries have piled up all of a sudden and are something to watch as the week goes on.

Every team deals with injuries so this isn’t something that is just a Detroit problem, but to see it mount up all at once is frustrating. The team will have to overcome them and go with the next-man-up mentality.

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