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Recap: Detroit Lions defense can’t stop Seahawks in OT, lose 37-31

The Detroit Lions made a valiant comeback to force overtime, but, again, the Seattle Seahawks offense was just too much.

Seattle Seahawks v Detroit Lions Photo by Nic Antaya/Getty Images

Detroit Lions defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn wanted revenge on the Seattle Seahawks for the 99 points that team had put up on Detroit’s defense over their last two meetings. With all the personnel changes this offseason on that side of the ball, there was some optimism the Lions could slow down a Seahawks offense that scored just 13 points last week.

Unfortunately, that did not turn out to be the case. Seahawks quarterback Geno Smith completed 32-of-41 passes for 328 yards and two touchdowns. Most damning, after the Lions offense made a flurry of a comeback late in the game to force overtime, the Lions defense could not get off the field. Overtime lasted just over four minutes, as Smith led the Seahawks to a nine-play, 75 yard touchdown drive and the 37-31 victory.

First quarter

The Lions won the toss and deferred, giving the Seahawks the opportunity to get on the board first. Seattle gained a couple first downs, partially aided by a too many men call on Detroit. With completions to Kenneth Walker (11 yards) and DK Metcalf (18), Geno Smith quickly got the Seahawks into the red zone. Then on a third-and-8, Smith found Metcalf all the way down to the 1-yard line.

Then the flags started coming off. A false start on the Seahawks, an unnecessary roughness call on C.J. Gardner-Johnson, and a questionable pass interference on Jerry Jacobs. On top of that, the Lions lost both of their starting safeties to injury, with Gardner-Johnson dealing with an arm injury and Kerby Joseph heading to the locker room.

Eventually, Walker ended the eight-minute drive with a 1-yard touchdown run. 7-0 Seahawks.

The Lions offense quickly got into scoring position with a couple of strong runs from David Montgomery and a 20-yard pass to Josh Reynolds. Then Jared Goff threw a laser down the seam to Reynold for a 22-yard touchdown. 7-7 tie.

The Lions defense settled down on the next drive. Seattle managed one first down, but on a third-and-10, Alex Anzalone blew up a wide receiver screen. A solid punt gave the Lions the ball back on their own 12-yard line.

A 14-yard pass to Sam LaPorta got Detroit out of their own end zone to close out the first quarter.

Second quarter

Jahmyr Gibbs helped pick up a clutch third-and-7 conversion with a 7-yard reception to keep the drive alive. On the ensuing set of downs on third-and-5, the Lions caught Seattle off guard with a draw play to Montgomery that went for 16 yards into Seahawks territory. However, the Lions’ drive stalled after a third-and-1 run to Montgomery was stuffed for a 3-yard loss.

Detroit opted to go for it on fourth down, passing up a 49-yard field goal attempt. Goff’s pass to LaPorta was broken up by rookie corner Devon Witherspoon.

The Seahawks quickly took advantage with a 31-yard strike to tight end Noah Fant. That would do it for the drive, though, and the Seahawks settled for a 45-yard field goal attempt. Unfortunately for them, kicker Jason Myers pushed it wide left.

The Lions took advantage of the special teams mistake. A pass interference moved Detroit into Seattle territory, and then Ben Johnson reached into his bag of tricks with a flea flicker to Kalif Raymond that worked to perfection. 14-7 Lions.

With five minutes left in the half, the Seahawks looked to cut into the lead. A 16-yard pass to Jaxon Smith-Njigba moved them to midfield. But Detroit held strong and eventually forced a punt after a Smith scramble came up a few yards short.

With 1:43 left in the half, the Lions had an opportunity to add to their lead. However, Gibbs dropped what would have been a big play, and the Seahawks were able to get one more opportunity before the half was over.

Seattle was able to work their way down to attempt a 56-yard field goal, but Myers missed again.

Third quarter

The Lions started with the ball, but only held it for a single play. Montgomery was blown up in the backfield and fumbled the ball away, giving it to Seattle on the 23-yard line.

It only took Seattle two plays to punch it in and tie the game. 14-14 tie.

Goff answered nicely with a 27-yard strike to St. Brown on the first play of the next drive. Montgomery took the ball the next play, bounced it outside for 15 yards. Another 15 yards were tacked onto the play for a facemask penalty.

Detroit appeared to score on the next play with a nifty screen play, but Josh Reynolds was called for offensive pass interference. Detroit worked their way back into a fourth-and-3, and this time they converted with a pretty inside shovel pass, setting them up first-and-goal at the 6-yard line.

A few plays later, Montgomery ran it in from 4 yards out to re-take the lead. 21-14 Lions.

Early in the ensuing drive, the Seahawks took a risk going for it on fourth-and-1 from their own 41-yard line: Walker picked up 3 on the ground to move the chains. From there, the Seahawks continued to feed the second-year running back. Rushes of 7 and 11 yards pushed Seattle inside the 25-yard line, but Detroit’s defense finally stood tall in the red zone. Kerby Joseph nearly picked off Smith on third-and-goal. Myers finally hit on a field goal to complete the drive, making it 21-17 Lions with 3:27 left in the third quarter.

The Lions ended up turning the ball over on downs, taking a big risk on a fourth-and-2 from their own 45-yard line. Goff was hurried into a throw and couldn’t find Reynolds, who appeared to get hit before the ball arrived.

Fourth quarter

The Seahawks offense chipped away at the Lions defense to make yet another red zone appearance. Despite a couple of penalties (illegal formation, intentional grounding), the Seahawks were still able to punch it in and take the lead early in the fourth quarter.

This play to Tyler Lockett capped off the nine-play drive. 24-21 Seahawks.

Needing a big score, Goff gave Detroit exactly what it didn’t need. Facing second-and-15, Goff targeted Gibbs, but the throw was way behind the running back and directly into the arms of Seahawks cornerback Tre Brown, who house called it to give Seattle a two-score lead. 31-21 Seahawks.

The Lions offense methodically worked their way downfield—but ate up a lot of clock. Sam LaPorta picked up a couple of big plays, including a third-and-12 conversion and a 23-yard catch that put them into the red zone. Goff found Josh Reynolds to make it a 1-score game with 3:08 left. 31-28 Seahawks.

The Seahawks couldn’t manage a first down after an offensive pass interference erased a 16-yard play. On third-and-18, Alex Anzalone sacked Geno Smith all the way back to the 3-yard line.

Kalif Raymond returned the ball to the 50-yard line, giving Detroit 1:44 left to work with down three points. A 12-yard pass to Josh Reynolds kicked off the drive, followed by an 11-yard end around to Kalif Raymond. Detroit ended up getting down to the 20-yard line to set up Riley Patterson for a game-tying 38-yard field goal. The kick was good as time expired. 31-31 tie


The Seahawks won the toss and got the ball first. Their drive got off to a big start with a 17-yard pass to Fant. On the next set of downs, the Seahawks faced a third-and-7, but Smith found Metcalf for 16 yards. Another 21 yards through the air moved Seattle to the red zone and in danger of scoring a game-winning touchdown.

On a third-and-2, Smith found Lockett for a 6-yard touchdown and the win. 37-31 Seahawks.

It appeared as if Aidah Hutchinson was held on the final play, but it was not called, and the game was over.

Lions will have to rebound quick here, as the Falcons (who just beat the Green Bay Packers) are in town next week.

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