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7 takeaways from the Lions’ overtime loss to the Seahawks

The Detroit Lions could not defeat in the Seattle Seahawks in what proved to be an offensive shootout.

Seattle Seahawks v Detroit Lions Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

The excitement of a Week 1 upset were quickly dashed on Sunday. The Detroit Lions fell to the Seattle Seahawks in overtime, and the team and its fans are left with multiple questions and concerns ahead of their next tilt. The light is far from out, and the season is still early—plus the entire NFC North lost on Sunday to boot—so the panic button should be well out of grasp.

The Lions, now sitting at 1-1, have a lot to clean up from the mess that was this game. Here are some takeaways:

Offense went down swinging

The Lions only managed 14 points in the first half, but they certainly came in style. The first touchdown of the day came on a brilliant 22-yard dart to Josh Reynolds, who managed to survive a big hit and secure the ball and score. The second score was a beautiful flea flicker (RIP Jeremy Reisman’s notifications) to Kalif Raymond that caught rookie cornerback Devon Witherspoon sleeping.

The Lions came up close on two other big plays in the first half, though neither amounted to anything. Jahmyr Gibbs could have potentially had a house call, but the pass went through his hands. Amon-Ra St. Brown caught a 40-yard bomb at the end of half, but a fumble on the same play shut down the longshot Hail Mary attempt. These obviously did not result in any points, but it does show that the Lions offense can be seriously explosive on any given down.

Aside from the interception, Jared Goff was sharp against the Seahawks. St. Brown and Reynolds were impressive as usual, but it was Sam LaPorta that particularly stood out with his YAC ability. The Lions put up 31 points in a losing effort, so the offense should not garner much of the blame.

Pass rush can’t get home

You can credit Geno Smith and the ramshackle Seahawks offensive line for keeping the Lions pass rush under control on Sunday, but it is still a disappointing result for what appeared to be a very favorable matchup. Despite both starting offensive tackles for the Seahawks missing the game, the Lions only managed to sack Smith once throughout the game, and it came on a lengthy backpedal by Smith. After a fearsome start to the season from Aidan Hutchinson, he was nearly blanked from the stat sheet. Fellow pass rushers Charles Harris, John Cominsky, Romeo Okwara, and James Houston (who was ruled out with an ankle injury) had no success either. Smith was attacking the Lions defense with quick passes, and the defensive front never had time to do damage.

Run defense shapes up

One of the focal points of the Seahawks offense is its rushing attack with Kenneth Walker and Zach Charbonnet, but the Lions front seven came to play. Walker was held to 43 rushing yards, while Charbonnet had just 16 yards on four carries. That’s now back-to-back games where the opposing rushing game failed to go over 100 yards. However, given how successful the passing attack was, there was little reason to run the ball. Which leads me to...

Torched secondary

The Seahawks’ longest reception was just 31 yards, but it certainly felt like the secondary was getting burnt throughout the game. In particular, Jerry Jacobs against DK Metcalf was a one-sided beatdown, with Metcalf coming up with multiple clutch catches that kept drives alive. On initial viewing, I don’t recall hearing Cam Sutton’s name very often, which might bode well for his performance on re-watch, but it was a game begging for a big play from someone like him.

This game is what might have happened if the Kansas City Chiefs receivers could catch the football. The quick and short passing limited the pass rush and the Seahawks receivers capitalized on poor coverage. Emmanuel Moseley is close to returning, but it remains to be seen if that will truly solve some secondary woes. For all the praise Aaron Glenn gets as a leader in the locker room, at some point the performance on the field needs to match. The defense is too talented to be struggling like this.

Montgomery running often and running hard... and running hurt

Much to the dismay of fantasy football experts, David Montgomery continued to see the bulk of the touches over Jahmyr Gibbs. Whereas Gibbs shined in Week 1, Week 2 was Montgomery’s game. The former Chicago Bear flashed some tough running between the tackles, and would have had a nice screen pass touchdown if it were not for a weak offensive pass interference penalty. He got payback that same drive, punching in a four-yard score.

Though he had a fumble early in the second half that led to a quick Seahawks touchdown, it was a positive day for Montgomery. That is, sadly, until his thigh injury in the third quarter. He got twisted up on a short pass, and quickly went to the locker room. He and Gibbs are shaping up to be a dangerous backfield, but we’ll need both of them healthy first.

Injuries galore

Next week’s injury report might look like a CVS receipt. Along with Montgomery and Houston exiting the game, Kerby Joseph and C.J. Gardner-Johnson got banged up early in the game but managed to play the entire game. Amon-Ra St. Brown was similarly playing injured throughout the game, leaving late with cramps. Aidan Hutchinson was injured in overtime. Antoine Green was being evaluated for a concussion. Halapoulivaati Vaitai suffered a knee injury and immediately left the field. Already missing Taylor Decker, the Vaitai injury looms large for what was billed as a top-tier offensive line.

The Lions built themselves a solid roster, but injuries will test each and every player on it.

More pitiful penalties

As mentioned, Montgomery had a touchdown catch taken off the board because of an offensive pass interference penalty against Josh Reynolds. Reynolds, however, was not blocking prior to the screen pass as the referees declared. This was the trend throughout the game, sadly. Jacobs was dinged for a ticky-tacky pass interference penalty on the Seahawks opening drive that led to an easy touchdown run. Later in the third quarter, Joseph was called for defensive pass interference while Metcalf was pulling down on his facemask, which caused the interference in the first place. On the game-ending overtime touchdown pass to Tyler Lockett, Hutchinson was pretty blatantly held without a flag (a recurring trend so far this season).

As I mentioned last week, all I want is consistency in officiating. We as viewers should not be left wondering on every play whether something will or won’t be called a penalty. I understand that football is a difficult sport to officiate, but the NFL referees are again looking like a weak point in an otherwise exciting sport.

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