THAT was a very tough game to watch. I live in Florida, and I could feel the energy being sucked out of Ford Field when Lockett scored the go-ahead touchdown. For whatever reason, it just felt like the Lions were going to drop it. Anyways, here are my immediate reactions to some significant areas of the game.
The Lions, in the last three games against Seattle (all in the last three years and under Aaron Glenn), have given up 497 yards, 555 yards, and 393. In theory, the team has gotten better at each position this past offseason, and yet still struggled against the Seahawks. Going into this one, the Seahawks were down numerous valuable offensive linemen, and especially after last week, it looked like the Lions were going to dominate in the trenches on the defensive side of the ball. Hutchinson and Houston did not look threatening at all. Houston is now injured as well. The interior DL were not generating any pressure either. It was well established before the year that this would be an area to keep an eye on, and it appears it will be a weakness going forward. You can call it an overreaction by me two weeks into the season, but I’m calling a spade a spade; it was a weakness before the year and it still is right now. Alex Anzalone struggled a bit early but read a play beautifully late in the game to sack Geno Smith for a 17-yard loss that helped set up the game-tying field goal. I’m rambling a bit, but what was a glaring weakness all afternoon was the secondary. Last week it seemed that Kansas City was barely surviving each and every play. Yet, this Seattle team is definitely deeper at the receiver position, and man was it obvious. I’ve been a Jerry Jacobs supporter since his NFL debut, but man it seemed every third down or every positive play upfield for the Seahawks was a man he was supposed to be covering. All in all, I can’t tell if this is a sign the team isn’t as ready as we hoped, or if Aaron Glenn deserves to have a lot of fingers pointed at him. It’s not like we had pressure all afternoon and just were running the wrong defensive schemes; we had nothing going for us. We also caused ZERO turnovers. All food for thought as we head into week three.
The Playcalling Down The Stretch:
I am a huge Ben Johnson supporter, and it would take a lot for me to say anything that negative towards him. I trust him. Down the stretch, yeah, it sucked to see the team playing for overtime instead of the win, but I don’t think they were directly playing for the tie. I think that based on plays Goff had different guys running checkdown routes for security, not as his first progression. Sometimes that’s the way it plays out. St. Brown being banged up didn’t help. Vaitai getting hurt doesn’t help, Montgomery having a thigh bruise hurts. Sometimes you take the hand you’re dealt, and if your worst-case scenario is overtime, so be it.
Man, that sucked. Talk about all of the wind being taken out of your sails in a major way. The team has two sacks in two weeks, one of which was just a mistake by Geno Smith in him not throwing the ball away and scrambling for just under 20 seconds. Especially after winning last week, you expected the Lions to win at home. I mean, there are blue ski masks everywhere, and there’s a decent chance the stadium had the decibel level broken from how rowdy it was. At the end of the day, three weeks ago if you said the Lions would be 1-1 after two weeks, you’d be fine with it, and you know it. The one big thing I’m concerned with is the number of nicks and small injuries we had. By Wednesday, we’ll know more about each individual one, but injuries are the types of things that can really halt a team and their momentum.
I am never one to harp on the officials, but it felt like numerous times this week’s crew missed calls in key ways that hurt the Lions. From a ghost offensive PI call on a first down, to two flags being thrown at different times in the red zone that helped extend the Seahawks' drive (one in the first quarter and one in the fourth). I’m still not blaming the officials for the loss because Detroit had their fair share of chances. However, I felt it was necessary to bring up the fact that we are two weeks into the season, and it just feels like Detroit still has to battle the team on the other side of the line of scrimmage and the team in black and white.
This probably felt like a rant to read, and that’s because that is exactly what it was. Regardless, a win next week at home against Atlanta, and the Lions are right back on track! Onward and upward.