DETROIT – A recap of the Seahawks’ 28-24 loss to the Lions at Ford Field on Sunday:
PLAYER OF THE GAME
Matthew Stafford. The Lions’ quarterback threw, and threw, and then threw some more. Stafford didn’t stop until he had passed his team to victory with a 1-yard pass to Titus Young with 20 seconds left in the game.
It was Stafford’s 49th pass of the afternoon, and 34th completion. Not to mention his third TD pass. Oh, and he also ran for a touchdown to give the Lions a 21-17 lead with 11½ minutes remaining. But after Russell Wilson led a 12-play, 87-yard drive that ended with his 16-yard TD pass to tight end Zach Miller that gave the Seahawks a 24-21 lead with 5½ minutes left, Stafford didn’t blink. He just kept throwing on the 16-play, 80-yard drive that ended with his game-winner.
“It was a great win for Detroit,” Seahawks coach Pete Carroll conceded. “They kind of did what they wanted to do. Stafford did a really good job moving the ball around like he needed to.”
That was perhaps the most frustrating part of Stafford rallying the Lions not once by twice in the fourth quarter. The Seahawks held Pro Bowl receiver Calvin Johnson in check (three catches for 36 yards). It was Titus Young, who was filling in for injured former Seahawks wide receiver Nate Burleson, and tight end Brandon Pettigrew that they had trouble with. Young (nine for 100) and Pettigrew (seven for 74) combined to catch 16 passes for 174 of Stafford’s 352 passing yards.
Stafford was at his best on third downs, completing 14 of 15 for 111 yards and two TDs.
“Anyone of those, if we had gotten a stop, it would have changed the game,” Carroll said.
PLAYS OF THE GAME
Offense: The game-winner, of course, as Stafford found Young on a third-and-goal play – and with the Seahawks in zone coverage in the end zone.
Defense: Earl Thomas’ third-quarter interception, because of when it came – as the Lions were driving; and where it came – at the Seahawks’ 3-yard line. It was the kind of play the Seahawks needed more of on this afternoon. It also was somewhat wasted, because rookie QB Russell Wilson was picked off six plays later by safety Ricardo Silva at the Lions’ 18-yard line.
“I thought Sidney was saying, ‘I put my hand up, I’m going (downfield),’ ” Wilson said. “He was saying, ‘Hey, throw it to me now.’ So it was just one of those situations.”
Special teams: Jon Ryan’s 64-yard punt. Again, because of when it came – after a three-and-out; and where it came – with the Seahawks deep in their own territory. But also because of where it put the Lions – at their 19-yard line.
Fullback Michael Robinson and wide receiver Ben Obomanu got sprained wrists, while wide receiver Golden Tate tweaked an ankle.
The Seahawks also played without wide receiver Braylon Edwards and rush-tackle Jason Jones.
Edwards participated in Saturday’s walkthrough at a local high school, and Carroll said he would split reps with Tate at split end. But Edwards woke up Sunday morning with a swollen knee. It was drained, but then became swollen again after he went through pregame warm-ups. So he was inactive.
Jones missed practice all week because of an ankle injury, and Carroll credited his inability to play with the Seahawks’ inability to generate more pressure on Stafford.
While the Lions were converting 75 percent of their third-down situations (12 of 16), the Seahawks converted 33 percent (3 of 9).
Each team was 3 of 3 in red-zone situations, but the Lions got three touchdowns on possession inside the Seahawks’ 20-yard line, while the Seahawks got two TDs and a field goal in their red-zone possessions.
Rookie middle linebacker Bobby Wagner (12) and second-year strongside linebacker K.J. Wright (11) combined for 23 tackles.
Wilson’s interception was his eighth of the season, and all have come in road games.
Marshawn Lynch carried 12 times for 105 yards, including a 77-yard TD that was the longest run of his career. He has four 100-yard rushing games this season and 10 in his past 17 games.
The Seahawks are 1-4 on the road this season, and 6-15 in 2½ seasons under Carroll.
The Seahawks were penalized only twice for 10 yards, each a season-low.
YOU DON’T SAY
“These young guys know that we’re OK. They know that we can play football and we can hang tough. We just have to come back and get going and see if we can’t put together a second half that really makes this season feel like we’re going in the right direction and we’re making great progress. There’s no doubt in anybody’s mind that we can. We’ve just got to go do it.” – Carroll