Good morning, and here’s what’s “out there” about the Seahawks the day after their 28-24 defeat to the Detroit Lions.
Danny O’Neil has his game recap from yesterday, calling the outcome the most “puzzling” of Seattle’s four losses this year, “This was the most puzzling of Seattle’s four losses this season. The Seahawks showed significant improvement in a passing game that has been the team’s chronic weakness, only to lose because of the defense that has been the team’s biggest strength. ‘We’ve got to play better,’ defensive end Chris Clemons said. ‘That goes for each and every individual on the defense.’ The defense had not allowed more than two touchdowns in any game this season. Not only did Detroit score four on Sunday, the Lions converted 12 of their 16 third downs, the highest percentage by any Seahawks opponent since December 2004. There were plenty of mistakes by Seattle, from the way it frittered away a field-goal opportunity at the end of the first half to wasting a timeout on a replay challenge in the third quarter, but this game was lost because Seattle’s defense couldn’t close out Detroit like it did the Panthers and the Patriots.”
O’Neil notes that while the Seahawks did a good job shutting down Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson, they let Titus Young do the damage, “After a week in which the focus was on everything from Calvin Johnson’s size, at 6 feet 5, to his Transformers nickname, the Lions’ leading receiver caught as many passes (three) as he allowed to bounce off his hands. ‘You see his numbers,’ cornerback Richard Sherman said. ‘They speak for themselves. He was a non-factor.’ Instead, it was Titus Young, the Lions’ second-year receiver from Boise State, who caught nine passes, including two touchdowns. His 46-yard touchdown in the second quarter matched the longest scoring pass allowed by Seattle this season, and his 1-yard catch in the fourth quarter turned out to be the game-winner. As for all the attention on Johnson before the game? ‘We can’t emphasize on one guy so much,’ Seahawks corner Brandon Browner said. ‘I thought we’d match up well against him.’ “
O’Neil believes that despite the loss the Seahawks’ passing game took a major step forward, “Wilson attempted 35 passes, his most in any game this season. He threw for 236 yards, two touchdowns and his quarterback rating of 96.8 was his highest in five road games this season. He was 6-for-8 passing on Seattle’s final touchdown drive, which covered 87 yards and would have been hailed as a potential turning point if Seattle had not gone on to lose. ‘I definitely believe we can do that consistently,’ Wilson said. ‘We have the time in terms of the offensive line blocking and doing a great job of giving me enough time to make decisions.’ “
O’Neil also names the Lions’ Stafford and Young his players of the game in his “2-minute drill.”
Steve Kelley of the Seattle Times says this time the loss is on the shoulders of the defense, “This shouldn’t have happened. It was alarming to watch the Lions move the ball coast-to-coast so easily. ‘Definitely, we always want the game on our shoulders,’ cornerback Richard Sherman said after the 28-24 loss Sunday that dropped the Seahawks’ record to 4-4. ‘But this was one of those times that we didn’t pull it out. This was an opportunity we let get away.’ “
Eric Williams of the Tacoma News Tribune has his game recap from Sunday’s 28-24 loss to the Lions, “While Seattle’s defense has played well this season – at times looking dominant – some of the team’s struggles on that side of the ball had previously been overshadowed by the Seahawks’ inability to move the ball on offense. That wasn’t the case Sunday. The Seahawks allowed Detroit to convert an embarrassing 12 out of 16 third-down plays into first downs. Seattle’s defense was ranked No. 5 in the league in yardage allowed heading into the game, but the Seahawks have given up over 400 yards of offense in two of their past three contests. ‘Every one of those guys on defense knows the game was ours to win,’ Seattle coach Pete Carroll said. ‘They thought they had to do what they had to do, ‘Let’s go get our stop and get out of here,’ and it didn’t happen.’ “
Williams also looks at the play of the Lions’ Young and Seahawks’ defensive backs, “While Seattle did a nice job containing ‘Megatron,’ he wound up serving as a diversion while Detroit’s other receivers broke loose against the Seahawks. Young finished with a game-high nine catches for 100 yards and two touchdowns. Tight end Brandon Pettigrew totaled seven catches for 74 yards. And rookie Ryan Broyles finished with three catches for 37 yards, including a 6-yard touchdown. ‘I thought before the game even started we were going to do OK against him,’ Browner said. ‘But it’s the other guys that got off. We can’t focus on one player, because we tend to forget that they’ve got stars like Titus Young. … I thought we would match up well with him. He’s a big guy. We’re big guys. It’s the little guys that we’ll have problems with, because they can get in and out of breaks faster than we do.’ “
John McGrath of the Tacoma News Tribune critiques the play of the Seahawks defense, “An elite defense, with nine full days of rest, doesn’t surrender 415 yards to a team forced into a short work week after appearing on Monday Night Football. That stat – 415 yards surrendered – isn’t an aberration, merely the continuation of a three-week pattern for the Seahawks, who were torched for 475 yards by New England and then 313 yards by San Francisco. Since holding each of their first five opponents under 300 yards, the Seahawks are allowing an average of 401 per game in the past three.”
Mike Salk of 710Sports.com says the Seahawks’ loss casts a doubt on what has been rock-solid play of the defense, “The difference is that Sunday’s 28-24 loss in Detroit cast doubt upon the one rock-solid principal on which our faith in the Seahawks was based: the defense. More specifically, the defense on third down. The Lions converted 12 of their 16 third-down opportunities. For those of you out of practice with elementary school mathematics, that is 75 percent. It also means the Seahawks defense had 12 opportunities to get off the field but failed to finish. On those 12 plays, they gave up an average of 10.5 yards. Three of those 12 plays ended with the ball in the end zone. One of them was the winning score. If they had stopped just one of the three third-down plays on the final drive, they would likely have won the game (or forced overtime). The Seahawks’ third down defense has not been a problem of this magnitude yet this season, but it has not been stellar, either. They get off the field just 38.5 percent of the time (16th in the NFL) and the problem has raised its ugly head in important spots in three of their four losses.”
The staff at SportsPressNW.com has their game recap from Sunday.
Mike Sando of ESPN.com has his wrap-up following Sunday’s Seahawks-Lions game, “What I liked: Wilson and the offense converted on third-and-10 and fourth-and-short during the go-ahead scoring drive in the fourth quarter. Receiver Sidney Rice and tight end Zach Miller caught scoring passes. Marshawn Lynch’s 77-yard touchdown run was the Seahawks’ longest since Shaun Alexander had an 88-yarder at Arizona. The run allowed Lynch to top 100 yards rushing even though the ground game wasn’t consistently strong for Seattle, a bit of a surprise. Seattle shut out Calvin Johnson in the first half and prevented him from emerging as a dominant threat. Jackson couldn’t handle the potential go-ahead scoring pass in the final minutes. Earl Thomas picked off a pass deep in Seahawks territory to ward off a Lions scoring chance.”
Sando details several silver linings from yesterday’s loss, “Rookie quarterback Russell Wilson led a 12-play, 87-yard drive to the go-ahead touchdown in the fourth quarter. Wilson completed 25 of 35 passes for 236 yards with two touchdowns and no sacks. His Total QBR score (93.7 out of 100) trailed only those for Tom Brady (98.4) and Matt Ryan (95.7) through the afternoon games Sunday. This was Wilson’s best NFL performance in a road game, and perhaps overall.”
For a look around the League, Peter King of SI.com has his “Monday Morning Quarterback.”
Tony Ventrella brings postgame reaction from safety Earl Thomas, quarterback Russell Wilson and coach Carroll is his game recap.
Our team photographer Rod Mar has a look at Week 8 in photos here.
And finally, fullback Michael Robinson shares his latest episode of “The Real Rob Report”, which was shot the week prior to the team’s game against the Lions: