Final | Seahawks 48, Lions 45
10 a.m. | Ford Field | Detroit, Mich.
TV: FOX | Radio: 710 AM/97.3 FM | Stream: NFL Game Pass
Seahawks outlast Lions, hold off comeback in wild 48-45 win
DETROIT — The last time the Seahawks played in Detroit in 2018, Russell Wilson turned in the only perfect passer rating of his career in leading Seattle to a comfortable win.
Sunday, in another Seattle win over the Lions in Detroit, this time by the astonishing score of 48-45, Geno Smith might have been even better — even if his rating of 132.6 was just off the 158.3 rating that signifies a perfect day.
Smith completed 23 of 30 passes for 320 yards and two touchdowns as the Seahawks offense gained 555 yards and never punted in nine possessions, scoring five touchdowns, kicking two field goals, with another ending on a missed field goal and the last ending the game.
Three things we learned from the Seahawks’ 48-45 win over the Lions
So, who predicted a shootout in Motown?
The Seahawks tallied their most points of the season and held on at the end for a nail-biting 48-45 victory against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field.
The combined 93 points are the most in the NFL this season, and it’s the first game in Seahawks history in which they did not attempt a punt.
Here are three things we learned after Seattle’s win, which snapped a two-game skid and improved to 2-2.
Third quarter impressions
Not perfect, but close
Offensive coordinator Shane Waldron and quarterback Geno Smith worked in concert to formulate and execute a game plan in which the Seahawks scored on (nearly) every possession.
Smith began the day with the highest completion percentage in the NFL, but not sure if he’s ever been better than he was while surgically dissecting a Lions secondary that had difficulty tracking an array of Seattle receivers.
Smith completed 18 of 22 passes for 242 yards, including two touchdown passes of 17 and 2 yards for a 142.8 passer rating. At one point in the third quarter, Smith had a perfect 158.3 passer rating.
Smith also has 40 yards on four carries, including an 8-yard touchdown run.
And Rashaad Penny came on late, including a big 36-yard touchdown run on a third-and-16 play with 33 seconds left in the third quarter that gave Seattle a 38-23 lead. Penny has 85 yards on 10 carries.
Woolen with a highlight
Rookie cornerback Tariq Woolen began the second half with a pick-six after stepping in front of a Jared Goff pass for an interception and returning it 40 yards for a score and a 31-15 lead.
It was Woolen’s second interception and first touchdown.
Woolen showcased his blazing speed — 4.2 seconds in the 40-yard dash — while tracking T.J. Hockenson and accelerating past him to make the catch in traffic. Woolen raced down the sideline and easily sidestepped Goff near the goal line for the score.
Run defense still needs work
Despite the absence of Lions leading rusher D’Andre Smith, the Seahawks have had trouble slowing down Detroit, which has 131 rushing yards.
Backup Jamaal Williams has did the most damage midway in the third quarter while rambling for a 51-yard touchdown, which included a vicious stiff-arm on Josh Jones to break free for the score with 6:30 remaining.
Williams has 104 yards on 16 carries, while averaging 6.5 yards per run.
Detroit entered the game third in the NFL while averaging 170.3 rushing yards per game. Meanwhile, Seattle was 30th in the league allowing 157 yards on the ground.
Seahawks unstoppable on offense — but now can they keep it going?
The Seattle offense has pretty much done what it’s wanted all half against a struggling Detroit defense, with only a few penalties getting in the way, gaining 240 yards and averaging 9.2 yards per play.
Geno Smith has played his best half as a Seahawk, completing 12 of 14 passes for 170 yards and two TDs, and just off a perfect passer rating at 156.8 (a perfect rating is 158.3). He also has run it four times for 40 yards and a TD.
But now to see if the Seahawks can keep it going in the second half, something Seattle has struggled with all season having scored just three offensive points in the second half this year — a field goal last week against Atlanta.
Metcalf proving his point
DK Metcalf is making more big plays than he has all season, seeming to have a point to prove going against 2020 first-round pick Jeffrey Okudah. Asked about Okudah shutting down other WRs this year — notably Minnesota’s Justin Jefferson last week — Metcalf somewhat cryptically said: “There’s a safety over the top of him, so he’s not really locking people down. But he’s a good corner.”
Metcalf is making him look like a bad one so far in this game, though — Okudah has had primary coverage on Metcalf throughout but hasn’t been able to stop him as Metcalf has three receptions for 98 yards, including a 54-yarder that set up a Seattle TD. It is the Seahawks’ longest offensive play of the year.
Mixing it up on defense
In the wake of the defensive issues of the last two weeks the Seahawks changed things up a little.
Darryl Johnson started at one outside linebacker spot in place of Darrell Taylor, who has so far played mostly on passing downs.
Seattle also opened the game in nickel, with rookie Coby Bryant again playing that spot.
And Seattle has also used a three-safety look a handful of times, mostly on third downs, with Ryan Neal playing as essentially an inside linebacker next to Jordyn Brooks. That’s a scheme Seattle planned to do a lot this year with Jamal Adams and mostly scrapped the past few games after Adams was injured. But it looks like Seahawks are putting it back in the plan now.
It worked for much of the half. But Detroit scored as time ran out on a 1-yard plunge by Jamaal Williams, capping a 75-yard drive to make it 24-15 at the half (Detroit’s kicking issues, with regular Austin Seibert out with injury, are catching up to the Lions as replacement Dominik Eberle has missed two PATs).
First quarter impressions
Geno Smith has been remarkably efficient while completing nine of 10 passes for 119 yards, including a 17-yard TD pass, for a 149.6 passer rating. He’s connected with five different receivers and has been extremely effective on the move after rolling out of the pocket.
In addition, Smith is Seattle’s leading rusher with two carries for 25 yards, including an 8-yard run for a touchdown.
It would have been a perfect start for the Seahawks if not for a Tyler Lockett fumble on a punt that set up Detroit’s first touchdown.
The Lions recovered the ball at the Seahawks 32 and scored on the next play, a 32-yard touchdown pass from Jared Goff to T.J. Hockenson.
Lions missing guys who account for 57.8% of their yards from scrimmage this season
The Lions will be without guys who account for 57.8% of their yards from scrimmage this season.— kyle meinke (@kmeinke) October 2, 2022
Seahawks’ Michael Dickson to return to site of ‘The Aussie Sweep’
RENTON — On Sunday, Seahawks punter Michael Dickson will return to the site of one of the craziest plays of his career.
It’s known as “The Aussie Sweep,” and Dickson still can’t quite believe he pulled it off.
With 2:18 left in the fourth quarter of a 28-14 Seattle win over the Lions on Oct. 28, 2018, the then-rookie took a snap in the end zone on fourth-and-eight from the Seahawks’ 3-yard line.
The plan was for Dickson to run time off the clock and take a safety, but Dickson decided to improvise. With teammates and coaches looking on in amazement, Dickson ran out of the end zone for a 9-yard gain and a Seahawks first down.
Once the Lions’ Cre’von LeBlanc and DeShawn Shead (now the Seahawks’ cornerbacks coach) tackled Dickson at the 11-yard line, the Seahawks sideline went wild.
If he had failed, Dickson said the result of the play would’ve been “tragic.”
Lions injuries may help Seahawks defense get past growing pains
RENTON — There was a time when the Seahawks had all the answers on defense.
From 2012 to 2015 the Legion of Boom Seattle defense allowed the fewest points in the NFL each season, something never done otherwise in the Super Bowl era.
Asked recently the key to that run of success, coach Pete Carroll pointed to the players.
“I would totally put it back on the guys that were doing the playing,” Carroll said. “I think that we were able to piece together a bunch of guys that really had something special about them, that the less we did the better they played. I mean, we played in the Super Bowl game, that was one of the simplest game plans we ever played.”
In other words, as the old saying goes, it’s more about the Jimmy’s and the Joe’s than the X’s and the O’s.
Well, actually, this version of the Seahawks might hope it’s not, beginning with Sunday’s 10 a.m. game in Detroit against the Lions.
What to watch for when Seahawks take on Lions in Week 4
RENTON — Depending on how the Seahawks’ game at Detroit goes Sunday, they could do something they haven’t done since before Russell Wilson was quarterback — start 1-3.
The Seahawks head to Detroit as a four-point underdog, and if that holds and they come home with a loss, it would be the first time they were 1-3 since 2011, the year before Wilson arrived. The Seahawks were never worse than 2-2 after four games in Wilson’s decade as QB.
With trip next week to New Orleans, it’s fair to say the next two weeks are pivotal in keeping hope alive.
But first, Detroit.
Here are our weekly keys to the game and prediction.
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