I was SO CLOSE to picking the Seahawks to win this game against the Lions.
It really played out the way I expected. I was all over the Seahawks +4.5. I figured we would keep it close, and that it would come down to the final minutes of the game (either the Lions overtaking us with less than 2 minutes to go, or with us having the ball and not being able to move it anywhere). But, it’s that end portion that got me, and I couldn’t be happier to be wrong!
This was a weird game for me, because I never felt stressed. Part of that has to be due to my mindset coming in; I was so resigned to us blowing it at the end, that victory didn’t even register as a possibility. Not even when we parlayed a Pick-Six into a 10-point lead in the fourth quarter. Sure enough, the Lions drove right down the field and brought the game back to 31-28 five minutes later. We had our usual late-game struggles in our 3-minute offense, which ended as haplessly as possible thanks to Geno taking a 17-yard sack inside our 5-yard line as the 2-minute warning arrived.
What I didn’t anticipate was the Lions – starting their final drive at midfield – playing so conservatively even though they had all three time outs. They dilly-dallied down the field, getting to the 38-yard line on the first play, then letting the clock run down before an 11-yard run took them well inside field goal range. They didn’t use their first time out until 26 seconds were left on the clock, at which point they never seriously tried to score a touchdown. The game went to overtime, and it was the Seahawks who were the aggressors from there, nailing the winning TD pass to Lockett on 3rd & 2 from the 6.
There was a lot to like about what the Seahawks did on offense in this game. We were, indeed, without our starting tackles, which meant that we were forced into a quick passing attack. Geno was able to carve them up pretty good, throwing for 328 yards and 2 TDs, with only the lone sack at the end of regulation against him (which was really on him, since he held it for so long and bafflingly scrambled backwards when he had a chance to throw it away). D.K. had a quiet, yet effective, game (6 for 75); Lockett led the way with 8 for 59 and 2 TDs; JSN added 5 for 34, which was a step in the right direction over week 1. Our tight ends combined for 9 catches and 132 yards. Walker wasn’t able to get a ton of yards (43 on 17 carries), but did close with two touchdowns. Even Charbonnet looked better with 16 yards on 4 carries. That’s as good of a game as you can probably expect from this offense, and most importantly, there were no turnovers.
The Lions, on the other hand, really gave this one away. The fumble at the end of the first half was meaningless (there was no time left on the clock, though it was disturbing we let them get behind us on a de facto hail mary-esque play), but they led off the second half with a fumble, before the aforementioned pick-six (the first interception thrown by Goff in a year). I’m hard-pressed to say the Seahawks were any better on defense this week, though. Goff still finished with 323 yards passing, and as a team they ran for 102 yards on 27 carries (David Montgomery looked unstoppable until he got hurt, getting 67 yards and a TD on 16 rushes). In spite of their turnovers, they still had a good chance to win this game, which says a lot.
Tre Brown had the score for the defense, and all around had a pretty good game, also finishing with a sack and 2 pass breakups. Devon Witherspoon also got a significant run in this one, and looked great at times, but also looked like a rookie at other times. Riq Woolen got knicked up in this one – and missed a good portion of the second half – but he’s apparently going to be “fine”.
We did finally get to see Dre’Mont Jones with a sack on his ledger. The team as a whole had 6 tackles for loss. So, there’s marginal improvement there, but still, I never felt like they were able to take over and dominate an excellent Lions attack.
Lost in the shuffle, we had a couple of missed field goals by Myers, who really does look like he’s on an Every Other Year schedule of being good/bad. There’s definitely a case to be made that this game had no business going to overtime at all, but we’ll see if he’s able to turn things around.
I can’t say that I feel great about the Seahawks right now. But, I also don’t feel like the sky is falling either. This feels disturbingly similar to our 2022 season, but we’ll have to wait and see if this defense is able to gel in the coming weeks. I don’t think we’ll see a tremendous uptick in their performance – except against the truly terrible offenses – but being a Top 15 or even a Top 20 unit feels like a longshot.
The 49ers look like the best team in the NFC right now – winning handily against the Rams in L.A. – and I don’t believe we’ve remotely closed the gap on them. The Rams looked better-than-expected against the 49ers, in spite of their myriad shortcomings. And, even the Cardinals looked frisky for a second week in a row.
The good news is – pending their performance tonight – the Panthers look awful, and have to come out to Seattle next week. The Giants also looked atrocious for their first six quarters, before finally waking up and beating the Cards yesterday. There’s still a solid chance we can get to 3-1 before the BYE week, at which point we head into our portion of the schedule with a lot of middling-looking teams. If we want to hang around, we’ve got to take care of business in this stretch, and hope things start to come together as we head into Thanksgiving.