If you’re an elite defense, when an offense hands you a 17-7 lead in the second quarter you’re supposed to make it stick, right?
According to Seahawks safety Earl Thomas, the defense shoulders the lion’s share of the blame for Seattle’s 28-24 loss at Detroit.
“Really and truly this should have been a blow out,” Thomas said. “When you let teams hang around, that’s what happens.”
Seattle’s struggles defensively on third down came back to bite them again. The Lions finished with a ridiculous 12 of 16 (75 percent) on third downs today.
Detroit racked up 415 yards of total offense, the most Seattle gave up this season since allowing New England to run up 475 yards of offense a few weeks ago.
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 have been masked by the Seahawks’ inability to move the ball on offense.
But Russell Wilson and Seattle’s offense did a better job of moving the chains today. Wilson finished 25 of 35 for 236 yards and two touchdown passes. He posted a 96.8 passer rating, and completed passes to nine different receivers.
Seattle finished 2 of 3 in the red zone.
And the rookie quarterback once again rallied his team in the fourth quarter, driving Seattle’s offense 80 yards on a 12-play drive that finished with a nice touch pass to tight end Zach Miller for a 16-yard score, giving Seattle a 24-21 lead with 5:27 left to play.
But instead of the offense once again trying to explain away a loss, the defense was tasked with that in the locker room afterwards today.
“You never think you have it in the bag,” Seattle defensive end Chris Clemons said. “You just got to go out there and secure it. That’s the only thing we could have went out there and done. Like I said, they made a few good plays at the end of the game to put themselves in position to score the wining touchdown. So, they did a hell of a job doing that.”
Confusion on Detroit’s touchdown catches
On Detroit receiver Titus Young’s game-winning touchdown catch, cornerback Brandon Browner said that Seattle was in zone coverage, which is why he was playing outside shade on Detroit receiver Titus Young.
Browner said he expected help on any inside routes, and looking at the replay it appears that K.J. Wright was the flat defender on that side of the field, but was too far inside to make any type of play on Young.
“What sad about it is that’s goes on me,” Browner said. “When he goes in, I’m taught to let him go in, and to respect anything coming out. But he threw it in the dirt, and I did what I could from the outside.”
It also sounds like Browner wasn’t too thrilled that Seattle went zone instead of man coverage that close to the goal line.
On Young’s 46-yard touchdown catch in the first half, cornerback Richard Sherman said the breakdown was a communication issue between he and safety Kam Chancellor.
“It was kind of a zone and he just got behind us,” Sherman said. “Me and Kam kind of messed up on it, and it was good ball.”
We’re also starting to see a trend of how team’s will attack Seattle – with a lot of three-step drops and check downs in front of the defense, which allows receivers to make plays after the catch, and does not give Seattle’s pass rushers enough time to get to the quarterback.
The Seahawks finished with two sacks and seven quarterback hurries on 49 pass attempts by Matthew Stafford.
“He did throw it quick,” Clemons said. “I think they went to the same situation Green Bay did on us in the second half – quick throws, getting the ball out of his hands and not letting him hold onto the ball.
“We’ve got to get our hands up and get those balls down. Make him hold the ball, or at least pump it so we can get back there to him.”
Seattle head coach Pete Carroll also said that his defense missed defensive tackle Jason Jones and his ability to push the pocket.
Carroll said that fullback Michael Robinson and receiver Ben Obomanu suffered sprained wrists, and will be evaluated further when the team gets back to Seattle. Carroll said that Golden Tate tweaked his ankle.
Carroll also said he was surprised that Braylon Edwards could not play today because of a swollen knee.
“He woke up this morning and his knee flared up,” Carroll said. “We were surprised. He was surprised as anybody. He tried to get going, tried to run and just couldn’t get going today. He drained his knee and all that kind of stuff, and just came out of nowhere.”