Feb. 26, 2019
Lions Look: Game, Set, Match
A perfectly executed game plan is nigh impossible to beat.
The Seattle Seahawks and the Detroit Lions each came into their game at Ford Field with identical 3-3 records. Both of them needed the win to improve their standing in the NFC.
The big difference? The Seahawks under head coach Pete Carroll have played far more games of consequence than the Lions. And today, it showed.
Seattle offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer made it a point to run right at the Lions' 30th ranked run defense. This would translate into the Seahawks holding a dominating edge in time of possession, all the while making the passing of QB Russell Wilson lethal (as evidenced by his stat line: 14/17 for 248 yards & 3 TD's for a perfect 158.3 passer rating). Defensively, the Seahawks made sure to remain stingy with yardage against Detroit's budding rushing game, be it with the electric Kerryon Johnson and grinder LeGarrette Blount, all the while implementing coverages that would limit Lions quarterback Matt Stafford's options through the air. The Seahawks could not have crafted a better plan nor result for them.
For Detroit, what will be glaring will be the lack of opportunity on offense to respond, with a learning defense taking their lumps today. Over the course of the week, there was excitement over the trade that brought run stuffing defensive tackle Damon Harrison for a fifth round draft pick, as general manager Bob Quinn made a move to address one of the Lions most glaring weaknesses. However, this game serves as a reminder that defense is a team effort. One player, regardless of how good they are, cannot carry an entire unit. Harrison and the defense should improve as the calendar goes into the latest months of the year. The Lions should learn lessons from this game and be ready to respond next week.
The Lions head to US Bank Stadium in Minnesota to face the Vikings in a key divisional game. The teams split road victories last year, with each of them going different directions. The Lions went 9-7 but stayed home in January, as the Vikings posted a 13-3 record and ended their season a game away from the Super Bowl. While Detroit has yet to lose in the two year existence of US Bank Stadium, the Vikings are still a very good football team, one very capable to rip off a string of victories to repeat as NFC North champions and challenge for the conference crown. Both team can use the win here, which will make this one a spirited affair.