In the first half of the Detroit Lions’ Week 17 matchup against the Seattle Seahawks, they looked completely outmatched. Seattle, who came into this game barely averaging over 20 points per game, was crushing Detroit’s defense. Running back Rashaad Penny had 144 rushing yards by halftime.
Offensively, the Lions couldn’t find a rhythm with backup quarterback Tim Boyle behind center. By halftime, the Lions were already down 31-7.
And while the Lions were able to show off some fireworks in the second half, including an awesome touchdown pass to left tackle Taylor Decker, they were never truly in this one. The Lions would make the final score look a lot better with some garbage time touchdowns, but Detroit’s defense still couldn’t get a stop, and the Seahawks walked away with a dominant 48-29 victory.
Here’s how it happened.
The Lions won the toss and deferred, and Detroit’s defense quickly rewarded the decision. Pressure forced two incomplete passes from Russell Wilson and the Seahawks quickly went three-and-out.
Detroit’s offense was moving pretty well on their first drive of the game, but when they got into Seahawks territory, they faced a fourth-and-1. Dan Campbell, as he has done all season, decided to go for it. Jamaal Williams came up short, which was upheld upon replay when Campbell challenged it.
Seattle’s offense got a spark and tallied the first points of the game. Bolstered by a 20-yard run from Rashaad Penny, the Seahawks worked their way into the red zone. A few plays later, Penny punched it in from 15 yards out, breaking tackle attempts from Charles Harris and Tracy Walker. 7-0 Seahawks.
The Lions offense was able to pick up a single first downs before Tim Boyle misfired on a couple passes. Detroit quickly punted the ball back to Seattle.
Penny continued to hurt the Lions defense with rushes of 13 and 23 yards on the ensuing drive, but Detroit’s defense forced a long field goal attempt. Seahawks kicker Jason Myers was good from 51 yards, pushing the score to 10-0 Seahawks.
Detroit faced a third-and-8 to start the second quarter, and Boyle was strip sacked and the Seahawks recovered. However, upon review it was ruled his arm was going forward, so the Lions punted it away.
The review wouldn’t matter much, as the Seahawks gained 58 yards on a coverage bust from the Lions defense. The next play, Penny scored from 6 yards out. 17-0 Seahawks.
Godwin Igwebuike tried to give the Lions a spark with a huge 47-yard kickoff return. It worked, as Amon-Ra St. Brown had two key plays on the drive. First, he picked up 16 on a second-and-7. Then, on a third-and-10, St. Brown took a draw out of the backfield for an impressive 26-yard touchdown run. 17-7 Seahawks.
But the Seahawks offense continued to hammer Detroit’s defense. Wilson connected with Tyler Lockett for a 28-yard gain over AJ Parker. A sack from Austin Bryant would give Detroit an opportunity to get off the field and mitigate the damage to a field goal attempt. But Seattle picked up 7 yards on a third-and-8 and Wilson successfully converted fourth down on a sneak. Three plays later, the Lions sent a zero blitz and Will Harris bit on the double move, leaving a wide open D.K. Metcalf for the score. 24-7 Seahawks.
Detroit’s offense quickly went three-and-out after Boyle threw three straight incomplete passes, and the rout was on. Penny picked up where he left off with a 37-yard run that pushed Seattle into field goal position. But Seattle had no interest in settling for a field goal, and they would not. A 1-yard pass to Lockett would close out the 90-yard drive. 31-7 Seahawks.
With 21 seconds left, the Lions ran a draw to D’Andre Swift that picked up 31 yards and gave Detroit an outside chance at points before the break. But Riley Patterson missed a 55-yard field goal to keep the score 31-7 at the half.
Somehow, the third quarter got off to an even worse start for Detroit. On the first offensive play of the half, Boyle fumbled the snap then hurried a pass to KhaDarel Hodge. It was inaccurate, tipped in the air and intercepted by the Seahawks.
Two plays later, the Seahawks punched it in for a 38-7 Seahawks lead.
Boyle remained in the game for Detroit, and he finally settled into a little bit of a rhythm. First, he completed 20-yard pass to St. Brown. Then he laid a perfect pass to Hodge who made this impressive diving grab at the 1-yard line.
After struggling to punch it in via the running game, they just let St. Brown do it for his second touchdown of the game. He picked up the two-point conversion, as well. 38-15 Seahawks.
The Lions tried to make it a game by successfully recovering an onside kick. After a 31-yard St. Brown fourth-down pickup, Detroit was in the red zone. After attempting to throw a touchdown to extra offensive tackle Matt Nelson, they tried a similar play with Taylor Decker, and the veteran left tackle made good on it. 38-22 Seahawks.
But Wilson looked to stop the miracle comeback with an impressive drive. He converted on two third-and-7s to drive Seattle into the red zone as the clock turned over into the fourth quarter.
A scramble from Wilson set Seattle up first-and-goal from the 1-yard line, and on the next play Metcalf scored his third touchdown of the day. 45-22 Seahawks.
Boyle would look a little more comfortable in the fourth quarter, leading the Lions on another touchdown drive, albeit against a Seahawks defense likely playing prevent. Jamaal Williams would finish off the drive from the 1-yard line. 45-29 Seahawks.
Detroit would not recover this onside kick, essentially ending the game. The Seahawks would add a couple of field goals. Tim Boyle would throw two more interceptions, and the Lions would lose the game to a final score of 51-29.