Here is an understatement: The Lions HAD to have that one.
Head coach Jim Schwartz would never admit that a Week 8 matchup is a must-win game, but that’s exactly what their game against the Seahawks was. The Lions had to get a W, and did just that in their 28-24 victory over Seattle.
Of course, like all Lions game thus far in the season, it wasn’t without its fair share of nail-biting moments.
Like every game so far in 2012, the Lions faced their normal first-half deficit because of their normal tendencies at the beginning of each week. The D-Line still could not contain their excitement and jumped offsides on multiple occasions. Quarterback Matthew Stafford continues to have poor throwing mechanics that cause him to miss open receivers. And the team is always losing the field position battle because of poor special teams’ play (I’m looking at you, Logan).
But just like in the games against the Rams and Eagles, and for much of the season last year, Stafford and Co. find ways to overcome all the mistakes to notch another tally in the win column.
Despite some of the same mistakes we’ve seen all year long, there were plenty of positives to come out of the win.
While inaccurate at times, this was the Matthew Stafford that Lions’ fans have grown accustomed to watching. The fourth-year quarterback had four total touchdowns on the day (3 pass, 1 rush), including the game-pass to Titus Young to cap off an 80-yard drive that nearly ate up the entire game clock to secure the victory.
Speaking of Young, he stepped right into Burleson’s shoes and displayed the flashes we all saw at times during his rookie season. He and rookie wideout Ryan Broyles had their best games of the season by far, combining for 137 yards receiving and three scores. Their ability to get open and catch the football is vital if the Lions want to sustain this sort of offensive production for the rest of the season.
The defense did not have as a good a game as the offense did.
After accounting for nine sacks the past two weeks, the defensive line put up a goose egg. The defensive ends also got sucked into the play action frequently, and did not keep their containment on rollouts. The linebacker play was sup-par as well with DeAndre Levy’s absence being evident, especially when Marshawn Lynch broke free for a 77-yard touchdown scamper. That’s something the LB core is rarely giving up thus far in the year are those big chunks in the ground game.
One of the lone bright spots was that of Ricardo Silva, who was a surprise add to the starting lineup with Amari Spievey out with a concussion. The second-year safety has his suspect moments (out of position on Lynch TD run), but is always making a play when he gets the chance. He picked off a Russell Wilson pass in Lions territory right after Stafford gave the Seahawks the ball with an interception of his own.
The Lions did what they had to do, though. Get a home victory against an NFC opponent was key if they wanted any shot at making the playoffs in 2012.
Next on the docket is another must-win, but for a much different reason. The Lions need to get back to beating the teams they should beat. The Jaguars are one of those teams, and there is no reason the Lions should have to come back from a deficit to get a win in Jacksonville.