Lions vs Seahawks: Detroit's Biggest Winners and Losers from NFL Week 7
For most of the first half of the Detroit Lions 28-24 victory over the Seattle Seahawks, Lions fans must have been experiencing deja vu. Like every other game this season, the Lions offense got outplayed and their defense gave up tons of yards via penalties and big plays.
The second half was a different story, though. The offense put together a clock-eating drive in the third, converted third downs, scored in the red zone and secured another fourth-quarter come-from-behind victory.
It wasn't the dominant win that some fans have been waiting for, but a win is a win. It was desperately needed to keep pace in the NFC.
As with any game, there were performances that carried the Lions to victory and others that didn't.
Here are the Lions' winners and losers from Week 7.
* All stats courtesy of ESPN
Winner: Coverage Units
Much maligned all year, for good reason, the Lions' coverage units came up huge against Seattle.
They didn't allow any big returns and kept the always dangerous Leon Washington under wraps. He was held to under 9.7 yards on three punt returns.
They also held Seattle to under 20 yards (17) per kickoff return.
Given the well-documented failings the Lions special teams have demonstrated, this game was their best so far. It appears that the wrinkles that were causing problems have been effectively ironed out.
Danny Crossman might just survive the season after all.
Loser: Stefan Logan
While the Lions' coverage unit bounced back, the return unit did not. Or should I say, Stefan Logan did not.
After the big fumble last Monday against the Chicago Bears, Logan needed a big game to make everyone forget. He failed to do that.
In fact, he failed to do anything memorable. That could be said about every game this season though.
That might be harsh criticism, but it is warranted. Logan has given the Lions nothing in the return game all year, and against Seattle, that didn't change. He returned a punt six yards and averaged 21 yards per kickoff return.
Can you say ho-hum? He offers Detroit zero big-play potential, and it's time they look to someone else to make an impact. Titus Young. Patrick Edwards. Ryan Broyles.
The Lions have choices, and they should make a change now.
Winner: Ryan Broyles
After Ryan Broyles' performance against Seattle Lions' fans should be asking, "Nate Burleson who?"
That's because Broyles was a difference-maker. He didn't simply catch the ball, he made plays in key situations. He also had the second-best yards-per-catch average on the day behind Calvin Johnson.
Sure, he only caught three balls, but the number doesn't matter. It's what he did with them.
In the Lions' second drive of the first quarter, Broyles turned a six or seven-yard pass into a 19-yard gain. He also scored the first touchdown of the game on that same drive.
In the third quarter, he extended a Lions drive with a big 12-yard catch on third down.
Needless to say, it was a big game for the rookie, and he made his presence known.
As important as Burleson was to this team, Broyles won't be a downgrade on the field. In fact, he has potential for much more.
Loser: Louis Delmas
Louis Delmas was all over the field for nearly three-fourths of the game. He only tallied three tackles, but all of them were big plays.
One in particular was a spectacular one-on-one tackle on Marshawn Lynch that saved a potential touchdown.
However, it wasn't long before Delmas' old friend, the injury bug, came calling. He went down in the third quarter with a knee injury and didn't return.
According to the Detroit Free Press, Delmas was examined on the sideline and then taken into the locker room for the rest of the game.
There will be an official announcement soon enough. Until then, Lions fans will keep their fingers crossed. Another serious injury will spell trouble for Delmas' hopes of a lucrative contract, though.
It may also spell trouble for his future in Detroit.
Winner: Brandon Pettigrew
Brandon Pettigrew might have flown under the radar all day, but he quietly put together his most consistent game versus the Seahawks.
He caught seven passes for 74 yards and seemed to really click with Matthew Stafford. Whenever the Lions needed a chunk of yards, Pettigrew was there to catch the ball and turn upfield.
More importantly he didn't drop any passes and he didn't fumble—in or out of bounds.
He didn't score, but touchdowns aren't his forte. He's a a guy that racks up catches and yards and extends drives. He played within himself, didn't turn the ball over and had a great day.
That's all anyone can ask of him.
Loser: Lions Defense
The Lions won the game, so one could say that the defense did what it had to do to win. However, anyone that watched the Seahawks game knows that the Lions defense was not at its best.
What was surprising is that the Lions' injury-depleted secondary was not the culprit. In fact, substitute Ricardo Silva grabbed a key interception in the third quarter.
It was mainly the defensive line that disappointed. After a great game against the Bears last week, it failed to make a significant impact against the Seahawks. It committed penalties, gave up big plays and failed to get any pressure on quarterback Russell Wilson.
Most shocking was, it didn't get a single sack and only hit Wilson three times. Because of this, he was allowed to have one of the best games of his young career.
They also gave up a 77-yard touchdown run to Marshawn Lynch. Without that run, Seattle would have only tallied 56 yards on the day.
Unlike last week, the defense came up short. It was the Lions offense that bailed them out. Lucky for them, the Lions won, so a lot will be forgiven.
Winner: Matthew Stafford
After the Seattle game, Matthew Stafford's critics will be silent. They won't mention the mechanics trouble that often is blamed for his slow start, and there won't be any of talk of him being overrated.
Stafford led the Lions to yet another come-from-behind victory in the fourth quarter. He also added a rushing touchdown of his own.
Most impressive was that he was accurate and consistently hit the underneath passes he'd been missing all season. He also spread the ball around to seven receivers who had two or more receptions.
Stafford and Calvin Johnson still haven't recaptured their dominant ways from last year, but maybe they don't need to right now. Stafford didn't force the ball to Johnson as he's done before. He took what the defense gave him, and it worked.
He only connected with Johnson three times, but the Lions won. That's all the Lions care about.
If Stafford continues to work the ball around and prove that the Lions have other weapons—as he did against the Seahawks—defenses will soften and Johnson will open up.
Who needs perfect mechanics anyway? Stafford is fine, and he always has been.
Loser: Calvin Johnson
Megatron was certainly not defeated by Optimus Prime or any of the other Seahawks defenders. As good as they are, they did not prevent Calvin Johnson from having a big game.
Johnson's struggles were self-inflicted. He only caught three passes for 46 yards. He also dropped three catchable balls, including one sure-fire touchdown.
This is not the Megatron Lions fans have grown accustomed too.
Although the Lions haven't announced anything, it appeared as if Johnson was hurting the entire game. The dropped balls were a clue, but he was slow to get up after every play. In fact, several of them, he needed help getting up.
Regardless, if he's nicked up, he was on the field and did have a 25-yard reception. There's no excuse for three dropped balls. Lions fans expect that kind of performance from Titus Young or Brandon Pettigrew, but not from Johnson.
He needs to return to form if the Lions hope to keep up their winning ways.
Winner: Titus Young
It took him seven weeks, but the Lions' Titus Young finally decided to show himself. He's been the poster boy for the Lions' disappointing season thus far.
Like his team, he hasn't come close to living up to expectations. Against the Seahawks, he had his best game of the season and one of the best of his career.
His nine catches on the day were the highest of his career, as were his 99 yards. He added a touchdown in the first half and celebrated in typical fashion.
The celebration was a bit premature, but it was nice to see the Lions' deep threat actually prove that he is one on his 46-yard touchdown reception.
He also made a huge play on third down when he made a diving nine-yard catch. In previous weeks, he would have dropped it. This week he did not.
He put a cap on the day with the game winning TD. A quick-slant pass that Stafford put where only Young could get it. He held on and the rest is history.
Young needs to string together a few more performances like this one to change perceptions, but for now, he's the Lions' biggest winner from Week 7.
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