Seahawks vs. Lions: Seattle's Atrocious Third-Down Defense Forces Them to 4-4

Tyson LanglandNFC West Lead WriterOctober 28, 2012

DETROIT - OCTOBER 28: Wide receiver Titus Young #16 of the Detroit Lions celebrates after a game-winning, one-yard touchdown catch in the fourth quarter against the Seattle Seahawks October 28, 2012 at Ford Field in Detroit, Michigan. The Lions won 28 - 24. (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)
Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images

After a strong win against New England just two weeks ago, Weeks 7 and 8 haven't gone as planned for Pete Carroll's club. Last week Seattle's offense couldn't catch a pass if they tried, and today Gus Bradley's defense couldn't stop a nose bleed.

They would do a great job of barring down on first and second down, but then on third down, Detroit would easily convert and get a first down. Any offense that converts 75 percent of its third-down opportunities should come out victorious.

Time of possession directly correlates with the number of third-down conversions the Lions had. Getting 12-of-16 on third down and a 34:43 time of possession has to make offensive coordinator Scott Linehan a happy man.

Unfortunately, this type of defensive performance on third down is something Seahawk fans are all too familiar with. Earlier in the year, this same problem allowed the Rams to hang tough Week 4 and eventually pull off the 19-13 victory.

Today's loss drops Seattle to 1-4 on the road. I said it earlier this week: If the 'Hawks want to truly challenge San Francisco for the division, they need to learn to win on the road. With a defense as strong as Bradley's, 24 points offensively should be enough week in and week out.

As if the poor play on third-down and time of possession wasn't bad enough, the 415 yards of total offense the Seahawks defense surrendered was the most yards they had given up on the road since Week 6 of 2011. Even though they don't always score the most points on the road, their defense always comes to play.

Here's the question I beg: How does a team that has had 10 days of rest come out and play so lethargically on defense? Every time Matthew Stafford needed a first down, the middle of the field was open. With the success Brandon Browner and Richard Sherman have had on the outside, Coach Carroll should have known Detroit was going to attack them over the middle with the tight end.

It's not unfair to say Carroll was out-coached by Jim Schwartz today. Don't get me wrong, there were some good plays, but then again there were plenty of bad plays that negated the good ones. A shame, really—another wasted effort by Marshawn Lynch. 

In back-to-back weeks, he has eclipsed the 100-yard mark, yet in back-to-back weeks they haven't been able to escape defeat. Usually a 100-yard game from Lynch means the Seahawks are on their way to victory. Although, this season hasn't played into that trend. Seattle is 1-3 when No. 24 eclipses the century mark.

Given the state of the NFC this year, next week's game against Minnesota may prove to be a must-win going into their bye week.


Follow @TysonNFL on Twitter