DETROIT—If it wasn’t already clear before then, it was definitely evident that the Seahawks were having a good day Sunday when, late in the fourth quarter, punter Michael Dickson ran, from his own end zone, for 9 yards to pick up a first down and all but seal a 28-14 victory over the Detroit Lions.
Here are five rapid reactions to the Seahawks’ win, their fourth in five games:
1. That was an impressive and important victory.
In the day’s leading up to this week’s game, Seahawks coach Pete Carroll and his players weren’t willing to declare this “a big game” or a “must win,” because that would go against Carroll and his team’s approach that every game is a championship opportunity, and therefore they’re all equally big.
Even so, Carroll knew that if his team could leave Detroit with a victory, it would be a pretty impressive accomplishment given that it was a road game against a quality opponent that, like Seattle, had turned its season in the right direction by winning three of its last four games.
“We have a lot of regards for the way they’re playing, and if we can get a game here and win one against these guys, it’s going to be a really good statement for us that we’ve again gone on the road and played another good football game,” Carroll said Friday. “We have our expectations very high. We realize it’s going to be very difficult. Coming out of it, it will be a really good accomplishment because of the makeup of their team.”
By winning, the Seahawks improved to 4-3 and have won four of five since an 0-2 start. Making their recent success even more impressive is that the Seahawks have played five of those seven games on the road.
And the Seahawks didn’t just come to Detroit and escape with a close win—which would have been impressive in its own right—they went on the road and put together a pretty dominant performance, outgaining Detroit 413-331, winning the turnover battle 3-0 and enjoying a huge time-of-possession advantage, 34:55 to 25:05.
2. Russell Wilson and the entire offense were on fire.
Russell Wilson began his day by completing 10 straight passes before finally throwing an incompletion, and he stayed hot for pretty much the entire game, completing 14 of 17 passes for 248 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions, giving him a perfect 158.3 passer rating. That marked the first time a Seahawks quarterback has had a perfect passer rating (minimum 10 pass attempts) in the regular season (Dave Krieg did it once in a 1983 playoff win over Denver).
And Wilson was far from alone in having a big game; nearly everyone on offense had a big game, from the receivers and tight ends Ed Dickson and Nick Vannett, to running backs Chris Carson and Mike Davis, to a line that again paved the way for a big day running the ball (176 yards on 42 carries) while also giving Wilson time to operate in the pocket.
The Seahawks went 6 for 12 on third down, including 6 for 8 through three quarters before their focus shifted to running out the clock. The Seahawks also once again took care of the ball on offense, going without a turnover for the fourth time in five games.
“He did a great job. He played a great football game today. What did he throw the ball for, 15 times?" Carroll said of Wilson before adding, "When you run the ball like this, you went for almost 250 in 14 completions. Awesome game. And I think we were pretty good on third down again too, 50 percent or something like that. That’s the makeup of—it’s really hard to beat you when you play like that and we’re fired up for him.”
Oh, and Seattle’s receivers not only keep making big plays, their celebration game is on point as well.
3. Seattle’s defense keeps making plays.
Matthew Stafford and the Lions offense made some plays and put up a total of 331 yards, but overall Seattle’s defense played very well once again against a very good offense.
With two takeaways on defense, the Seahawks continued to dominate in that statistical category, and are now plus-10 in turnover differential this season. The Seahawks also ended Stafford’s five-game streak of posting a passer rating over 100.
Perhaps most impressively, Seattle held rookie running back Kerryon Johnson, who came into the game averaging 6.4 yards per carry, to just 22 yards on eight carries, and limited the Lions as a team to just 34 rushing yards.
The pass-rush wasn’t able to repeat the type of success it had producing six sacks against the Raiders, but facing a quarterback who is very difficult to sack, Frank Clark and Shamar Stephen both came up with big third-down sacks to end Lions drives, and overall Seattle finished with four sacks, the most by a Lions opponent this season.
And while it came on special teams, safety Tedric Thompson also came up with his own huge play, forcing a fumble on a kick return, a turnover that set up Seattle’s second touchdown and helped change the game’s momentum.
“We’re working really hard at it," Carroll said of his team's ability to force turnovers. "It’s ongoing forever, all the time, every day from a mental emphasis. And I’m really fired up to get to where we are and we’re close to the top of the League, which is good. But really, we set our sights on being in double digits in game eight and here we are. So, that’s a big accomplishment and it makes such a difference in the game and for them, too. They go minus-three and we’re plus-three, so it’s a big deal. It’s hard to win when it happens on the other side.”
4. David Moore and Chris Carson were seventh-round steals.
The farther we get into the season, the crazier it is to think that both Chris Carson and David Moore were available in the seventh round of the 2017 draft.
Carson showed early last year that he was a draft bargain, winning the starting job before suffering a season-ending injury in Week 4, but he has been even more impressive year. Carson, who came into the game with 352 rushing yards through five games, had his third 100-yard game of the season, gaining 105 yards on 25 carries, including a 7-yard touchdown run early in the fourth quarter to give the Seahawks a three-score lead.
Moore didn’t make an immediate impact like Carson, spending most of last season on the practice squad, but he has been spectacular of late, and on Sunday he had four catches for 97 yards, including a 15-yard touchdown that was his fourth score in the past three games.
5. Ed Dickson had an impressive Seahawks debut.
The Seahawks signed Ed Dickson in March hoping the veteran tight end could help their offense, but thanks to a couple of injuries, he missed training camp and had to start the year on the non-football injury list.
Dickson made his Seahawks debut against the Lions Sunday, and wasted little time making his presence felt with his new team. Dickson hauled in a very impressive 12-yard touchdown catch, going over a defensive back who had good position. Later in the game, Dickson picked up 42 yards on a third-and-1 play-action pass.
“It’s a great boost," Carroll said of Seattle returning players like Dickson from injury. "Of course they play on the field, but it’s even more than that. Particularly for Ed, he had a nice game today. We hadn’t seen him play. He went out, he had his chance to make some stuff happen and will help us moving forward."
- Carroll said the Seahawks dedicated Sunday's win to team owner Paul G. Allen, who died nearly two weeks ago from complications of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. “The first thing I’d like to say is this is the first game since Mr. Allen passed," Carroll said to open his postgame press conference. "He passed away about two weeks ago, so we had the opportunity just once again, and I’ll know we’ll continue to celebrate, there’s so many reasons to celebrate his life, so we did in the locker room and gave him the game ball. Gave it to (Seahawks Vice-Chairman) Bert Kolde, his best friend, and just kind of make sure we connect the spirit one more time and we’ll continue to do that. Without Paul, none of us would be here. We’re very grateful and appreciative and we’ll continue to feel that connection and play for that."
- Carroll didn't have much injury information following the game, only noting safety Bradley McDougald came out of the contest at times because he was sick.
Photos of Seahawks fans in attendance at the team's Week 8 road game against the Detroit Lions.