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Seahawks Show Resilience In Victory That Was "An Opportunity Captured"

After a disappointing Week 1 loss, the Seahawks responded with a road victory over a tough opponent.

Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Tyler Lockett (16) scores the game winning touchdown during an NFL football game on Sunday, September 17, 2023 in Detroit, Michigan. (Luke Hales/NFL)
Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Tyler Lockett (16) scores the game winning touchdown during an NFL football game on Sunday, September 17, 2023 in Detroit, Michigan. (Luke Hales/NFL)

After Tyler Lockett dove for the pylon to score the game-winning touchdown, and after the Seahawks had a raucous postgame celebration in the visitors' locker room at Ford Field, after things calmed down a bit following a thrilling overtime win over the Lions, Seahawks players and head coach Pete Carroll could start to fully take stock of what the 37-31victory meant to the team.

Following a season-opening loss to the Rams in which they were outscored 23-0 in the second half, the Seahawks made the point that one loss, no matter how ugly, did not have to define their season. A week later in Detroit, facing a talented team in a very loud environment, the Seahawks proved themselves right.

Given how poorly things went in the second half last week, and considering what the Seahawks had going against them—both starting tackles were out with injuries, and the Lions, one of the league's up-and-coming teams, were playing their home opener in front of a frenzied crowd after opening their season with a road win over the defending-champion Kansas City Chiefs—there were plenty of people outside of the organization that had already penciled in an 0-2 start for Seattle.

Then once the game got going, the Lions responded to an early Seahawks touchdown with two of their own to take a 14-7 lead, and that first half also saw two of Seattle's top players, receiver DK Metcalf and cornerback Riq Woolen, leave with injuries—Metcalf was able to return, while Woolen did not.

But as so many of the best Seahawks teams under Pete Carroll and John Schneider have done over the years, this team showed the ability to fight through those obstacles and come out on top. Call it resilience, call it grit, call it tenacity, whatever word you choose, the Seahawks showed it Sunday in Detroit.

"That was an opportunity captured today," Carroll said. "We have so much respect for them and the way they started the season with the time they've had in building up this team, winning at KC and all that on the road, knowing that the stadium was going to be perfect in their support, it was going to be as hard as it can get, so the opportunity was just magnified in that regard. I mean in all honesty, we win a game and that's really important, but for our young team and for our guys to understand what it is, we've been talking about it and believing in finishing and doing the stuff that they needed to do in this game, and do right all the way through the end of the game, it wound up all the way to the end of the fourth quarter and all the way into OT. It's hard to measure how valuable that is for us.

"This is just a coach just overflowing with praise for our guys because of the way we came through. And we needed this badly. We know what happened last week and we stunk it up in the second half and we were ready to show that we were ready to show that we could play anybody, anywhere, anytime. And I'm so thrilled that we can say we got away with a win here."

Trailing by a touchdown at halftime, and with Detroit getting the ball to start the second half, the Seahawks had their work cut out for them, but things began to turn when on the first play from scrimmage, Uchenna Nwosu forced a fumble that was recovered by Jarran Reed, giving the offense a short field it would turn into a touchdown. Tre Brown, who took over for Woolen, added another turnover in the fourth quarter, returning an interception 40-yards for a touchdown. The defense also came up with a pair of fourth-down stops, the second of which led to good field position that the offense again converted into a touchdown.

On the other side of the ball, Geno Smith had what Carroll called “a spectacular day,” throwing for 328 yards and two touchdowns, both to Tyler Lockett, and the Seahawks also got big games from DK Metcalf, tight ends Will Dissly, Noah Fant and Colby Parkinson, and running back Kenneth Walker III, who despite being held to 43 rushing yeards, was able to score two touchdowns and convert on a crucial fourth-and-1. All of those performances were made possible, in part, by the play of tackles Stone Forsythe and Jake Curhan, who were in the lineup in place of injured starters Charles Cross and Abraham Lucas.

"To me, it's everything to us to get (the Week 1 loss) put behind us and get going," Carroll said. "Unfortunately, we have to drag the loss with us, but this was such an extraordinary opportunity with a team that we hold in such high regard, that this can jump start us and get us rolling and we're really excited about that. That wasn't us in the second half (against the Rams) we just—it's just a game that we have to live with. Maybe it was one of the great lessons for us."

Lockett, who had two touchdowns, a crucial third-and-10 conversion among his eight catches, linked Sunday's win to being able to respond after taking an unexpected punch.

"It was a tough week, just because the loss that we had last week, I think for a lot of people, we were just kind of like, 'Whoa, what happened?'" Lockett said. "We really had to sit down with ourselves—you could say it was a wakeup call—but I think it was one of those things where you're standing and you just get punched, you're just kind of like, 'Whoa, did you punch me?' So we to just learn how to be able to respond."

And while Sunday' win was the result of so many plays and moments that occurred at Ford Field on Sunday, it was in some ways a victory that got its start on Wednesday when linebacker and team captain Bobby Wagner gave a speech before the start of practice. After Wagner helped get players on the right track with that speech, the team responded with a good week of practice that culminated in Sunday's win.

"Until Bobby said something, I had not had the impact that I wanted to Monday, Tuesday, to get to Wednesday, and then Bobby called them up on Wednesday and just hit them right between the eyes," Carroll said. "We just flipped instantly, from the time he talked to them to we turned it around it was over and done with and we were on to this game. Which is what we're supposed to do on Wednesday I just didn't get it done, he got it done for us. So it doesn't matter however we figure it out, but that was a pivotal moment for us, for sure it was. They all heard him, and listened, did exactly what he asked them to do. That's leadership."

Outside linebacker Uchenna Nwosu said of that Wednesday speech, "We needed it. Guys were more attention to detail, guys were more focused, brought more energy and more juice. Last week wasn't Seahawks football, so we had to come with the right mindset going into this week."

The Seahawks have at least 15 more games to write the story of their 2023 season, but over the course of four quarters and a game-winning overtime drive, they felt like they got that season back on track.

"For us to come and perform the way that we did today, I think it just shows you who we are as a team, and it shows us as well," Smith said. ".Now, we can look back on this and say, 'This is who we are,' and we've just got to stay steadfast in that and continue to work harder."

Check out the best sights from the sidelines following a thrilling 37-31 overtime win over the Detroit Lions during Week 2 of the 2023 season. Easy To Celebrate photos are presented by Bud Light.

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