“Autobots, roll out”
That was the message that Peter Cullen (the voice of Optimus Prime from the “Transformers” movies) left on Richard Sherman‘s voice mail, according to the Fox game broadcast of the Seattle Seahawks vs. Detroit Lions. Peter learned that Richard changed his name on twitter to “Optimus Prime” in response to Lions’ receiver Calvin Johnson’s nickname “Megatron”.
Of course the media jumped all over Sherman’s name change, and it made for great bulletin board material for in Lions’ locker-room. I had to jump on it because I grew up watching the cartoon. Between “G.I. Joe” and “Transformers” I was a very happy kid on Saturday mornings.
For the fun of it I decided to match a few players to characters from the movie:
|Optimus Prime – Richard Sherman||Megatron - Calvin Johnson|
|Jazz – Earl Thomas||Starscream - Titus Young|
|Ironhide – Brandon Browner||Frenzy - Matthew Stafford|
|Bumblebee – Kam Chancellor||Bonecrusher - Brandon Pettigrew|
Optimus Prime and the Autobots were able to contain Megatron as expected. Unfortunately, Frenzy was able to find Starscream and Bonecrusher whom were open all day, and the Decepticons stole the show.
Okay, I got the little boy out of me, now I am ready to get down to the nitty gritty.
Every loss is tough to handle, yet I actually feel pretty good about this one. The offense really stepped up and played well Sunday morning, in Detroit. Russell Wilson and company did more then enough to win the away game, if the defense had shown up to play.
It is difficult, yet in defeat we cannot lose sight of how big of a step forward the offense took.
I am left with a feeling of hope. Despite all the talk about how good the Seahawks defense is, they are not elite, they have not arrived.
They are nothing like the 2000 Baltimore Ravens, which is a prime example of what an elite defense looks like. What they are, is a very good, very young, up and coming defense who’s window is a season or two away from opening.
They are loaded with talent but lacking in experience.
Watching the offense Sunday, particularly Russell Wilson, I am left with a feeling of optimism that by the time the defense is ready to become elite, the offense will be good enough to make the Seahawks serious Super Bowl contenders.
Time of Possession
The Seattle Seahawks are built to control the time of possession. On Sunday they couldn’t even keep it close. During the first half, the Lions held the ball for five more minutes then the Seahawks.
The second half, they were able to gain another 5 minutes on the Hawks. Losing the time of possession battle by ten minutes is a disgrace.
Third down had a lot to do with it.
Third down troubles
The offense was not great on third downs during the game, 33%, nevertheless that was not the issue. The problem was that the defense could not get off the field.
The Lions were 12-for-16 (75%) on third down for the game. You cannot win games in the NFL when you play defense like that. During the second half, the defense really fell apart. The Lions were faced with 8 third downs, many of them were third and long situations, and they were able to convert all 8 times.
That is right, the Seahawks defense did not stop the Lions on third down during the second half.
The Seahawks did however, stop the Lions’ first drive of the 3rd quarter with a second down interception by Earl Thomas.
Of course, it came after the Lions had converted on two 3rd and 8′s and one 3rd and 11, and took nearly 7 minutes off of the clock.
I have heard some people blaming half time adjustments for the Seahawks loss this week. I couldn’t disagree more. The Seahawks actually performed slightly better in the second half than they did in the first.
The difference was that the Lions stopped shooting themselves in the foot.
I do have a few bones to pick with the coaching staff. Darrell Bevell, if I could ask him one favor it would simply be “Please stop using the shotgun formation, especially empty backfield, on third and short.”
Today it was a 4th and short that really bothered me, but it is the same concept.
Also, his play calling cost the Seahawks three points at the end of the first half. The Seahawks lost 2-yards when he tried to run an inside trap, instead of throwing the ball to get into field goal range. They ended up trying a 61-yards field goal, which is 7 yards longer Steven Hauschka‘s career long.
Pete Carroll defended the call after the game, as he should.
My final complaint about Bevell’s play calling Sunday is he has got to stop getting in the habit of calling the same basic play down after down until the defense stops it. That works in Madden but not in the NFL.
I will not be surprised if we watch that directly cost the Seahawks a game in the near future.
Defensive coordinator Gus Bradley and Pete Carroll need to figure out a way to cover receivers in the middle of the field. It is tough to do during the season because there isn’t enough time during the week to work on yourself.
I expect them to make some improvements during the bye week. (Maybe we just don’t have the personel? Hopefully Walter Thurmond can lend a hand.)
Enough talking about the negative, I want to end on a high note.
- Russell Wilson had his third 200+ yard game in the last 4 games
- Russell Wilson had his third multiple touchdown game
- Marshawn Lynch had the longest run of his career, 77-yard touchdown
- Marshawn Lynch ran 100+ yards for the 4th time this season
- Golden Tate had 7 receptions in a game for the first time in his career
- Zach Miller caught his first touchdown as a Seahawk
- KJ Wright had his fourth 10+ tackle game of the season and is ranked 8th in the NFL
- Bobby Wagner had his second career 10+ tackle game of his career and is now ranked 13th in the NFL
- Kam Chancellor had his third 10+ tackle game of the season and is currently ranked 18th in the NFL
- The Seahawks defense held Calvin Johnson to 3 receptions for 46-yards
- The Seahawks defense only gave up 84 rushing yards
- Jon Ryan had three punts, all inside the 20-yard line
- Jeremy Lane caught one Ryan punt at the 4-yard line over his shoulder
As I stated above, not the result I would have liked to have seen, yet there are several positives to take away from this game. This is an extremely young team that needs some experience and a few more pieces.
The future is very bright, we just need to be patient.
Fun Seahawks vs. Lions Tweets