15:00 - OoooOOooo. Kevin Smith in on special teams. Looks like he was activated this week to make sure Stefan Logan doesn't do anytihng stupid. Not a terrible move.
14:54 - Doh! Megatron in single coverage and Stafford with plenty of protection. Throw is nowhere near him. Gulp.
14:08 - Third down conversion! No three-and-out! Ungulp!
13:49 - Overthrow. Gulp: 2, Ungulp: 1.
13:00 - Stafford griping about something to the refs after failing to convert third down. Upon review, he has nothing to complain about.
11:26 - Corey Williams giveth (tackle for loss) and taketh away (offsides). I guess this is why Schwartz is okay with the occasional jump over the line of scrimmage.
10:00 - RULEBOOK TIME!!!
Rule 9 - Section 1 - Article 3:
"During a punt, a field-goal attempt, or a Try Kick, a Team B player [receiving team], who is within one yard of the line of scrimmage at the snap, must have his entire body outside of the snapper's shoulder pads." [emphasis added]In other words, if you are within a yard of the line of scrimmage you cannot be lined up over the center. To the tape! (click to make picture go boom!)
Willie Young is lined up a tad over a yard away from the line of scrimmage just before the snap. He leans in a little bit after this snapshot, but not more than a couple inches. The purpose of this rule is to give the center time to protect himself after snapping the ball to the punter. Young gave him space and time to set himself. This should not have been a penalty.
8:00 - Jonte Green had no idea what to do on this play. He was desperately trying to get a linebacker's attention, but to no avail. The receiver proceeded to find the zone between Green and Tulloch easily.
3:23 - Stafford with two straight check-downs for a good chunk of yards. Gooooood Stafford.
2:40 - Raiola and a pulling Peterman with excellent blocks to seal the inside hole for Leshoure.
0:00 - This was an absoutely beautiful drive. 9 plays, 82 yards. 4 rushes, 5 passes. Zero incompletions. Every play went for 3 yards or more. Balance. Efficiency. Big plays on the ground (16 yards). Big plays through the air (19, 20). Best drive of the season.
14:43 - It seems like every time the Lions offense seems to turn the corner, the team gives up a big play to suck the air out of the optimism balloon. It happened in the fourth quarter in Tennessee, after the Lions came back to take the lead, the Titans returned the ensuing kickoff for a touchdown. And on Seattle's first play after that beautiful drive, Marshawn Lynch goes 77 yards in one play.
14:10 - Of course the Lions' first offensive play after that touchdown is a sack. Of course. Pretty much everyone not named Gosder Cherilus on the offensive line is to blame for this one. Main offenders: Peterman and Backus.
12:16 - If you want to call pass interference on this play, ref, that's fine. There's contact there for sure. But don't specify with the "armbar" disclaimer. There was no armbar.
11:30 - If you need evidence that the Lions are in trouble with their cornerback situation, just watch this drive. It won't take you long. Green can't stick with receivers without a ton of contact, and Alphonso Smith will bite on any fake you give him. Get well, Drayton Florence, Bill Bentley, Jacob Lacey, Dre Bly, Fernando Bryant, and Stanley Wilson.
8:49 - I'd break down this bomb to Titus Young, but you've all seen the replays; Titus just burned him. Instead, I'll let you in on a secret of mine. I LOVE analyzing crowd shots. There's something so pleasurable about seeing all the weird people that attend sporting events. My secret hobby has led me to a couple gems: including this one and this one. Anyway, lets break down the post-Titus TD crowd shot. Luckily, SB Nation was all over this one with a GIF:
There are two AWESOME things about this. #1 is checkered-sweater guy. I guess it's cool that he got the colors right on the sweater, but, come on. The Lions and Tigers are playing today, you've got to have some sort of sports apparel with seats that good. Anyway, he's going in for the high-five, which is risky considering how much Young is into himself. It predictably backfires, but the guy cleverly turns it into a "we're #1!" sign. Very sneaky.
The other awesome, but actually terrible, component of this GIF can be seen in the bottom right corner as the camera zooms out. As everyone is going crazy, there is a guy in a Tigers hat that can't be bothered to lift his head from his phone to celebrate the moment. He may be recording the players on the field, but it seems more likely that this jerk is tweeting something like "OMG, THE LIONS JUST SCORED A GOAL IN FRONT OF ME! MEGATRON IS STANDING NEXT TO ME!" And if he is recording on his phone, HOLD THAT SHIT LANDSCAPE-STYLE, SON!
Okay, enough nonsense, back to the game.
7:22 - Mmmmm. Excellent blitz on third down to force a bad throw and a three-and-out.
6:55 - I don't know what route Titus was running on this play, but it looked a lot like the lets-run-into-the-defender-and-see-where-to-go-from-there route.
4:25 - Another good third down blitz from Cunningham, forcing a quick throw and a completion short of the sticks. Defense holding strong when they aren't getting penalties.
1:10 - Pretty poor clock management on this final drive for the Lions. I get running a draw or two to try and catch the defense sleeping, but they had no play ready to go after and spent 15 seconds waiting for the call to come in.
0:56 - "Not only did they take too much time, they're gonna leave time on the clock now for Seattle." - Something that was ACTUALLY said by A GUY WHO GETS PAID TO SAY THINGS ABOUT FOOTBALL. Ver-batim.
13:07 - Delmas with a magnificent play on the screen. If he doesn't make that tackle, Lynch picks up at least 20 yards.
12:25 - Oy. On the very next play, Delmas gets turned around and beaten terribly by Sidney Rice. Meanwhile, Ricardo Silva takes a bad angle, and both are bailed out by a dropped touchdown pass. Yikes.
12:06 - Stafford is the WORST at dealing with a play when it breaks down. Why he sometimes refuses to throw the ball away baffles me.
10:55 - What an awesome, awesome play on 3rd and 11. This play is solely for Ryan Broyles. The other receivers (specifically Kevin Smith and Brandon Pettigrew) pretend to run routes, but they are actually getting in position to block for when Broyles makes the catch. As you can see, when he catches the ball, he already has two downfield blockers to help get some yards after the catch and pick up the first down.
9:32 - OH. MY. GOD. A pump-fake AND a Stafford scramble on the same play.
8:23 - "I don't care what the coverage is, he deserves 10 targets." That is why you aren't an offensive coordinator. Just the fragment "I don't care what the coverage is" is the most nonsensical thing you can say when discussing offensive strategy.
7:35 - Kudos to Pettigrew for putting his head down, and taking a big hit to pick up the first down on a third and 10. Usually he tries to dance around that contact.
6:27 - Great...execution?!?! Stafford feels the pressure, extends the play with his feet, and Young makes a phenomenal grab....then Pete Carroll makes the worst challenge of all time.
Why, Stafford, why? It's second and three. You have plenty of time and room. What on Earth did you see here? Scheffler is not open and the Seahawks are clearly playing one-high safety, who was there waiting for your pass. Granted there was no one else open and you tried to pull the safety to the right with your eyes, but if you waited one more second, Joique Bell was releasing and could have easily picked up five yards. Terrible decision by Stafford.
1:57 - I still don't think Silva is worthy of being a starter on an NFL roster, but that was a helluva(n?) interception.
13:10 - Stafford. Is. Dealing.
13:02 - Pretty sure the refs just threw a flag because the back judge cannot count properly. Good thing they picked it up.
11:41 - The Lions are the worst quarterback sneaking team in the league. And although I typically have no problem running that play, that was not the time nor the place. The Seahawks are too good in the redzone and too good at stopping the run.
10:52 - Lordy, Corey Williams. He was in the backfield before Wilson had turned to hand the ball off. What a jump. Thanks for no replay, FOX.
9:40 - GAHHHHH. Suh, playing defensive end, drives his man five yards into the backfield, but can't get a hand on Wilson. Meanwhile, Rice finds the hole in the zone and sits there. Backbreaking third-and-long conversion.
6:15 - Not much to say about the fourth down conversion. Tough play to make by Alphonso Smith, just a nano-second too late.
5:27 - I don't know exactly what Ashlee Palmer was doing. He wasn't running his hardest and must have thought the tight end had given up on the play. Credit to Zach Miller for the outstanding catch, but it's always frustrating when a backup gets exploited like that.
3:45 - Another BIG catch in traffic on third down, this time by Calvin Johnson. Amazing what happens when your players make plays when you need them to.
3:24 - ARRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGGGG [/Charlie Brown] This WR screen could have been HUGE. Backus doesn't get much of his man, but Titus escapes anyway and had Raiola and Sims as lead blockers with almost no one in the way.
Raiola picks up the linebacker and Sims takes care of the safety. Touchdown, right?
Not quite. Raiola runs right by the linebacker and the defender makes the play. Raiola can only look back in horror as the guy he failed to pick up tackles Young resulting in a not-touchdown.
Awwww, look at him. It's almost like he knows he did something wrong.
1:51 - Stafford is dealing again. Putting the ball exactly where it needs to be: away from defenders where only the receiver can grab it. Even his overthrow to Scheffler was a nice, safe pass.
0:43 - Okay, the "drop" by Megatron. Beautiful play, beautiful throw. Just absolutely unfortunate that Calvin can't bring it in. He barely had time to turn his head and locate the ball and the reason for that is likely his knee injury. Johnson brought it up specifically when talking about the play, but insisted it was "no excuse." That's just Calvin being Calvin. I think this injury is more serious than he is implying.
0:35 - Why the Lions called a timeout here, I have no idea. Get to the line, run a quick play, and save a timeout. That way, you still have the option to run the ball from the one yard line.
0:22 - Before this play happened, I saw Titus obviously in one-on-one coverage, and I prayed they wouldn't be tempted by it. I was wrong. I apologize. Young came up with a solid catch in tight coverage and won the game. Thank you, Titus. Thank you.