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Who’s to blame in the passing game? Game 7

Look at the top of the shot. There you’ll see the now patented Chris Houston 10-yard cushion.

Another week, another opportunity to fling some mud and make broad, over-generalized statements. But this time the Lions actually won. The pass defense, with its rotating cast of characters, was quite average against a quite average QB in Russell Wilson The Seahawks didn’t ask Wilson to do too much, and in turn he didn’t, yet somehow ended up with a pretty solid stat line: 25/35 for 236 yards, two touchdowns and one interception.

But like always, you have to add in a pass interference penalty and this time, Louis Delmas got a nice little defensive holding penalty before he injured himself running into his own guy after he was beat and the receiver dropped the ball. So really Wilson was 26/36 for 276 yards, with two touchdowns and one interception. Let’s not waste any time.

Personnel

Whew, this ought to be a fun category. Bill Bentley is out for the season after having surgery on his shoulder. Jacob Lacey and Amari Spievey didn’t play because of concussions. And Louis Delmas left the game with the aforementioned knee injury.

Ricardo Silva played pretty much the whole game at safety, Chris Houston and Jonte Green were your corners for most of the  day. Erik Coleman saw some time on the field. The best part, however, was when our old nemesis Alphonso Smith, a cornerback who was placed back on the team literally a couple of weeks ago was forced to play safety! Hooray! Good times were had by all. Especially Sidney Rice.

Pass touchdowns

There were two:

Sidney Rice, nine-yard pass from Russell Wilson.

Yeah, when you put Alphonso Smith one-on-one with Sidney Rice it isn’t probably going to work out too well for the defense. Rice ran straight, Smith backed up straight. Then Rice made a cut to his left and Smith was lost. Rice caught the ball with Smith 5 yards away.

Zach Miller, 16-yard pass from Russell Wilson.

Miller made a great catch using one hand to tip it into his body and then making the catch. But he also had considerable room to make the play. The Lions were in man-to-man, Ashlee Palmer had Miller. Stephen Tulloch had running back Marshawn Lynch. Lynch leaked out of the backfield and in the process of running to cover him, Tulloch decided to run right into Miller. The collision left a little space between Miller and Palmer, especially on a throw near the sideline. While it’s primarily Tulloch’s fault, Palmer did kind of quit on the play after getting picked.

Interceptions

Ricardo Silva had the Lions’ only interception with about two minutes to go in the third quarter.

The Lions were in Cover 2. The Seahawks had the right play call, Sidney Rice was wide open on the go route behind the corner and in front of the safety down the sideline, but Wilson overthrew him. Silva read the play well, and had the throw been better Silva probably would have delivered an absolutely enormous hit on Rice. But Silva saw the ball was overthrown and that he had a chance to make the interception, so he bailed on the hit and went for the ball, making the interception and returning it 23 yards.

Chart

Player Yards allowed Good plays Touchdowns Interceptions Yards/Good plays/TD Diff.
Linebackers 96.5 0 1 0 +45.5/-5/0
GAMEPLAN 56 0 0 0 +39/0/0
Jonte Green 56 1 0 0 +23/1/0
Chris Houston 28.5 0 0 0 -11.5/-2/0
Ricardo Silva 18 2 0 1 N/A
Alphonso Smith 14 0 1 0 N/A
Louis Delmas (injured) 6 1 0 0 N/A

What have we learned?

Chris Houston didn’t have a bad game, but it’s pretty obvious he doesn’t have the speed to be a number one corner. The 10-yard cushions were back when he faced Sidney Rice, although there were a couple times he played more straight up. NFL teams aren’t dumb. When the Seahawks needed a middle yardage completion, Sidney Rice ran a comeback route in front of Houston.

Not the best game for the linebackers.

Alphonso Smith wasn’t a complete disaster, but make no mistake, he still sucks.

Then there’s Ricardo Silva. Defensive coordinator Gunther Cunningham told reporters this week that Silva has been one of the biggest surprises he’s seen since he’s been a coach. Silva sucked when came in two years ago. He probably still sucks now. But last week he was actually pretty good.

At least something good came out of the 1452 different injuries the Lions secondary has had.

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