Caputo: Lions loss to Seahawks was self-inflicted


Rest assured, there will be much whining about the Lions’ 37-31 loss to Seattle on Sunday.

It will be about poor calls by the officials, it will be how Aidan Hutchinson was held on the deciding play or Jerry Jacobs shouldn’t have been called for pass interference in the end zone. Among other things.

There will be those who start with their “Same Old Lions” antics.

It is not appropriate. The Lions lost Sunday for two overriding reasons.

They turned the ball over three times – one a pick-6 – and their defense was a sieve during the overtime period.

In the process, they gave back a huge win on opening night at Kansas City with a loss to a team they were expected to steam-roll amidst the frenzy at Ford Field.

The Seahawks were whipped in every way by the Rams, but have a championship pedigree, a probable Hall of Fame head coach in Pete Carroll and several outstanding players.

It should not have been a surprise they had a chip on their collective shoulder, took it right to the Lions and kept responding throughout the game.

But so did the Lions, at least until overtime. After the Seahawks’ long initial touchdown drive, following a turnover that led to a touchdown, when the Seahawks went up by 10 after a Tre Brown pick-6 of Jared Goff, the Lions kept bouncing off the deck.

Both teams overcame injuries, penalties, bad calls by the officials and needless mistakes.
Seattle missed two field goals, and the Lions uncharacteristically turned the ball over repeatedly. Yet, there were many clutch and electrifying plays in-between.

If there was ever a game destined for overtime, this was it.

Quarterback play was definitely a factor in Seattle’s favor. Geno Smith, despite not having two starting tackles, outplayed Jared Goff. His superior pocket presence was uncanny. Smith made one clutch throw after another and took care of the ball. Goff was good for the most part, but the pick-6 came on a just a terrible throw and proved fatal to the Lions’ effort.

The edge in coaching also went to the Seahawks. They adjusted offensively with quick timing plays, while the Lions failed to take advantage of Seattle’s injury situation.

Does that mean Goff is a terrible QB? No. He had a costly moment, which was inevitable, considering how remarkably consistently he’d been over the previous 11 games.

Does it mean Dan Campbell belongs in the doghouse after this loss? No, his team still did a lot of things well and played extremely hard. But he might want to check some of his game management decisions and correct the flaws the Seahawks exposed defensively.

Let’s not forget the big picture here. It’s looking pretty good for the Lions. Green Bay also lost Sunday. The Vikings and Bears are winless.

There is no reason whatsoever to panic, just to understand the Lions aren’t good enough to win while being so loose with the football.

No NFL team is.

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