|Seattle 9||Detroit 6|
|September 10, 2006||Ford Field-Attendance: 60,535 (65,000)||Time: 2:52|
|DET||FG||8:00||Jason Hanson 44 yard field goal attempt is good.||0||3|
|SEA||FG||5:59||Josh Brown 20 yard field goal attempt is good.||3||3|
|SEA||FG||0:00||Josh Brown 51 yard field goal attempt is good.||6||3|
|DET||FG||7:05||Jason Hanson 37 yard field goal attempt is good.||6||6|
|SEA||FG||0:00||Josh Brown 42 yard field goal attempt is good.||9||6|
|Team Stat Comparison|
|3rd down efficiency||2-11||5-14|
|4th down efficiency||0-0||0-0|
|Yards per pass||4.9||5.3|
|Yards per rush||3.5||2.2|
You can bet the Seattle Seahawks want nothing more to do with Ford Field.
Not only did they lose the Super Bowl to the Pittsburgh Steelers here in February, they almost lost to the Lions in the season opener Sunday -- something most wouldn't have thought possible by just looking at the two teams on paper.
After all, most expect the Seahawks, last season's NFC champs, to make another run at the Super Bowl. The Lions are hoping to earn their first winning season since 2000.
Yet, the Seahawks needed an impressive, pressure-filled drive at the end to produce Josh Brown's winning, 42-yard field goal with no time left on the clock. In the end, the Seahawks will thank their lucky stars and not look back. That was evident with the way some Seahawks celebrated after the game.
"It was a great way to finish it," Brown said. "For a moment, it looked like it might go the other way.
"But we were able to get down the field far enough and had the chance to make the field goal."
Seattle was its own worst enemy before the final drive. The Rams moved the ball early, but two field-goal attempts were blocked and they trailed, 3-0, after the first quarter. It was the first time since Nov. 12, 2004, at St. Louis that Seattle didn't generate a touchdown.
"It was a dynamic offensive struggle," Seattle coach Mike Holmgren said. "Give credit to Rod Marinelli and the Lions. They played a very inspired, hard-fought football game and it's evident that they're going to battle the whole time.
"We feel good about the win, however."
And with good reason. Not only did quarterback Matt Hasselback not have a stellar day (210 yards on 25 completions with no touchdowns), running back Shaun Alexander also struggled.
Alexander had just 51 yards on 19 carries. His longest run was 14 yards.
For Alexander, the 2005 NFL MVP, it was only the fourth time since the beginning of the 2004 season in which he gained less than 60 yards in a game.
Nonetheless, the defense felt good about allowing just two field goals. Still, Detroit won't be on their list in the future -- even if they won't admit it.
"Honestly, I didn't give a lot of thought to it," defensive end Grant Wistrom said about returning to Detroit. "It's just another city and another place we need to go play and win a football game."
On the turf where Seattle lost the Super Bowl to the Pittsburgh Steelers, Josh Brown kicked a 42-yard field goal on the last play of the game to lift the Seahawks to a 9-6 victory over the Detroit Lions on Sunday.
When the game ended, the Seahawks jumped around, hugged and shouted.
''I'm ready to pass out. That's fun,'' Brown said on the field after a teammate jubilantly lifted him off the ground. ''This is exactly the way I would like to start the season.''
Perhaps only a kicker could enjoy a game with five field goals and no touchdowns.
The defending NFC champions, who led the NFL in scoring last season, put together a key drive when they needed it after a sluggish day behind a shaky offensive line.
Seattle started the game-winning drive at its 20 with 3:13 left after Lions' new coach Rod Marinelli decided against a long field goal attempt.
Maurice Morris set up the game-winning kick with a 17-yard run, one of his three carries spelling last year's league MVP Shaun Alexander.
Seattle defensive end Bryce Fisher said it was not an ugly win.
''I've never seen one,'' Fisher said. ''It's like an ugly baby - you never see one.''
The Lions blocked two field goal attempts in the first 17 1/2 minutes of the lackluster game to give them a chance to pick up a surprising victory in the season opener.
Marinelli, a head coach for the first time at any level, said he didn't regret his late-game decision that many will second-guess.
The Lions drove to Seattle's 37, but Marinelli chose to punt instead of allowing Jason Hanson to attempt a 54-yard field goal. Nick Harris then sailed the punt beyond the end zone.
''We were playing dominating defense at that point and I was hoping to back them up again and get another shot,'' Marinelli said.
Hanson acknowledged that it's a tough call for a coach to make.
''I'd like to think I can step out there and make a 55-yarder, and if I do, we have a good chance to win,'' Hanson said. ''But if I don't, they only need one first down to get into field-goal range.''
On Detroit's previous two possessions, Hanson made it 6-all with a 37-yard field goal with 7:05 left after being short on a 52-yard kick that he said was tipped at the line.
Marinelli spent the previous 10 seasons coaching Tampa Bay's defensive line and coached the unit in place of Joe Cullen, who was arrested twice recently on suspicion of drunken driving and because police say he was driving nude. Cullen will be back to coach in the next game at Chicago, Marinelli said.
Detroit's defensive front gave the Seattle's offensive line problems, perhaps because it missed Steve Hutchinson, who signed with Minnesota as a free agent.
The Lions sacked Matt Hasselbeck five times, hurried him a few more times and knocked him around on several other attempts. Detroit also limited Alexander to 51 yards on 19 carries. Hasselbeck was 25-of-30 for 210 yards.
''It's not good enough,'' Marinelli said. ''I'm not interested in just playing hard and well.''
Detroit's Jon Kitna, who replaced Joey Harrington, was 21-of-37 for 229 yards and was booed at times for making poor throws.
''We will be fine on offense,'' Kitna said. ''We'll score and hold up our end.''
Harrington, the third pick overall in 2002, was traded in the offseason to Miami.
The Seahawks got off to a rough start with two blocked field goals and a fumble on their first three drives. Shaun Rogers knocked down Seattle's field goal on the opening drive, the eighth blocked field goal of his career, and James Hall blocked the other attempt
Hanson put the Lions ahead 3-0 on their first possession with a 44-yard kick.
The Seahawks tied the game midway through the second quarter on Brown's 20-yarder and his 51-yard field goal at the end of the half put them ahead 6-3.
Notes: Seattle LT Walter Jones limped off the field in the third quarter with a sprained ankle, but returned on the next drive. ... Detroit blocked two field goals in a game for the first time since 2001.
Defense: --- A-. It was an effort that caught me off guard. The Defense did a fantastic job holding one of the best offenses in the NFL to only nine points. Unfortunately, they collapsed on the final drive (like I thought they would) and a great performance went down the toilet. Still, they had five sacks and it was great to see Ernie Sims make his presence known. I'm still skeptical of him because of all his concussions, but if he can stay healthy, the Lions found a one heck of a player that loves to hit. Shaun Rogers had a great game as well and we can only hope he can live up to his high expectations. All in all it was a great effort by the entire unit and it only gets easier as they head to Chicago to play an inept offense.
Special Teams: --- B. Blocking back to back field goals was great but Hanson missed a field goal and coverage was mediocre at best. Hanson is definitely starting to show his age. Eddie Drummond looked like the player from last year as he struggled the entire game to get any decent returns.
Coaching: --- B. For the most part Marinelli weathered the storm and coached a decent game. Still, his decision to punt the ball at the end was way too conservative for me when the Lions had a golden chance to take control of the game. But, I liked the flow of the game and no one expected the Lions to have a chance to win at the end.
Overall: --- C. The honolulu blue and silver gave a great effort but a loss is a loss no matter how you break it down. The Lions had a golden opportunity to steal a game against one of the best teams in the NFL but failed to do so. Now they are staring an 0-2 record in the face given the Bears are a bigger favorite to win than Seattle was. The Bears were as close to perfection as you can be against the Packers. It will take next to a miracle to beat them next week at Soldier Field. For the third straight year, I will make the venture to the Windy City to cheer on the honolulu blue and silver. The following day I get to cheer on the free falling Tigers. Hopefully one of the Detroit teams can come through next week in the Windy City - my bet is on the Tigers.