Lions’ Damon Harrison one of few highlights in loss to Seahawks

Seven tackles, 1 sack, 2 QB hits

It was a good start wearing a Lions uniform for Damon “Snacks” Harrison. His play was one of the few highlights in Sunday’s 28-14 loss to the Seattle Seahawks.

Harrison finished with seven solo tackles, two quarterback hits and a sack. The sack was Harrison’s first of the season he now has 6.5 for his career.

Also, he became the first defensive tackle in Lions history to finish a game with seven solo tackles, a sack and two tackles for loss. Regardless of position, this was only the fourth time in franchise history a player has produced these statistics in a game, most recently done by Stephen Tulloch in 2014.

(Photo courtesy of Detroit Lions)

“The guys did a great job at helping, getting me prepared, you know, they made it as simple as possible,’’ Harrison said.

The veteran nose tackle did not start, but came in on the third play for the Seahawks. It was night and day when he was on the field.

Seattle averaged 5.6 yards per carry yesterday when he on the sideline. When he was on the field, that dropped to 3.2 yards per carry, according to Tim Twentyman of DetroitLions.com. He played in 62 percent (39 snaps) of the defensive plays and was in on four snaps with special teams.

Harrison was acquired in a trade with the Giants on Wednesday and practiced with the Lions on Thursday and Friday.

Even with the addition of Harrison, the Lions defense gave up 176 rushing yards.

The Lions (3-4) play at the Minnesota Vikings (4-3-1) on Sunday. The Vikings are coming off a loss to the Saints on Sunday night.

Five main reasons Detroit Lions lost to Seattle Seahawks

Detroit falls to 3-4; next up at Vikings

DETROIT — It’s not just that the Seahawks were well rested coming off  a bye week, they were better prepared for whatever they would face against the Detroit Lions.

Quality coaching by Pete Carroll and overall solid execution led to a 28-14 win over the Lions at Ford Field on Sunday.

For the Lions (3-4), it was complete failure in all three phases. It was ugly.

Coach Matt Patricia took partial blame afterward, as well he should.

“It was a bad job coaching, bad job playing. We have to do a better job getting prepared during the week. (We) played a very good Seattle Seahawks team. Give them credit. They came out, they out-performed us,’’ Patricia said. “Pete (Carroll) had his crew ready to go coming off the Bye week and we just couldn’t stay with them at all. So, I have to do a better job getting the team ready.’’

And certainly much is on him.

Veteran defensive tackle Ricky Jean Francois, who is not afraid to speak his mind, said the team came out flat and unfocused.

“We didn’t focus on nothing, we couldn’t stop the run, and we let the Seattle offense control the game. We killed ourselves in penalties, we didn’t connect with their plays and we didn’t focus at all. We were just out there playing,’’ Francois said.

When running back Ameer Abdullah was asked if the team hit cruise control, he had a one-word answer: “Obviously.”

That is on coaching.

After winning two straight, it looked like the Lions were turning the corner in Patricia’s first season. Now it looks like they’ve fallen down the stairs and it’s uncertain if they can climb back up.

Five main reasons the Lions lost:

1. The defense did not in any fashion resemble the same bunch that beat the Patriots and Packers. It looked like they’d reverted to their status when they were embarrassed by the Jets in the season opener. Patricia, supposedly a defensive guru, has problems here. They can’t be this inconsistent week to week if they want to win. On the snaps where newly acquired nose tackle Damon “Snacks” Harrison was on the field, they were more effective at stopping running backs Chris Carson (25 carries, 105 yards) and Mike Davis (10 carries, 33 yards). That’s potentially a good sign, but it can’t all be up to the new guy. “Seattle’s run the ball really well, so we knew it was going to be a big challenge for us. It’s a full-team effort in the run game,’’ Patricia said. “We have to get everybody executing better. … We have to get the fits right and we have to get off some blocks and we need to get our fundamentals better. So, that’s the bottom line.’’

2. Matthew Stafford fumbled and lost the ball and also threw an interception. Both were fourth-quarter miscues. Can’t happen. Stafford said if he would’ve had two hands on the ball he wouldn’t have lost it. He only blamed himself. The Lions were first-and-goal at Seattle’s 4-yard line when cornerback Justin Coleman stepped in front of Golden Tate at the 1-yard line and got his mitts on the ball. A touchdown would have closed the gap to a 7-point deficit and left the chance the Lions could pull out a last-second comeback. Stafford finished 27 of 40 for 310 yards, two touchdowns and a 96.9 rating.

3. Special teams play stunk too. They had penalties on a punt and on two kickoffs. Ameer Abdullah, who was returning kickoffs, fumbled and lost the ball in the second quarter. Sam Martin shanked a 28-yard punt late in the third quarter to give the Seahawks the ball at their own 28, when the defense needed them to be backed up. Patricia wouldn’t specifically address the special teams woes. “Right now, I’m not really pleased with any phase,’’ the coach said.

4. When the Lions run the ball well, offensive coordinator Jim Bob Cooter looks like a genius. They only rushed for 34 yards with just 13 carries. They stuck with the run early but once they were down 21-7 in the second quarter they need to play catch-up by passing the ball. It’s why an early lead is so essential, it can change everything. “We were coming in with a balanced game plan and obviously the score got to where it was, we had to try and do some things to get back into it,’’ Stafford said.

5. Get the ball to Kenny Golladay. The wide receiver had one catch for 12 yards. Last week he had two for 21 yards. “We don’t really go into a week thinking, ‘Throw this guy a ball a bunch of times,’ we just go out there and call plays and I need to make sure I get it to the right guy,’’ Stafford said. Makes sense. However, when you’ve got a talented guy like Golladay maybe find ways to get him more involved. On the bright side, Marvin Jones Jr. had seven catches for 117 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Golden Tate had seven for 50 yards.

UP NEXT: The Lions (3-4) play at the Vikings next Sunday, and then at the Chicago Bears on Nov. 11. Two huge divisional opponents who are tough to play on the road. It will be interesting to see which Lions team shows up.

 

Lions legendary DT Roger Brown cried when he learned of Pride of Lions honor

Member of original Fearsome Foursome with Alex Karras

DETROIT — While there may be no crying in football, Lions legendary defensive tackle Roger Brown broke down when he got word that he would be added to the Pride of the Lions, a ring of honor at Ford Field. The ceremony takes place at halftime today.

“I cried, absolutely. I have been down to Ford Field quite often through the years for the homecoming and to be out on the field and to look at all the names and never saw my mine. And I wished mine was up there and now it’s happening. Now I bet I don’t get invited back. I’m excited very much so,’’ Brown said in a pre-game press conference.

He will be honored with wide receiver Herman Moore and the late Alex Karras who was Brown’s teammate and fellow member of the original Fearsome Foursome with Darris McCord and Sam Williams.

“It’s always special to go in with the groups you played with, your teammates. Alex and I spent a lot of years together. And I learned a lot from him and likewise from me,’’ Brown said. “It’s too bad he’s not physically here, in spirit he’s all over.’’

Brown who played for the Lions from 1960 to 1966 was a five-time Pro Bowler and a two-time AP All-Pro player.

“The thing I’m waiting for now is Canton, Ohio, the National Football League Hall of Fame,” Brown said. “One of the original Fearsome Foursome should be in that Hall — Alex or me or Darris or Sam. I guarantee I’m going to stay vertical until they call me and say, ‘Come on in.’ I’lll be ready,’’ said Brown who is a spry 81.

He thinks his chances of getting into the Pro Football Hall of Fame are about 1 in 100 and thinks today’s honor by the Lions might help.

“My life would be complete then as still as I’m still on the other side of the dirt,’’ Brown said.

His biggest game perhaps was the Thanksgiving win over the undefeated Packers in 1962. In that win, Brown sacked quarterback Bart Starr seven times including a safety. But sacks weren’t official NFL stats until 1982.

He said his trademark was the head slap.

“I started what they called the head slap. And for a big 320-pound guy not too many people could run faster, I caught  a lot of halfbacks, a lot of quarterbacks, got past a lot of people,’’ Brown said.