NFL News & Analysis

NFL Week 17 Game Recap: Seattle Seahawks 51, Detroit Lions 29

Seattle, Washington, USA; Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson (3) drops back to pass against the Detroit Lions during the second quarter at Lumen Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

The Seattle Seahawks eviscerated the Detroit Lions 51-29 in week 17 as both teams look to wrap up what has been an overall disappointing season.

Russell Wilson submitted a vintage performance, throwing for a season-high four touchdowns, three of which went to star wide receiver D.K. Metcalf. Tim Boyle and the Detroit offense failed to match Seattle’s offensive firepower, scoring just 7 first half points before the game became truly out of hand.

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Seattle Seahawks


Wilson was a man on a mission Sunday, throwing for 236 yards and four touchdowns on 20-of-29 passing. He was impressively protective of the ball, as he failed to register a turnover-worthy play for only the second time since returning from injury in week 10 while finishing with his second highest adjusted completion percentage (75.0%) since week 10. The former Pro Bowler found exceptional success on play action, as he completed 12 of his 17 such attempts for 140 yards and two touchdowns.

Russell Wilson | Week 17
Target Depth Comps./Atts. Yds. Adj. Comp. % TDs
Behind L.O.S 6/8 27 75% 1
Short (1-9) 7/9 69 88.9% 0
Medium (10-19) 5/6 54 83.3% 3
Long (20+) 2/5 86 40% 0
Running Backs

Rashaad Penny was once again phenomenal for Seattle, as he converted his 27 touches into 185 total yards and two touchdowns. Penny has been a man on a mission since taking control of Seattle’s backfield — Sunday marked the third instance in his last four contests where Penny has accumulated over 135 total yards. The former first round pick was exceptionally difficult to bring down in the victory, forcing a game-high six missed tackles while accumulating 121 yards after contact.

Wide Receivers/Tight Ends

Metcalf was a force to be reckoned with Sunday, as he reeled in six of his team-high nine targets for 63 yards and three touchdowns. Metcalf was simply unguardable for the majority of the contest, leading all Seattle pass-catchers in first downs accrued (5), contested catches (1) and explosive plays (1).

Metcalf’s dominance and an early lead limited the opportunities available for other Seahawks pass-catchers. Gerald Everett’s five targets and three receptions were both second most on the team. The fifth-year tight end accumulated 36 yards in the victory, forcing one of the unit’s two missed tackles.

Offensive Line

Seattle’s offensive line manhandled Detroit up front, facilitating a Seahawks rushing attack that averaged a whopping 6.5 yards per carry. The group was almost as dominant in pass protection, allowing just nine pressures and one sack.

Defensive Line

The Seahawks defensive line impressed in Sunday’s victory, limiting Lions rushers to an average of just 0.3 yards before contact while racking up eight unit-wide pressures against the pass. Interior defender Poona Ford paced the unit with two pressures, each of which resulted in quarterback hurries.

Player Pass Rushing Snaps Total Pressures Sacks
Rasheem Green 24 1 0
Darrell Taylor 20 1 0
Poona Ford 18 2 0

Jordyn Brooks led all Seattle with 10 tackles, finishing with an average depth of tackle of just 1 yard. He captained a Seahawks linebackers corps that was tested often in coverage, surrendering 91 yards and four first downs on nine unit-wide receptions.


Seattle’s secondary excelled against Detroit’s beleaguered passing attack, limiting the Lions to 148 yards through the air on 11 unit-wide receptions while coming down with three interceptions. Cornerback D.J. Reed Jr. drew a team-high eight targets yet allowed just four receptions for 34 yards while registering two interceptions and two forced incompletions.

Player Coverage snaps Receptions allowed/Targets Yards allowed Passer rating allowed
D.J. Reed Jr 38 4/8 34 21.9
Ugo Amadi 27 3/3 51 79.2
John Reid 20 2/2 48 118.8
Michael Jackson 18 0/2 0 39.6

Detroit Lions


Boyle filled in admirably for usual starter Jared Goff, completing 22 of his 37 attempts for 262 yards, two touchdowns and three interceptions. Detroit’s 24-point halftime deficit allowed Boyle to push the ball downfield in a way he had not previously shown willingness to do, as his average of 7.1 yards of depth per target and six explosive plays were both tops among Boyle’s starts so far this season. The majority of the third-year pro’s success came on play action — Boyle connected on 11 of his 15 such attempts for 129 yards and a touchdown.

Tim Boyle | Week 17
Target Depth Comps./Atts. Yds. Adj. Comp. % TDs
Behind L.O.S 4/4 25 100% 0
Short (1-9) 13/22 108 77.3% 2
Medium (10-19) 4/7 87 57.1% 0
Long (20+) 1/2 42 50% 0
Running Backs

Jamaal Williams handled lead-back duties for Detroit, turning his 14 touches into 44 total yards and a touchdown. Williams was Detroit’s most effective chain-mover, leading all Lions ball-carriers with two first downs accrued.

D’Andre Swift was Detroit’s most effective ball-carrier, finishing with 39 total yards despite receiving just six touches. The majority of Swift’s yards came on a 31-yard scamper with just seconds remaining in the second half, as the second-year pro finished with just one first down accumulated.

Wide Receivers/Tight Ends

Amon-Ra St. Brown hauled in eight of his team-high 11 targets for 111 yards and a touchdown, marking his fifth straight game with at least 73 yards receiving and his first career game with over 100 receiving yards. St. Brown was especially dangerous with the ball in his hands, as he accrued a team-best 54 yards after the catch while registering six first downs and four explosive plays.

KhaDarel Hodge was the only other Lions pass-catcher to log over 31 yards receiving, finishing with five receptions on 10 targets for 76 yards. A significant chunk of Hodge’s yards came on a 42-yard catch and run early in the third quarter, as the fourth-year wide receiver led all Detroit pass-catchers with an average depth of target of 10.5 yards.

Offensive Line

The ineptitude of the Lions offensive line hampered their entire offensive approach, as the unit struggled in both the run and pass game. Lions rushers were able to manage an impressive 4.3 yards a carry, but that was in spite of Detroit’s offensive line — 92.6% of the Lions rushing yards came after contact. The offensive line found more success in pass protection, as they allowed 10 pressures and zero sacks in the defeat.

Defensive Line

The Lions defensive line was unable to make a significant impact up front, registering just six unit-wide pressures and one sack. Edge defender Austin Bryant led the group with two pressures and one sack.

Player Pass Rushing Snaps Total Pressures Sacks
Charles Harris 27 1 0
Austin Bryant 25 2 1
Nick Williams 22 0 0
Alim McNeill 15 1 0

Detroit linebackers combined for 13 tackles, paced by Jalen Reeves-Maybin‘s eight. The unit was competent in coverage, allowing receptions on four of their six group-wide targets for 68 yards and one first down.


The Lions secondary was not at their best Sunday, surrendering 153 yards and four touchdowns on 14 unit-wide receptions. Cornerback Ifeatu Melifonwu drew a team-high six targets, conceding three receptions for 31 yards and two touchdowns.

Player Coverage snaps Receptions allowed/Targets Yards allowed Passer rating allowed
Ifeatu Melifonwu 33 3/6 31 104.9
Will Harris 33 4/5 40 139.6
Tracy Walker 32 2/2 16 139.6
Dean Marlowe 32 1/1 7 95.8
AJ Parker 24 3/4 47 113.5
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