If the Detroit Lions had capitalized on just a few of their many opportunities, their 35-14 loss to Seattle on Sunday could have been averted.
And, once again, a fine Joey Harrington performance was nullified by a lack of assistance in the receiving game.
Twice in the second half, trailing 35-14, the Lions (3-7) were within the five-yard line of Seattle (7-3), and twice the team failed to put any points on the board.
During the course of the game the Seahawks muffed two punt returns, and in the first quarter, Seattle quarterback Matt Hassleback fumbled the ball into the hands of Lions' defensive tackle Dan Wilkinson, only to recover the bobble and toss a first down completion.
The Detroit defense, which slept through all 35 first half points scored by Seattle, gave the the Lions' offense several possessions to work with in the 3rd and 4th quarters. A capable Seahawks offense was limited to just 66 second half yards, after laying 300 on Detroit in the first half.
However, due to the inability to find open targets, and the lack of any effective running game, Harrington used up all four downs with his first red zone opportunity, and tossed an interception the second time. Harrington's interception was assisted by a poor effort from wide receiver Bill Schroeder, who seemed to give up on the play.
Detroit finished with 81 rushing yards, compared to Seattle's 159.
On several occasions during the loss, Harrington scrambled in the pocket, frantically attempting to find an open receiver. Unfortunately, targets were hard to come by. Early in the second half, one of Harrington's only productive receivers, Scotty Anderson, who hauled in a 72-yard touchdown reception in the second quarter, left the game with an injured ankle.
Designated kick-off returner Reggie Swinton replaced Anderson in the line-up. If Anderson's injury is serious, practice squad player and sixth-round pick David Kircus will likely be called up to the active roster.
Harrington finished 26-of-48 for 285 yards and touchdowns, and two interceptions. Playing in front of over 1,000 friends and family, the Oregon native finished the first half with a 130.0 QB rating, and finished the game with a 68.5 rating.
Seattle quarterback Matt Hasselback tossed for 207 yards on 21-of-28 passing for one touchdown, and a quarterback rating of 107.3.
The loss extends the Lions road losing streak to 21 (two shy of 81-84 Houston record). The Lions will have an opportunity to avoid the mark when they visit Minnesota next week.