Lions Search for Answers After Another Loss

If the Lions take a lead Sunday at Minnesota, here's guessing the Vikings won't be too worried. The Lions took a 10-0 lead against them Sept. 20 and still lost, 27-13. They took a 17-0 lead at Seattle on Sunday and still lost, 32-20.

If the Lions take a lead Sunday at Minnesota, here's guessing the Vikings won't be too worried. The Lions took a 10-0 lead against them Sept. 20 and still lost, 27-13. They took a 17-0 lead at Seattle on Sunday and still lost, 32-20.

With the Lions, no lead is safe, and everybody knows it. They blew a 17-0 first-quarter lead and lost to Tampa Bay last year as they suffered the NFL's first 0-16 season.

"They weren't very good last year, and I think that played a role in guys having the confidence that we had," Seattle wide receiver T.J. Houshmandzadeh said. "It could be that we're playing Detroit, and I think everybody had that confidence. Can we have that same confidence when we get down to a good team, that we're still going to come back and win?"

The Lions hardly could have asked for a better start Sunday. They forced turnovers on the Seahawks' first two offensive plays, then stuffed the Seahawks on fourth-and-1. With two touchdowns and a field goal, they silenced Qwest Field, one of the loudest stadiums and most difficult places to play in the NFL.

But then rookie quarterback Matthew Stafford started throwing interceptions, and the defense let Seattle quarterback Matt Hasselbeck get hot. Stafford threw five picks, the first two deep in Seattle territory, the last returned 61 yards for a touchdown with 22 seconds left.

"It's frustrating," said Stafford, who went 22-for-42 for 203 yards and two touchdowns. "Didn't play well. Just made some poor throws, really. I was aggressive sometimes, but if I make a good throw in those situations, maybe we're coming out with a touchdown instead of picks. But obviously I can't turn the ball over like that."

Lions coach Jim Schwartz said the interceptions weren't all on Stafford.

"It's not just one person," Schwartz said. "This is all around. The turnovers are on our whole offense. The turnovers, Matt made some decisions that I'm sure he'd like to have back, but it's not all him. There's other breakdowns along the way, whether it's catching a ball, whether it's protecting, all those different things."

Hasselbeck became the latest quarterback to look good against the Lions, finishing 39-for-51 for 329 yards and a touchdown, completing 15 consecutive passes at one point. The Seahawks were 7-for-15 on third down.

Brett Favre must be licking his chops for yet another shot at the Lions.

"We tried to blitz," Schwartz said. "We had a hard time getting that done, and we tried coverage. We can't allow 50 percent conversions on third down."

LINEUP WATCH: Rookie Derrick Williams didn't have a pass thrown to him Sunday, but he played the third wide receiver role instead of veteran Dennis Northcutt, who dropped three passes in the previous game against St. Louis.

"We were working a little different package, but Derrick was in our third wide receiver package today," Schwartz said. "Derrick had done some good things. We wanted to get him on the field and make some plays."

BY THE NUMBERS: 11 - Consecutive games the Lions have lost at the Metrodome. The Lions have lost 14 of their last 15 games against the Vikings overall.

Player Notebook:

  • WR Calvin Johnson returned Sunday at Seattle after missing two games with a right knee injury. He was targeted nine times but he caught only two passes for 27 yards.
  • LB Ernie Sims left Sunday's game with a hamstring injury. He walked off the field, but he did it so slowly he was booed.
  • S Louis Delmas left Sunday's game with a right leg injury. He walked off the field, but he was hobbling badly.
  • DE Jason Hunter returned Sunday after missing two games with an ankle injury. He aggravated the ankle and tweaked a knee during the game, but he said he was OK.
  • TE Brandon Pettigrew caught his first NFL touchdown. He also caught more passes (seven) for more yards (70) than he had before in his rookie season, as he led the Lions in receiving.

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