DETROIT -- NFL legends Barry Sanders and Calvin Johnson were in attendance. The atmosphere was at a fever pitch inside Ford Field on Sunday.
Coming off an emotional season-opening victory against the defending Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs last week, the Detroit Lions suffered a 37-31 overtime loss to the Seattle Seahawks in their home opener.
“I know it stings and those guys are disappointed. I’m disappointed, the staff is, but this is good,” Lions coach Dan Campbell said. “We’ll get a little humble pie here.”
Entering the game, the Lions had won three straight and nine of their last 11, dating back to last season.
On Saturday, they unveiled a statue in honor of Sanders outside the stadium, and the franchise was basking in the glow of the win at Arrowhead Stadium last week. However, the loss served as a huge reminder that the Lions have to produce on the field.
“Sometimes you don’t know exactly where you’re at until you’re in it. We come off a big win and you can always preach certain things, but man, this is the NFL, and these guys came in and they took that win,” Campbell said. “They earned it over there and we did the mistakes that cost us.
“I don’t want to say we weren’t ready, but we have to make those plays in the moment and not just assume it’s gonna turn into the type of game you want it to.”
The Lions led 14-7 at halftime but were burned by second-half turnovers, including a fumble by running back David Montgomery on the first play of the third quarter, then a pick-six thrown by Jared Goff early in the fourth quarter.
Montgomery was carted off the field early in the fourth quarter and didn't return after suffering a thigh bruise, according to Campbell.
The Lions’ defense allowed three touchdowns in the fourth quarter and overtime.
Second-year edge rusher Aidan Hutchinson was visibly frustrated after the loss. He finished with just two tackles as the entire defense posted just one sack.
“I definitely think we were focused. I think we wanted it,” Hutchinson said. “It’s a wakeup call and it’s Week 2. We’re gonna move on and we’re gonna learn from this and get better."
The Michigan native added: “Detroit is very excited for what we’re building here, and when you have a game like that, it’s just a shot in the leg a little bit, but we’ll get better and we’ve got 15 more games left.”
The Lions will host the Atlanta Falcons (2-0) next week as they look to clean up their mistakes.
Detroit now falls to 2-15 in September/October games under Campbell since 2021, which is the worst record by any team in the NFL during that time.
“We didn’t deserve that one. We might’ve got away with it at the end there, we really didn’t, they earned that win and we kind of earned the loss,” said Goff, who went 28-of-35 for 323 yards and three touchdowns with his first interception since Nov. 6, 2022.
“Again, had some plays potentially to kind of sneak one out there and get away with it, but typically it doesn’t go your way if the turnover margin is that big.”