Jason Jones' absence from the Seattle Seahawks nickel defensive line was going to hurt Sunday.
The Seahawks had signed the veteran defensive tackle for games such as the one Seattle played at Ford Field in Week 8.
Around the NFC West: Oct. 29, 2012
It's impossible to know whether Jones' presence would have given Seattle the lift it needed to make a couple additional stops on third down. With Jones resting an ankle injury suffered a week earlier, however, the Seahawks' nickel defense suffered through its worst game of the season during a 28-24 defeat.
Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford completed 26 of 38 passes for 255 yards, no sacks and all three of his touchdowns against Seattle's nickel defense. His numbers against Seattle's base defense weren't nearly as impressive: 8-of-11 passing for 97 yards with no touchdowns, one interceptions and two sacks.
Those numbers, courtesy of ESPN Stats & Information, told much of the story Sunday.
They also obscured a tremendous performance from Russell Wilson, the Seahawks' rookie quarterback.
Wilson completed 25 of 35 passes (71.4 percent) for 236 yards with two touchdowns, one interception and no sacks. His 93.7 Total QBR score was a career high. Only Tom Brady (98.4), Matt Ryan (95.7) and Peyton Manning (96.3) had higher ones so far in Week 8.
Beating the Lions in Detroit was going to be difficult. This was not a game most of us would have counted as a likely Seahawks victory before the season. In that context, Wilson's performance stands as a positive takeaway for Seattle.
The nickel defense will improve against lesser quarterbacks and at home, where Seattle has five games yet to play.