The flip side: Seattle's third-down defense was horrendous.
Coach Pete Carroll pointed to the Lions' execution as a key difference. He compared this game to the one Seattle played against New England two weeks previously. In both games, the opposing quarterback dropped back to pass 50-plus times, but this time, Stafford was good enough to win.
With an assist from ESPN Stats & Information, I've put together a chart showing Stafford's third-down stats and Total QBR by opponent. He scored 99.9 out of 100 on third down Sunday, his best performance of the season on third down.
2012 Matthew Stafford on Third Down by Opponent
The second chart shows how opposing quarterbacks have fared against Seattle on third down this season. The Seahawks now rank 30th in Total QBR allowed on third down.
The New York Jets (82.6) and Kansas City Chiefs (81.5) are the only teams ranking lower in third-down defense by this metric. Tampa Bay (7.2), Atlanta (7.6), Houston (7.8), Miami (8.5) and Chicago (9.8) lead the NFL. The San Francisco 49ers rank sixth (31.3) and the Arizona Cardinals are seventh (33.0). The St. Louis Rams are 24th (74.2).