491475552.jpg SEATTLE, WA – OCTOBER 05: Theo Riddick #25 of the Detroit Lions carries the ball as Kam Chancellor #31 of the Seattle Seahawks attempts to make the tackle during the second half of their game at CenturyLink Field on October 5, 2015 in Seattle, Washington.
SEATTLE – Calvin Johnson was screaming toward the goal line, the football in his left hand and the Detroit Lions’ career record for catches under his belt, when Lions luck struck him out of the Honolulu blue.
Johnson fumbled away a would-be victory inches before the end zone when Kam Chancellor popped the ball loose from his grasp in the final two minutes.
The ball rolled out of the end zone for a touchback, preserving the Seattle Seahawks’ 13-10 victory and leaving the Lions as the only winless team in the NFL.
The Lions are now 0-4 for the first time since 2010, and with a wounded psyche and beat-up roster – Eric Ebron, Tyrunn Walker and Haloti Ngata left Monday’s game with injuries – their season is on the verge of disaster.
The Lions struggled on offense again Monday for the fourth straight game and squandered a staunch defensive effort against the two-time NFC champs.
They recorded six sacks and recovered three fumbles, but didn’t reach the red zone until their final almost amazing drive.
Starting at his 9 with 6:23 to play, Matthew Stafford drove the Lions inside the 20-yard line just before the two-minute warning.
Zach Zenner ran the ball on first down and second, and on third-and-1 from the 11, Stafford threw a short pass to Johnson, who turned upfield with eyes for the end zone.
But as Johnson, who tied Herman Moore’s franchise record for receptions on the catch, tried to fight through Seahawks safety Earl Thomas, his left arm came loose from his body and Chancellor knocked the ball away.
The Seahawks (2-2) converted a first down three plays later to clinch their second straight victory.
Stafford completed 24 of 35 passes for the Lions, who got just 53 yards rushing and once again shot themselves in the foot with silly penalties.
Johnson finished with seven catches for 53 yards and now has 670 receptions for his career.
Quarterback Russell Wilson lost two fumbles for the Seahawks, but controlled the game with both his arm and legs.
He completed 20 of 26 passes for 287 yards and threw a 24-yard pass to Doug Baldwin for Seattle’s only touchdown in the first half, and added 40 yards rushing on 10 carries.
The Lions went three-and-out on three straight possessions to start the second half and squandered good field position after a muffed punt in the third quarter and a Seattle fumble to start the fourth.
On three of those drives, the Lions self-destructed with costly penalties.
Travis Swanson drew a holding flag that wiped out a Zenner run that was close to first down on the second possession of the third quarter. The Lions were called for illegal hands to the face to nullify a Johnson catch to stall their next drive. And after Ziggy Ansah stripped and recovered a Wilson fumble near midfield, Riley Reiff was called for a personal foul to undo another Johnson catch.
The Lions’ only touchdown of the night came with 8:32 left in the game when James Ihedigbo stripped Wilson and Caraun Reid scooped up the loose ball and returned it 27 yards for his first career touchdown.