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NFC Wild Card Preview: Detroit Lions at Seattle Seahawks

January 7, 2017 • Ben Heck • Detroit Lions, Front Page, NFC, NFC North, NFC West, NFL Playoffs, Preview, Seattle Seahawks

The best part of January: playoff football.

Wild Card weekend is here.

In today’s second Wild Card match-up, the No. 5 Detroit Lions head out West to Seattle to take on the NFC West champion Seahawks.

How Detroit can win…

Detroit had been on fire following a Dec. 11 victory over the Chicago Bears, capturing its fifth straight win. But since then the Matthew Stafford-led Lions dropped three in a row and practically backed into the postseason as a Wild Card team out of the North. Defensively, Detroit has failed to force a turnover since Week 13 against New Orleans, over a month ago. If they’d like to slow down Russell Wilson’s offensive attack, Detroit will need to force a couple of turnovers. As long as they can stay relatively in the game, Stafford always has a shot at pulling off a last-second comeback victory given eight of his team’s nine victories this season have come on last-second drives.

How Seattle can win…

For 10-5-1 Seattle, losing at home doesn’t happen often — especially in the postseason. Since the ’05 playoffs, Seattle is 9-0 in home playoff match-ups and 11-2 in home playoff games in team history. Seattle also happened to go 7-1 at home this year. That being said, it’s the NFL and anything can happen any given Sunday (or in this case Saturday). Protect the football on offense and they’ll put themselves in great position. The Seahawks failed to turn the ball over in seven games this season and put up a 6-0-1 record in those games. With a top five defense in both points and yardage, Seattle should be able to put enough pressure on Stafford and limit Detroit’s 30th-ranked rushing offense.

Our Pick: Seahawks, 31-17.

As stated above, Seattle has a top five defense and the combination of Detroit’s lack of a run game and Seattle’s home-field advantage should be enough for Seattle to put the Lions away early. Just don’t let Stafford stick around late in the game, otherwise he may just do what he’s done to opposing teams all season long in the final two minutes.

Photo: Otto Greule Jr./Getty Images

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