Welcome to Wild Card weekend! The NFL regular season has come to a close, and that means it is playoff time.We will get two games on Saturday, January 7th and two more on Sunday, January 8th. The second of those games will be held at 8:15 pm EST, and will see the Detroit Lions travel to Washington state to take on the Seattle Seahawks. The Lions will enter as the second wild card team with a 9-7 record, as they hold the six seed, while the Seahawks claimed the three seed after winning the NFC West with a 10-5-1 record.
Neither team enters the playoffs with a ton of momentum. The Seahawks have been up and down all season, as they often won a game, then lost a game, then won a game and so on. The won their week 17 game, with a 25-23 win over the San Francisco 49ers. Meanwhile, the Lions come in ice cold. Their last three games came against playoff teams, and the Lions ended the season on a three-game losing streak. Week 17 saw the club drop a game to the Green Bay Packers by a score of 31-24.
One thing that the Seahawks will have going for them this week, they are home. Playing in Seattle means they will have the 12th man behind them, and everyone knows how loud that stadium can get. This season the club went 7-1 playing at home, with their only loss coming in week 16 against the Arizona Cardinals. So even if Russell Wilson and the offense have not been consistent all year, that 12th man will certainly help pump them up. One other key factor, the loss of safety Earl Thomas. Thomas broke a bone in his leg and was placed on IR back on December 6th. In the club’s last four games, they simply have not looked right on defense. Their last game they did win, but they still allowed 23 points to the lowly 49ers.
The poor Detroit Lions. There was a point in the season where the Packers looked to be headed for a below 500 season and the Lions would claim the NFC North. But the Packers woke up, and the Lions appeared to be the benefactors of a weak schedule. Whenever the club was faced with a legit opponent, they would fold, and add an L to their record. They were held to six points against the New York Giants on the road. They were blown by a Dallas Cowboys club who had nothing to play for on the road. And finally, in a game that could have locked up the division for them, they blew a halftime lead to the Pack and backed into the playoffs thanks to a Washington Redskins loss earlier in the day.
Now I’ll be honest, I am not all that high on the Seahawks. I think Wilson is overrated, and the club simply is not all that great. But they got the right draw for this Wild Card weekend. They get the chance to play at home and take on a team that is only in the playoffs because they took care of the games they should have won, but lost any game that was a real challenge. The Lions only hope in my opinion is that their offense can exploit that Earl Thomas-less defense, and simply outgun the underwhelming offense of the Seahawks. But when all is said and done, I see home field advantage being the deciding factor.
If the Seahawks win this game, they will travel to take on the two seed Atlanta Falcons next week. Meanwhile, if the Detroit Lions pull off the victory, they would need to travel to the Lone Star State, where the one seed Dallas Cowboys will be waiting for them.
Line: Sea -8, O/U: 42.5
Prediction: Seahawks 17 – Lions 14, Lions and the under
Result: Seahawks 26 – Lions 6, Seahawks and the under