The 9-7 Detroit Lions will head to the toughest place to play in the NFL and face the Seahawks in this NFC Wild Card playoff matchup. There are many obstacles facing the Lions in that the Seahawks have never lost a home playoff game in this building, The Lions have never won any games in this building period nor have they won any playoff games in their last 8 appearances. The Lions looked to be on track for a higher seed in the playoffs a few weeks back and thus avoiding having to go on the road in the wild card round for such a tough matchup until starting quarterback Matthew Stafford suffered an injury to a finger on his throwing hand and the Lions proceeded to lose their final 3 regular season games. The Seahawks are healthy at quarterback but did suffer a season ending injury to safety Earl Thomas and the team went 2-2 after the injury.
The Seahawks are on an 8 game post season home winning streak thanks in large part to the amount of noise their home field and crowd present to opposing offenses. Quarterback Russell Wilson battled a variety of injuries earlier in the season threat he played through however his production was subsequently negatively affected as he was robbed of a lot of his mobility that made him an elite quarterback. After week 10 he appeared healthier and it showed in his play. The teams defense has been unable to make up for the loss of Thomas on the field but more importantly in the locker room as he is one of the team’s leaders. The teams core of players has played a lot of playoff games over recent seasons and their experience is certainly a benefit.
Stafford has been fitted with a glove that he wears for protection and it hasn’t altered his ability to throw the ball hard but it has altered his accuracy and ability to put the proper touch on certain passes. Incredibly the 9-7 Lions trailed in the 4th quarter of every single regular season game they played so they can never be counted out. The team has not one a playoff game since 2009 and will need to pull off a tough road win to break that streak. The team has juggled running backs all season long and has yet to find a consistent rushing attack putting more pressure on Stafford and his impressive receiving core. Despite their unprecedented regular season, it would be in the Lions best interest to not be trailing in the 4th quarter this weekend.
The Seahawks did not perform like a typical Seahawks team over the seasons last month. They will be relying on their playoff experience to put together a complete game. Wilson is a proven winner in pressure situations and will be the focus of an underrated Detroit defense. The Lions will need to stay consistent and avoid turnovers if they want to be able to pull off the road upset.
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