Detroit Lions @ Seattle Seahawks Saturday 8:15 ET
The Lions had the most difficult last 3 weeks in the entire league. They played at the Giants, in Dallas, and against Green Bay with the NFC North on the line. They hope to gather their mojo back entering Saturday night that they had all season, as they are the most battle tested team in the league. The cardiac kid Matthew Stafford who led the league in comeback victories and game winning drives is going to have to play spectacular for the Lions to have a chance. The likes of Anquan Boldin, Golden Tate, and Marvin Jones are going to have to make plays on third and long when the 12th man is reaching new decibels and the Seahawks are sending everything at Stafford. Look for Eric Ebron to be treated as a safety net if Richard Sherman and Kam Chancellor are locking up receivers downfield. Zach Zenner may not be a household name but I believe he could be the X factor for Detroit. In the past two games he compiled 136 yards and 3 touchdowns. He hits the hole hard and can be a problem if Detroit can assemble some form of a run game against a stifling Seattle front 7.
Seattle definitely has a slight reason for concern. They ended the season against two divisional foes and struggled. They lost week 16 against Arizona which is what really lost them the chance for a first round bye. Then they merely sneaked past a miserable 49ers team in which Russell Wilson and co. played through 3 quarters. In the playoffs at home (arguably the hardest place to play in the league), expect the Seahawks defense to make Stafford’s night difficult, and for Russell Wilson to find his numerous targets all over the field. If the ‘hawks can get Prosise and Rawls to pick up good yardage, this one might not even be too close. The Seahawks defense knows how this process goes, and are hungry to get at it again. Look for Jimmy Graham and Luke Willson to have nice games, on top of the electrifying Doug Baldwin.
The Lions definitely have a chance, but they might face the most difficult circumstance of the entire weekend. If the Lions can run the ball and protect Stafford, anything could happen. But winning in Seattle on a January evening might not be in the Lions’ repertoire. The Seahawks should come out victorious and head to Atlanta the following weekend.
Prediction: Seahawks 27 Lions 19