Detroit Lions (9-7) at Seattle Seahawks (10-5-1), Saturday Jan. 7 8:15 PM ET
Line: Seahawks -8
The Lions had a chance to win the NFC North and get their first home playoff game since 1993. They didn’t. Now, they get to visit Seattle. Fun!
Detroit’s run of luck and come-from-behind victories ran out at the end of the season. For a little while, it seemed like the Lions might get a first-round bye. Then, they ended the season by losing three games in a row, fittingly to other playoff teams. Perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised. They lost Theo Riddick, who finished as their leading rusher despite not even rushing for 400 yards this season. Their defense ranks dead last in Football Outsiders’ DVOA. In short, the Lions aren’t very good. They got lucky, and luck doesn’t last forever.
This is not to say the Seahawks are perfect. Their offensive line is not good. Their defense lost arguably their most important player, Earl Thomas. If Detroit had any sort of pass rush, you might be worried if you were Seattle. The Lions don’t really have a pass rush though, Ziggy Ansah only finished with two sacks, so Russell Wilson should have all the time in the world. Matthew Stafford pulled off some miracles this season, but it will be hard for him to do it again on the road in Seattle. The Lions went 3-5 on the road this season. Without luck, they don’t have much.
Prediction: Seahawks 28, Lions 17
Theo Riddick, RB Injury Reserve
Asa Jackson, CB Questionable
Riley Reiff, OT Questionable
C.J. Prosise, RB Out