Detroit Lions vs Seattle Seahawks preview: Seahawks looking to extend playoff home game winning streak
Lions & Seahawks clash in wild-card round

Detroit Lions vs Seattle Seahawks preview: Seahawks looking to extend playoff home game winning streak

Vavel USA's Jamie Joslyn previews the NFC wild-card game between the Detroit Lions and the Seattle Seahawks at Centurylink field, Seattle, Washington.

jamie-joslyn
Jamie Joslyn

The Detroit Lions travel to the Seattle Seahawks in the NFC's first wild-card game, with both teams looking to avoid a one and done playoff run.

Home field means everything

It's a saying which goes around a lot when describing the Seahawks, but the home field does literally mean everything for Seattle especially in the playoffs where they haven't lost since Pete Carroll became the head coach in 2010 and Russell Wilson was drafted in 2012 and earned the starting quarterback job.

A team of inconsistency

Seattle will be big favourites for this game with the 12th man behind them, but there's no guarantee the really good Seahawks will show up for this game because for one reason or another they've really struggled for consistency in 2016 and it's the main reason why they let the #2 seed slip in the NFC and have to play this game at all.

The offense has never been a spectacular force by league standards and it's suffered more this year because of a pretty non-existent running game in the wake of the retired Marshawn Lynch. This will, in fact, be the first playoff game of Wilson's career where Lynch is unavailable.

This missing part of the Seahawks Super bowl winning team along with key injuries to the defense has made Seattle not such a formidable team than they were a couple of years ago. They still have a lot of guys who can make plays on both offence and defense, though, special teams could be a big threat this weekend as well after the signing of a veteran kick returner, Devin Hester.

Lions looking for the upset

The Lions have a respectable 9-6 record this season, but history is really against them when it comes to the postseason. Detroit has not won a playoff game since 1991 and they haven't won one on the road in exactly 60 years. The Lions have only been to the playoffs twice since quarterback Matthew Stafford was drafted in 2008 and they have lost two wild-card games on the road.

Matthew Stafford and the Detroit Lions are looking to pull off an upset. | Photo: USA Today Sports
Matthew Stafford and the Detroit Lions are looking to pull off an upset. | Photo: USA Today Sports

Too many hurdles to overcome?

The Lions don't exactly come into this game in great form, as they've dropped their last three games to lose the NFC North title to the Green Bay Packers. Jim Caldwell's team are also 0-5 against teams who've made the playoffs this year.

Just like this weekend's hosts, the Lions have suffered some injury setbacks this year including a finger injury to Stafford late in the season, which has seen his level drop slightly and heading into a game where you feel he'll need to be perfect, this could be the difference at the end of the game.

Also like the Seahawks, Detroit has struggled to establish a running game all year and against the league's second-best run defense that doesn't bold well. Zack Zenner has provided a bit of spark in recent weeks and the Lions will need him in certain situations on Saturday night.

Both quarterbacks will look to stretch the field in this game against the secondary, which are vulnerable to the deep pass, but Seattle have the intermediate threat of tight end Jimmy Graham as a bonus factor and if they include him in the game plan more then the Lions will struggle to deal with both threats.

Injury report

Richard Sherman, CJ Prosise, and Tony McDaniel have all missed a practice session this week, but there is no reason why they wouldn't play on Saturday.

The Lions have had guys like Andre Roberts and center, Travis Swanson is limited in practice this week, but apart from that the Lions look pretty healthy.

Stats

Seattle leads the all-time head to head record 8-5 against the Lions with this being the first playoff meeting between the teams. Russell Wilson has won at least one playoff game with Seattle in each year since he was drafted in 2012.

The Seahawks are 8-4 in playoff games since Pete Carroll took over as head coach.

VAVEL Logo