Seattle Seahawks vs. Detroit Lions. That’s the first-round playoff game set to take place at CenturyLink Field. The Seahawks clinched the No. 3 seed by beating the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday (Jan. 1), while the Lions dropped to the No. 6 seed by losing to the Green Bay Packers later in the evening. The updated NFL playoff brackets have the Packers vs. New York Giants as the other first-round matchup in the NFC.
The Seahawks finished the regular season with a 10-5-1 record, clinching the NFC West and securing home-field advantage in the Wild Card round. The Lions finished with a 9-7 record, losing their final three regular season games. The Seahawks and Lions had been battling for the No. 2 seed in the NFC Playoffs, but both teams were overtaken by the Atlanta Falcons down the stretch. Now the teams will meet up in a first-round playoff game, with a tough road game awaiting the winner.
It wasn’t until late Sunday evening that the Seattle Seahawks vs. Detroit Lions game was finally revealed by the NFL. The Lions hosted the Green Bay Packers to close out the NFL regular season with nearly everything on the line for both teams. The two NFC North teams came into the game tied for first place in the division with identical 9-6 records. This dictated that not only would the winner of the game emerge as divisional champions, but also secure one of the top four seeds in the NFC playoff brackets.
Green Bay beat Detroit, improving to 10-6 on the season, and in the process taking the No. 4 seed. This means that Green Bay gets to host the first Wild Card team (the New York Giants) to open up the postseason. It also means that the Seahawks were able to avoid playing the Packers in a first-round game. The Packers beat the Seahawks earlier in the regular season schedule, led by former MVP quarterback Aaron Rodgers. It’s possible that the Seahawks and Packers could still meet up in the NFC Championship Game if the teams each win their respective side of the bracket.
For the year, the Seattle Seahawks scored 354 points, giving up 292 points in the 16 games. That ranked as the third-fewest points given up in the NFL, showing that it could be difficult for the Detroit Lions to score against them. Meanwhile, the Lions got outscored on the season, putting up 346 points, while opponents scored 358 points on them. The Lions are the only team to make the 2017 NFL Playoffs that got outscored over the 16 games. That’s not exactly an easy thing to pull off and still wind up with a winning record.
The Seahawks and Lions did not meet up during the regular season, creating a scenario where the opponents are not overly familiar with each other. That should create a very competitive atmosphere on Wild Card Weekend, especially since both teams have been underrated by NFL analysts all year. As the home team, the Seahawks will likely be called the favorites, because playing at CenturyLink Field is a distinct advantage for them.
Both teams are also pretty banged up, with the Seahawks missing All-Pro safety Earl Thomas and the Lions missing running back Theo Riddick. Both players are expected to miss the entire postseason. C.J. Prosise and Tyler Lockett were also lost to the Seahawks due to serious injuries and won’t be available for the team. Additional players are expected to be listed as questionable on the next injury reports for both sides as well.
If the Seahawks win this game, the team advances to play the Atlanta Falcons in the second round. If the Lions win this game, they advance to play the Dallas Cowboys on the road. The reason for the differing matchups is that the No. 1 seeded Cowboys get to play the worst seed to advance from Wild Card Weekend, so Seattle is the only team that has already been ruled out as a possible matchup. The NFL has revealed that the game start time for the Seattle Seahawks vs. Detroit Lions is 5:15 p.m. PT on Saturday, January 7.
[Featured Image by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images]