The Detroit Lions (9-7) travel to CenuryLink field for an NFC Wild Card game against the Seattle Seahawks on Jan. 7 at 8:15 p.m. PST.
Detroit limps into the playoffs after losing its final three games of the regular season, including a 31-24 fourth quarter collapse versus the Green Bay Packers last week.
Meanwhile, the Seahawks have not lost a home playoff game since 2005. They are 9-0 in that span. However, Seattle lost three of their final eight games.
Therefore, this could be the year that the Seahawks stumble at home. Do not forget that the Seahawks lost running back Marshawn Lynch to retirement before this season, and they lost safety Earl Thomas to injured reserve. Both players were among emotional leaders of the team.
Here are some predictions for Saturday’s Wild Card Matchup.
Golden Tate Scores A Touchdown
Detroit Lions receiver Golden Tate is receiving a lot of attention this week. Why?
He left the Seattle Seahawks in the middle of their playoff dynasty. Why?
Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll said the offer was not communicated well, per Fox Sports.
Now, Tate will show the Seahawks what they are missing. He registered 1,077 receiving yards and four touchdowns this year. He gets one more, despite a tough matchup versus Seattle All-Pro Richard Sherman.
Expect Tate to hit on at least one big play for a score.
Zach Zenner Rushes For A Touchdown
Detroit ranks No. 30 in the NFL in rushing yards per game. Regardless, their running back will find the end zone in this game.
Bennett said he does not care that Zenner came from North Dakota State because Zenner used talent to have three straight seasons of 2,000 rushing yards in college.
The Seahawks’ defensive lineman also complimented Zenner’s pass blocking and catching ability.
Expect to see some of that on Saturday. Zenner will score a touchdown since Bennett pumped up his head. The Lions running back has three touchdowns in four games, and he will add at least another one in Seattle.
Matthew Stafford Throws for More Than 300 Yards
Despite Zenner finding his way into the end zone, the Lions will have a tough time running the ball. Hence, Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford will have to throw the ball too much.
Stafford completed 65.3 percent of his passes for 4,327 yards, 24 touchdowns, and 10 interceptions. He is a candidate for NFL MVP, but he has only thrown for more than 300 yards four times this season.
Unfortunately, Stafford plays a Seattle defense that ranks No. 8 versus the pass and No. 6 versus the run. Also, the Seahawks are also 16th in turnovers forced per game.
Further, Seattle’s defense could create some turnover magic by creating some. Stafford will pass the 300-yard threshold, but his offense will be one-dimensional thanks to the Seattle defense.
Detroit Loses The Shootout
The Lions set an NFL record with eight comeback wins, per The Detroit News.
Unfortunately, this will not be another win for Detroit. The Lions will find offensive success at various positions, but their defense will not stop the Seahawks.
This is not the same Seattle team that relies on a running game. Instead, they rely on a passing game.
Further, the Lions rank No. 29 in sacks this season. Also, Detroit generates pressure on just 19.8 of opponents’ dropbacks, which is the worst percentage in the NFL, according to ESPN.
Therefore, Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson leads his team to another playoff win.
Wilson posted the worst passer rating (92.6) and the lowest rushing yardage total (259) of his career this season. However, he did throw for 4,219 yards, 21 touchdowns, and 11 interceptions.
Detroit lacks the pass rush to really make Wilson uncomfortable.
Seattle averages 22.1 points per game which places them at 18th in scoring. However, the running game fell to No. 25 with 99.4 yards per contest. This means they will lean on Wilson and the passing game.
Detroit is No. 13 in points allowed, and ESPN reports that they allow opposing quarterbacks to complete 72.9 percent of their passes. Seattle could easily put up 30 points on the Lions.
Besides, we all know how hard Seattle is to beat in the playoffs. The playoffs are a new season, and Seattle can show up a new team.
Find out who wins Saturday’s Detroit Lions versus Seattle Seahawks NFC Wild Card Game by watching.
[Featured Image by Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP Images]