The Seattle Seahawks beat the Detroit Lions on Saturday evening (Jan. 7) winning the Wild Card game and advancing in the 2017 NFL Playoffs. Next up for the Seahawks will be a road game against the Atlanta Falcons. Early on in the 26-6 victory, the Seahawks had a bit of trouble moving the ball against the Lions defense. In the second quarter, a drive spurred by running back Thomas Rawls eating up yardage ended with a touchdown pass to Paul Richardson. The teams would then trade field goals and head into halftime with a 10-3 Seahawks lead.
The Lions cut the score to 10-6 on a Matt Prater field goal in the third quarter, giving Lions fans hope that the game could remain close until the end. The Seahawks bounced back with a Steven Hauschka field goal in the fourth quarter and then started to put the game away. An eight play, 82-yard drive ended in a Thomas Rawls rushing touchdown, giving the Seahawks a 19-6 lead. With time running out, the Lions couldn’t capitalize on their next drive, giving the Seahawks a chance to really run out the clock.
The final stats were very favorable for the Seahawks, with several players stepping up in a big way on Saturday. Russell Wilson completed 23-of-30 passes for 224 yards and two touchdowns. He also helped steer the offense on several crucial second half drives that helped put the game away. Thomas Rawls finished with 161 rushing yards and a touchdown on just 27 carries, showing how good the running game of Seattle is when everyone is healthy. Wilson’s favorite receiver on the day was Doug Baldwin, who caught 11 passes for 104 yards and a touchdown.
The Seattle Seahawks weren’t just dominating in the run game, as the defense also came up huge against the Detroit Lions passing attack as well. The Seahawks allowed only 231 total yards, limiting the Lions to just 13 first down in the process. That worked out to 182 passing yards and 49 rushing yards, most of which took place on two Lions drives that ended with field goals. The Lions also only had the ball for 23:21, compared to the 36:39 that the Seahawks controlled the clock. Controlling the clock through the running game was a big key to this victory for the home team.
There were no turnovers in the game, but the Seahawks came up with three huge sacks to limit the passing game for the Lions and Matthew Stafford. Cliff Avril was credited for two of those sacks, while Michael Bennett, fresh off signing a nice contract extension, had one sack on his stat line. Even without an injured Earl Thomas on the field, the defense gave a lot to the Falcons coaches to think about over the next week of preparation.
The Seattle Seahawks vs. Atlanta Falcons game time is 1:35 p.m. PT on Saturday, January 14. It will be the first game during the NFL divisional round, with the New England Patriots hosting the nightcap. As the No. 2 seed in the NFC, the Falcons get to host the game, with the winning team advancing to play in the NFC Championship Game the following weekend.
The Seahawks and Falcons already played once during the regular season. That Week 4 game was a 26-24 victory for the Seahawks, as the team scored nine late points in the fourth quarter to notch an important win. The Falcons still finished with a better regular-season record (11-5), giving the team a No. 2 seed in the NFC and the right to a first-round bye. That has allowed the Falcons a bit of rest before the divisional round begins on January 14, but many NFL analysts have already been discussing the momentum that the Seattle Seahawks have created with a first-round victory.
[Featured Image by Steve Dykes/Getty Images]