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This game is an intriguing matchup between the upstart Detroit Lions and a playoff mainstay in the Seattle Seahawks. Neither team has played recently, which makes this game even harder to pick.

Detroit Lions- The Lions have been one of this season’s biggest surprises, especially after future Hall of Famer Calvin Johnson suddenly retired at the end of last season. QB Matthew Stafford was on an MVP pace until a little over a month ago when an injury to his middle finger threw a wrench into the Lions Cinderella season. This is a mentally tough team that will fight to the end and the Seahawks better be ready for a tough game.

Seattle Seahawks- The Seahawks had entered the season as one of the favorites to represent the NFC in the Super Bowl. The biggest problem for this team has been poor offensive line play, and more recently the loss of Earl Thomas out of their secondary. This team is still most certainly a Super Bowl contender, but they have to be more consistent on offense and defense if they want to survive and advance.

 

Key Matchups

Lions WR Marvin Jones vs. Seahawks CB Richard Sherman- Golden Tate is the best receiver that the Lions have, but Marvin Jones is a deep threat and they will need to hit a big play or two against the Seattle defense if they want a shot at winning the game.

-Lions DE Ziggy Ansah vs. Seahawks LT George Fant- Ansah had a disappointing season this year mainly because of an ankle injury that slowed him down through much of the season. He has played much better the last few weeks and is the main pass rushing threat for the Lions. Fant is a Basketball player turned Tackle and will have his hand full. The Seahawks gave up 42 sacks this year, and if they don’t play better than that here, they will be in trouble.

Can either team run the ball?- Zenner ran the ball with some success against the Packers last week and for the Seahawks Alex Collins has played well the last few weeks. If either team has success on the ground, it will go a long way in predicting the winner.

 

Prediction

I am picking the upset here; the Lions will win their first playoff game since the 1991 season. I think Stafford will play well and Zenner will gain some yards. Maybe, more importantly, is the Seahawks secondary is not as good without Thomas. Lions 23 Seahawks 20
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