Lions Lose 26-6 to Seahawks in NFC Wild Card Game

Lions Fall to Seahawks in NFC Wild Card Game After Offense Sputters in Second Half.

The Detroit Lions came into Saturday night’s showdown in Seattle looking for their first Playoff win since 1991. Instead, they lost their 9th straight Postseason game and were bounced in the first round for the second time in three years. It was Detroit’s fourth straight loss since being 9-4 and the second seed in the NFC. Seattle running back Thomas Rawls ran all over the Lions for 161 yards, and Doug Baldwin had 11 catches for 104 yards. Russell Wilson outplayed Matthew Stafford, but neither QB turned the ball over. It was a game hampered by penalties, mostly in Seattle’s favor. Detroit didn’t play well enough to win in the end, even if they had some bad calls go against them. So check out my quarterly notes from the painful loss below!

1ST QUARTER:

Detroit Lions

January 7, 2017; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson (3) is pressured by Detroit Lions defensive end Kerry Hyder (61) during the first half in the NFC Wild Card playoff football game at CenturyLink Field. Mandatory Credit: Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports

The Lions received to start the game, but two straight incompletions — including a drop by Golden Tate on 3rd down — forced an early Detroit 3-and-out. The Seahawks completed a short pass on first, but good pressure up front on Russell Wilson caused an incomplete pass on third. The Lions got the ball back with 13 minutes left. Stafford looked off on his first throw, but a Zach Zenner run was good for a first down and more on 2nd & 10. The Lions wouldn’t get much else and punted the ball for the second time.

Neither team could get going offensively. Wilson gets sacked by Ngata on second down. Then, on third, Ziggy Ansah catches Wilson again. The Seahawks punt. Stafford continued to look off the mark as he floated a ball over the deep middle incomplete. An offsides penalty made it 3rd & 4. Stafford hit Ebron for a nice gain and first down. Marvin Jones was next, hauling in a laser on second down for another first.

Something was clicking finally, as Stafford was flushed yet still hit Zenner for a short gain. The Lions would go for it on fourth down. Instead of a QB sneak or run with Zenner, Detroit had Stafford roll out and toss it to Mike Mulligan, but was sniffed out and stopped.

End of 1st: Lions-0, Seahawks-0.

 

2ND QUARTER:

Detroit Lions

January 7, 2017; Seattle, WA, USA; Detroit Lions kicker Matt Prater (5) kicks a field goal against the Seattle Seahawks during the first half.  In the NFC Wild Card playoff football game at CenturyLink Field. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Seattle took over around their own 40. On a second down pass, Nevin Lawson made a great open-field tackle to stop the receiver short. Haloti Ngata stuffed Seattle’s fullback on 3rd & inches. The Seahawks got the first down with a Thomas Rawls run up the gut on fourth. The Lions’ defense loosened up after that play, with Wilson finding Jimmy Graham for a first down to the Detroit 10 yard line. Rawls picked up a good chunk to get inside the five. On the two, Seattle called a play-action pass that was nearly a sack and incomplete.

On fourth and goal, Wilson found Paul Richardson, who made an unbelievable catch for a touchdown. He got away with a very clear facemask, though, which wasn’t called despite a call going against Detroit. Seattle goes up 7-0. The Lions take over with over seven minutes left in the first half. Stafford finds Ebron over the middle to start the drive. Anquan Boldin couldn’t make the grab on third down, and also drew a penalty. Needless to say, the Lions would punt again. The Seahawks broke a big run to open up get into scoring range.

The Lions forced an incompletion on third down, so Seattle brought out Steven Hauschka — who just barely made the field goal. Seattle goes up 10-0. Lions get the ball back with just under two minutes and three timeouts left. Stafford connects with Boldin, then, threw it deep down the left sideline to Marvin Jones. The play is close, so the officials review it. It stands and a screen pass puts the Lions just past the Seattle 40. Matt Prater came out and drilled a 51-yard field goal. Lions trail by seven as the half ends.

Halftime: Lions-3, Seahawks-10.

 

 

3RD QUARTER:

Detroit Lions

January 7, 2017; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Seahawks running back Thomas Rawls (34) runs the ball ahead of Detroit Lions outside linebacker Josh Bynes (57) during the first half in the NFC Wild Card playoff football game at CenturyLink Field. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Seattle came out on offense to start the third quarter. Jimmy Graham took a second down pass for almost 20 yards. Thomas Rawls continued to pound the Lions up the gut. The Seahawks crossed midfield before an incompletion slowed the drive. Another pass was thrown away when Wilson was pressured. On third and 10, Graham caught it for another big chunk over the middle, beating the soft zone the Lions were playing for a first.

The Seahawks were in another 3rd & long but this time, Ansah got a big sack to end the drive. A great punt by Hauschka gave the Lions the ball on their own 4 yard line. Stafford took off scrambling for a few yards to make it 3rd and 4. Tate caught it out of the slot for a first down. Jones dropped an easy one, nearly corraling it, but there was a penalty against Seattle. Zenner caught a juggling screen pass for a big gain.

Jones made another big grab for a first down. Golden Tate looked as if might have gotten interfered with on third and 2, but didn’t get the call. Prater came out again, nailing a 53-yarder this time. Lions cut the lead to 10-6 nearing the end of the third. Seattle would continue to find success handing the ball off to Rawls. He popped a good, then, great run to get to the 34 yard line. Wilson would find Baldwin for a short grab that would put the Seahawks on the Lions’ 6 as the quarter was winding down.

End of 3rd: Lions-6, Seahawks-10.

 

4TH QUARTER:

Detroit Lions

January 7, 2017; Seattle, WA, USA; Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford (9) runs the ball. Against the Seattle Seahawks during the second half in the NFC Wild Card playoff football game at CenturyLink Field. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

A Rawls run would get stopped behind the line. Glover Quin made a huge pass breakup on third and goal. Hauschka came out and hit the chip shot to make it 13-6. Lions receive the ball with 14:12 left in the game. An unnecessary roughness penalty on Boldin backed up Detroit right away. Another pass interference wasn’t called on a very close play against T.J. Jones. Refs say the catch is not catchable (which was debatable).

A punt gave put the Seahawks on their own 27. Seahawks had the passing game going now, as Wilson connected with Baldwin over the middle, and then again, deep down the left sideline. A’Shawn Robinson stuffed Rawls on second down in the Lions’ red zone.  The Seahawks would spread out Detroit and find Graham on third, for a first down. Rawls capped the drive with a TD run.

Seattle goes up 19-6, after a missed extra point. The Lions take the field on offense with nine minutes left. Stafford came out firing to Marvin Jones for a 19-yard strike. Detroit stalls out with incompletions, however, quickly punting it back to Seattle’s 15. Lions couldn’t stop the balanced Seahawks attack giving up a first down and letting clock get down to 5:30. Detroit had all three timeouts and didn’t use them. Wilson hit Paul Richardson again on a deep ball.

Two straight Lions penalties put the Seahawks on the Lions’ 25. It wasn’t pretty, and many fans are going to blame the refs. It did feel like the Titans game where everything the Lions did was flagged. An incompletion on third down is challenged. Carroll gets the call and Baldwin catches another TD pass. Lions go down 26-6, with 3:30 left in the game. Detroit would do nothing with it, however, and lost without any late-game magic.

End of Game: Lions-6, Seahawks-26.

 

3 Stars of the Game:

Detroit Lions

January 7, 2017; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Seahawks running back Thomas Rawls (34) runs the ball against the defense of Detroit Lions defensive end Devin Taylor (98) and free safety Glover Quin (27) during the first half in the NFC Wild Card playoff football game at CenturyLink Field. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

 

1. Thomas Rawls: Rawls was outstanding in this game, rushing for nearly 170 yards on the ground. He was the number-one factor in the outcome of this game. He was clutch, he never stopped and Detroit looked to get tired of tackling him.

 

2. Doug Baldwin: Baldwin was rightfully compared to the great Odell Beckahm Jr. by the broadcasting team after an 11 catch performance for 104 Yards. He was huge in several critical moments, icing the game with a late TD grab.

 

3. Ziggy Ansah: 9 total tackles and 2 sacks. Do I need to say more? Ansah was dominant all day. It was probably the best game of Ziggy’s season. I need to mention Tahir Whitehead, who played well despite a loss.

 

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