The Seattle Seahawks have reached the playoffs for the fifth consecutive year. Can they fend off the upset-minded Detroit Lions?
This has become old hat for Pete Carroll and the Seattle Seahawks. The recently-crowned NFC West champions have reached the postseason for the fifth straight year. And if all goes well, they will be making their third Super Bowl appearance in four seasons.
It starts with an intriguing matchup with the Detroit Lions, losers of three straight games following a 9-4 start. On Sunday night at Ford Field, they squandered an opportunity to win their first division title since 1993 with a 31-24 loss to the Green Bay Packers.
Meanwhile, the Seahawks are NFC West champions but you could hardly tell this was the same team that we have seen prosper in the playoffs in recent seasons. The Seattle running game is virtually non-existent (25th in the NFL) and quarterback Russell Wilson is being forced to do too much behind a very shaky offensive line.
Carroll’s defense still features standouts such as Cliff Avril, Kam Chancellor and Richard Sherman. But the secondary has missed free safety Earl Thomas for some time now.
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This will be a very intriguing contest because neither team is playing its best football at the moment. Traditionally, the Seahawks are a club that usually is playing its best football down the stretch. And that’s simply not the case in 2016. The Lions are also reeling a bit as well, but they have gotten used to playing close games all season. It may be a surprise but don’t be shocked if Caldwell and company leave the Pacific Northwest with the franchise’s first postseason win since 1991.