Game Predictions & Player Projections - DET vs. SEA

David Dorey, @DMDorey
WILDCARD WEEK DET at SEA (SAT-8:15 PM ET) MIA at PIT (SUN-1:05 PM ET)
UPDATED NYG at GB (SUN-4:40 PM ET) OAK at HOU (SAT 4:35 PM ET)

Prediction: DET 17, SEA 24 (Line: SEA by 8, O/U = 42.5)

The 9-7 Lions took the #6 seed when they lost to the visiting Packers and have to travel to Seattle to face the 10-5-1 Seahawks who are 7-1 at home while the Lions are 3-5 on the road. This game could be closer than it seems since the Seahawks are just not playing nearly as well here at the end of the season but the Lions looked very mortal last week losing at home as well.

Detroit Lions

1 @IND 39-35 10 BYE ---
2 TEN 15-16 11 JAC 26-19
3 @GB 27-34 12 MIN 16-13
4 @CHI 14-17 13 @NO 28-13
5 PHI 24-23 14 CHI 20-17
6 LA 31-28 15 @NYG 6-17
7 WAS 20-17 16 @DAL 21-42
8 @HOU 13-20 17 GB 24-31
9 @MIN 22-16      
News | Stats | Roster
DET @ SEA Rush Catch Pass
QB Matthew Stafford 10,1 260,1
RB Dwayne Washington 30 1-10
RB Zach Zenner 40 4-30
WR Anquan Boldin 3-40
WR Marvin Jones Jr. 3-40
WR Golden Tate 5-80,1
TE Eric Ebron 4-50
PK Matt Prater 1 FG 2 XP

Pregame Notes: The problem is that the Lions were on a five game winning streak as of Week 14. None of those teams had a winning record. Their last three games were all against playoff bound teams and they lost all three. On the road, they never came closer than 11 points to the Giants or Cowboys. The Lions have mainly advanced thanks to a defense that kept most opponents below 20 points. But most opponents did not end up to be road opponents in the playoffs.

QUARTERBACK : Matthew Stafford comes off a 22 touchdown season but those last two games on the road against the Cowboys and Giants netted zero passing touchdowns and one interception in each. He threw for healthy enough yardage - 260 and 273 yards respectively. But Stafford has been much less effective passing in the second half of the season with only eight scores over the eight weeks and never more than two in any game.

RUNNING BACK : Oddly enough, the rushing effort saw a spike with three touchdowns over the last two games and a healthy133 yards on 32 carries over those games. But the Lions would fall behind and have to abandon the run so that Zach Zenner would have minimal involvement in the second half. Theo Riddick was the only productive running back for the Lions but left after Week 3. Dwayne Washington offers up some rushing help but scored just once all year and rarely turns in more than 30 yards.

WIDE RECEIVER : Marvin Jones started out hot and cooled for the second half of the year. He has not scored since Week 6 and his best game was 205 yards and two scores in Week 3 versus the Packers. Last week against the same team, he was held to only 76 yards on five catches and no scores. Anquan Boldin offers up a touchdown in about half of his games but only two came in road venues and he rarely tops 50 yards in any game. Golden Tate came to life starting around midseason and turned in at least six receptions in each of the last four games.

TIGHT END : Eric Ebron stepped up in recent weeks with eight catches for 93 yards in Dallas and then six receptions for 61 yards versus the Packers last week. But those came after a month of never topping 40 yards and he's caught just one touchdown all year - in the season opener.

MATCH TO THE DEFENSE: The Seahawks have not played as well lately but still there have only been eight passing scores allowed in Seattle though three quarterbacks topped 280 yards there. Aside from David Johnson, no back has done much in Seattle and Zach Zenner's recent success should be hard to match since most visitors would not post more than 50 rushing yards there. Seattle has a top 5 rush defense.

Stafford could post decent yardage but more than one or two touchdowns would be a surprise given that only two quarterbacks have thrown for three scores on them - Aaron Rodgers and Matt Ryan.

Eric Ebron could have moderate yardage here but no reason to expect his first touchdown catch in four months. Marvin Jones should match on CB Richard Sherman which would free up the rest of the secondary to focus on Golden Tate and Anquan Boldin. Tate has the best outlook here and a touchdown pass should end up either with him or Boldin.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points DET 12 20 8 25 12 24
Preventing Fantasy Points SEA 4 3 11 4 3 11

Seattle Seahawks

1 MIA 12-10 10 @NE 31-24
2 @LA 3-9 11 PHI 26-15
3 SF 37-18 12 @TB 5-14
4 @NYJ 27-17 13 CAR 40-7
5 BYE --- 14 @GB 10-38
6 ATL 26-24 15 LA 24-3
7 @ARI 6-6 16 ARI 31-34
8 @NO 20-25 17 @SF 25-23
9 BUF 31-25      
News | Statistics | Roster
SEA vs DET Rush Catch Pass
QB Russell Wilson 10 250,3
RB Alex Collins 30 1-10 -
RB Thomas Rawls 40 1-10
WR Doug Baldwin 6-80,1
WR Jermaine Kearse 3-40
WR Paul Richardson 3-30,1
TE Jimmy Graham 6-60,1
PK Steven Hauschka 3 FG 3 XP

Pregame Notes: The Seahawks are at home and that's probably a very good thing. They have only won three of their last six games and lost two of their last three road games -both badly. Even their win last week in San Francisco was only by two points. The defense has taken a big step backwards thanks to injuries and the offense is not stepping up as it did in 2015. The rushing effort has never really been much and the passing offense remains mostly average aside from a couple of games.

QUARTERBACK : Russell Wilson ended with 21 passing touchdowns on the year but only broke 300 passing yards three times and 11 of his games concluded with only one or no touchdowns. He recently came to life in divisional matchups at home against the Rams and Cardinals but overall it has been a disappointing season with little progress made other than connecting more with Jimmy Graham.

RUNNING BACK : The backfield has been below average all year despite the success of past seasons. Christine Michael was the best with seven touchdowns but he was released after Week 10. Thomas Rawls finally scored for only the second game this year but only once had more than 67 yards in any game and he's not displayed any of the talent he flashed last year. Alex Collins is getting seven carries per game now but that's not enough to make a difference fantasy or otherwise.

At best the rushing effort is average and at times it has been a liability.

WIDE RECEIVER : Jermaine Kearse replaced Tyler Lockett but only managed 45 yards on two catches last week while Doug Baldwin only caught two passes for 44 yards in San Francisco. But Baldwin has the only decent performances by a wideout. He's caught seven touchdowns this year and he had three big games for 2016 - all at home. He's always good for at least five catches in a home game and his role is even more important with Tyler Lockett gone. Paul Richardson should see an uptick as well though it wasn't apparent last week and he's caught just one score this year and never gained more than 52 yards in any game.

TIGHT END : Jimmy Graham started the year with good results - three 100 yard games by Week 9. But he's never gained more than 67 yards in any game since and he totals six touchdowns on the season - just one in the last four weeks. On the plus - every score was in a home game.

MATCH TO THE DEFENSE: The Lions defense has played very well so long as it is against only average teams and preferably in a home game. The Seahawks are not going to rush for much given that is is a strength of the defense and only four players rushed in a score on them all year. The split between Rawls and Collins only makes an average attack less for the individual runners. A touchdown is possible but is just not likely.

Russell Wilson should have a better game back at home this week. He already threw for seven scores over the last two home tilts and the Lions secondary always gives up a score or two or three in road games. the loss of Lockett doesn't help but playing versus one of the worst defenses against tight ends means Jimmy Graham should have better yardage and a great shot at a touchdown against a defense that allowed nine scores to the position over their eight road games.

Baldwin is a good start this week thought the Lions secondary hasn't give up a 100 yard game since Week 4. But their last two road games had both the Giants and Cowboys throwing a couple of scores.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points SEA 15 23 20 8 7 17
Preventing Fantasy Points DET 28 11 23 29 6 8
WILDCARD WEEK DET at SEA (SAT-8:15 PM ET) MIA at PIT (SUN-1:05 PM ET)
UPDATED NYG at GB (SUN-4:40 PM ET) OAK at HOU (SAT 4:35 PM ET)

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