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. Sleepless in Seattle: The Seahawks enjoy what is currently the best home-field advantage in the NFL. CenturyLink Field requires a long flight and welcomes visitors with ear-splitting decibels that are known to cause false starts among near-deaf offensive linemen. The Seahawks have won their last nine home playoff games and have never tasted postseason defeat in Seattle under Pete Carroll and Russell Wilson. But the Lions aren't likely to be intimidated. They lost in Seattle 13-10 during a Monday night game in 2015 but were victimized by an officiating error when Seahawks LB K.J. Wright deliberately (and illegally) tapped the ball out of the end zone with less than two minutes to go. Seattle was erroneously awarded possession and ran out the clock.
2. Seahawks 2.0: Though hosting the wild-card round may give Seattle fans comfort, there are plenty of unknowns to consider with their team. This will be the first playoff game FS Earl Thomas has missed since he was drafted in 2010, and the Seahawks' usually formidable secondary will be vulnerable against a quarterback like Matthew Stafford, who has the arm strength to strike deep. This will also be the first time Wilson will be under center for a home playoff game without RB Marshawn Lynch behind him. Long reliant on a strong running game, Seattle struggled in 2016, failing to rush for at least 100 yards 10 times. Wilson can certainly carry this offense — provided he's not besieged behind vulnerable pass protection.
3. Lions tamed? For all of the Seahawks' issues, history is on their side. Detroit hasn't won a playoff game since 1991. The Lions' last postseason road win occurred in — wait for it — 1957. Offensively, Detroit's running game is almost non-existent. Defensively, the Lions are quite vulnerable through the air, partially because they struggle to generate adequate pressure — though pass rushers like Ziggy Ansah and Kerry Hyder should be able to exploit Seattle's tackles. Still, Stafford will probably have to pitch a nearly perfect game to even give his team a shot.
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