SEATTLE – With an offensive game plan that outspoken cornerback Richard Sherman must have loved, the Seattle Seahawks rushed their way to a 26-6 wild card win against the Detroit Lions Saturday night.
Seattle ran for 177 yards, with 161 and a touchdown from running back Thomas Rawls, and set up a divisional round game against the Atlanta Falcons next week. Rawls’ total was a franchise postseason record for the Seahawks.
With an offensive line that continues to be vulnerable in pass protection (quarterback Russell Wilson was sacked by the Lions three times Saturday night), Rawls and a pounding run game just might be the Seahawks’ recipe for postseason success. As Sherman argued to the Seahawks coaching staff last month: Just run the ball.
At the very least, the Seahawks now seem to have discovered balance on offense. Having the constant threat of a running game will only aid Wilson, who threw for 224 yards and two touchdowns against the Lions. His first touchdown came on a two-yard fade route to receiver Paul Richardson, who made one of the most spectacular one-handed catches of the season.
Seattle’s defense, in its first postseason game without star safety Earl Thomas since Thomas was drafted in 2010, kept the Lions out of the end zone, with the Lions’ only points coming on a pair of field goals from Matt Prater, both of which were more than 50 yards long.
For the Lions, the drought of 25 seasons without a playoff win continues, and once again, the Lions could argue they were on the wrong side of a couple missed calls.
Replays showed Richardson got a handful of defensive back Tavon Wilson’s facemask on his touchdown grab. And in the fourth quarter, Seahawks cornerback DeShawn Shead was not called for pass interference after hooking Detroit wide receiver T.J. Jones’ arm on a deep pass.