A sampling of national-media reaction following the Seahawks' 26-6 win over the Lions on Saturday night at CenturyLink Field.
Well, that looked familiar.
The Seahawks rode a record performance by running back Thomas Rawls and some great playmaking by receivers Paul Richardson and Doug Baldwin to a 26-6 victory over the Lions on Saturday night in a wild-card playoff game. It was a close game for three quarters before Seattle pulled away by scoring on three straight possessions.
The victory ensured the Seahawks would win at least one playoff game for the fifth straight season and sets up an NFC divisional playoff game in Atlanta against the Falcons next Saturday. FiveThirtyEight.com gives the Seahawks a 38 percent chance of beating the Falcons and a 19 percent chance of reaching the Super Bowl.
As usual, the national media had plenty to say about the Seahawks and their prospects. Below is a sampling:
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Sports Illustrated’s Greg Bishop noted how dynamic Rawls made the Seahawks appear:
“On Saturday, Rawls carried early and carried often. He ran off tackle, up the middle, around both ends. … More important—most important—he added balance and dimension to a Seahawks offense that looked more like, well, a Seahawks offense. ‘I’m telling you,’ Carroll said. ‘That’s the game we’ve been looking for.'”
Sheil Kapadia of ESPN.com also discussed Rawls’ performance:
“The Seahawks will go to Atlanta next week as underdogs against the Falcons. They are a flawed team and have plenty of obstacles to overcome if they’re going to make a Super Bowl run. But what had players and coaches excited following Saturday’s win was that the formula they have come to count on again seems available.”
ESPN.com’s Vaughn McClure began breaking down next Saturday’s Seahawks-Falcons game:
“(Matt) Ryan, (Julio) Jones and crew should know what to expect from the Seahawks. The teams played in Week 6 of the regular season and the Seahawks escaped with a 26-24 victory in Seattle. The game was marred by a controversial no-call when (Richard) Sherman, the Seahawks’ top cornerback, got away with grabbing Jones late in the contest. The Falcons are a much better version of themselves now, with Ryan throwing 11 touchdowns and no interceptions during a four-game winning streak to finish the season.”
Lindsay H. Jones of USA Today had a warning for the rest of the NFL regarding the Seahawks:
The Ringer’s Danny Kelly said the Seahawks actually looked like the Seahawks on Saturday:
“They picked a good time to regain their form, because now they’ll have to take their run game on the road to Atlanta for the divisional round of the NFC playoffs. For much of the season, it would have been reasonable to wonder whether this Seattle attack could muster enough offense to hang with Atlanta — a team the Seahawks beat earlier this season but also a team against whom Carroll’s crew managed just 2.7 rush yards per attempt. With the ground game back, though, this finally looks like a team that can trade scores with MVP front-runner Matt Ryan.”
Jeffri Chadiha of NFL.com wrote about the Seahawks finding their identity behind Rawls:
“The importance of this game wasn’t lost on anybody on the Seattle roster. This isn’t the same team that dominated the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl XLVIII nor is it the one that came within one play of winning a second championship a year later. The Seahawks clearly miss Lynch’s power and his reliability. They also entered this postseason with a defense that lost the foundation of its secondary, Pro Bowl free safety Earl Thomas, to a broken leg a month ago. All those issues made it hard to think of the Seahawks being able to keep pace with the sexier teams in the NFC playoff race.”