A sampling of national-media reaction after the Seahawks secured the No. 3 seed with a narrow win over the 49ers.
The playoffs are here, and not a moment too soon after the Seahawks sputtered to the finish.
Seattle (10-5-1) had to struggle through a 25-23 victory over San Francisco on Sunday in its regular-season finale to secure the No. 3 seed in the NFC. The running game was again an issue and the Seahawks had to rally from a 14-3 deficit.
But Seattle eventually secured the win and will now host Detroit on Saturday at 5:15 p.m. in a wild-card game. FiveThirtyEight.com is giving the Seahawks a 71 percent chance of beating the Lions and a 13 percent chance of reaching the Super Bowl.
As usual, the national media had plenty to say about the Seahawks heading into the postseason. Below is a sampling:
Peter King of Monday Morning Quarterback sized up the wild-card matchup this way:
“The Lions need a running game and the explosive Matthew Stafford to show up, and neither has been around much recently. Detroit limps in having lost three straight, by an average of 12.7 points, with their foes scoring 30 a game. If the Lions had a pass-rush going, I’d give them a decent shot, because the Seahawks are struggling to keep Russell Wilson upright. But I think Seattle moves on here.”
ESPN.com’s Sheil Kapadia said Seattle’s playoff hopes rest on Wilson’s arm:
“If the Seahawks are going to make a run — and that looks like a major if right now — Wilson’s arm and the passing game will have to carry them. Sunday’s game was another reminder. … The Seahawks can say they want to be balanced, but they’re not built to play that way.”
Marc Sessler of NFL.com noted the issues still facing the Seahawks entering the playoffs:
“Quarterback Russell Wilson lifted the attack with long gains to pass-catchers Doug Baldwin, Jimmy Graham and Jermaine Kearse, but we remain concerned about this offense. The Seahawks piled up just 20 yards rushing in the first half and 90 on the day, the 10th time this season they’ve plowed for fewer than 100 yards. Seattle has earned our trust in January, but this isn’t the same run-heavy team we used to know. To the leaky O-line’s credit, Wilson took just one sack on the afternoon.”
CBSSports.com’s Pete Prisco focused on one key matchup for Lions-Seahawks:
“Lions defensive end Ziggy Ansah against Seahawks left tackle George Fant. Ansah is Detroit’s best pass rusher, while Fant is a former basketball player who has earned the starting spot in his second season. He has improved as the season moves along.”
Nate Davis of USA Today talked about how it will look different for the Seahawks on Saturday:
“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