The 12th Man. The locomotive-loud crowd at
But it's the missing man that figures to have the biggest impact by far.
Three-time All-Pro free safety
Thomas is a game-changer, a player with staggering sideline-to-sideline speed who can clean up mistakes made by teammates and keep big plays from becoming huge plays. That’s especially important against a quarterback such as Detroit’s
Since Thomas was injured, the Seahawks don't have an interception. In their four games without Thomas, Seattle not only surrendered its first-place spot in fewest points allowed, but also gave up its first two 30-point games, yielding 38 to Green Bay and 34 to Arizona.
“Earl’s a unique player. He’s an extraordinary player. He’s proven that,” Seahawks Coach
As the Detroit Free Press points out, the last time the
It was Dec. 22, 1957, when the Lions pulled off a 31-27 upset victory at San Francisco. Since, the franchise has fallen in postseason road games 10 times in a row.
Detroit came close two years ago, however, leading most of the way in a playoff game at Dallas before a controversial pass-interference call was overturned, and the
He's great, for starters
Wilson, who has seven playoff victories, trails only New England’s Tom Brady (nine), Flacco (nine), and Pittsburgh’s
Saturday night marks the return of former Seahawks receiver
"Yeah, we just want to win," he told reporters. "It's deeper than me. I want to win because I think this organization deserves to win. I think we've earned our way into the playoffs… But I'd be lying if I said personally I don't want to win as much."
Tate was limited to three catches for 29 yards in a three-point loss at Seattle last season.
By the numbers
How teams compare statistically. All stats are per-game averages, except for sacks and turnover differential, which are for the season (league rank in parentheses):
Category | DET | SEA
Points scored | 21.6 (20) | 22.1 (T18)
Points allowed | 22.4 (13) | 18.3 (3)
Pass offense | 256.9 (11) | 257.8 (10)
Rush offense | 81.9 (30) | 99.4 (25)
Pass defense | 248.4 (14) | 225.8 (25)
Rush defense | 106.3 (18) | 92.9 (7)
Sacks | 26 (30) | 42 (3)
Penalty yards | 53.8 (12) | 60.6 (24)
Turnovers | -1 (20) | +1 (16)
The Seahawks have lost only one game at home all season, and they're so tough in the playoffs. Detroit needs to be physical and establish the run. Still, Seattle hangs on in a really close one.
SEAHAWKS 28, LIONS 27