Seattle Seahawks’ Thomas Rawls (34) leaps over Carolina Panthers’ Daryl Worley to score a touchdown in the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 4, 2016, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
By Case Keefer ( contact )
Saturday, Jan. 7, 2017 | 2 a.m.
We’re entering the third season of the annual South Point-lined Play of the Day competition, effective July 1.
Starting bankrolls have reset to $10,000, with the maximum bet being to win $1,000 and the minimum wager $300. Ray Brewer won the 2015-2016 season, after Taylor Bern prevailed in 2014-2015. Bern stepped away in the middle of the 2016-2017 season with a 16-12 record and $13,317 bankroll, with Mike Grimala taking his place.
In my preview column earlier in the week, I agonized over which teams to pick in both wild-card games with point spreads of more than a touchdown. Three days later, I’m wavering on one of the picks but feel fully confident in the other.
The Seahawks are the latter. The more I think about it, the more I have a hard time envisioning the Lions making this game competitive.
Detroit’s last three games, which it lost by a total of 49 points, are more indicative of its value as a team than all the close wins it snuck out in the middle of the season. And none of those games were in a venue as tough as CenturyLink Field.
The Lions didn’t even play a game on the West Coast all year, let alone in this part of the country’s most unforgiving venue. The Seahawks’ offense hasn’t been great, but this is a favorable matchup for it to get right.
The Lions have the second-fewest sacks in the league, and won’t be able to punish the Seahawks for their soft offensive line. They’re also weak in the secondary, and Russell Wilson should be able to take advantage by peppering Doug Baldwin and Jimmy Graham with passes.
Seattle will have a big lead in this game. A backdoor cover is the only thing that worries me, but it’s not a big enough worry to push me off the Seahawks.