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On to Atlanta! Rawls, Richardson lead Seahawks’ stellar win over Lions

SEATTLE – Let’s take a moment to be optimistic.

The Seattle Seahawks defeated the Detroit Lions 26-6 at CenturyLink Field on Saturday, not just winning their NFC wild-card game but looking like the kind of team that could get some traction in the playoffs.

Suffocating defense? Check.

Running game comes alive? Check.

Russell Wilson and Doug Baldwin connecting time and again? Check.

Some huge plays at huge times from people like Paul Richardson? A great big check.

Seattle moves on to play Atlanta next Saturday in the divisional round in a 1:35 p.m. game that will be televised on the home of the Seahawks, Q13 FOX. Coverage will begin at 6 a.m.

And if you want to get really wild with it, a win in Atlanta combined with Dallas losing at home next weekend would give the Seahawks a home game in the NFC Championship.

Perhaps the only downside out of the game was another missed extra-point by Steven Hauschka, who botched the kick after Thomas Rawls’ four-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter.

It was Rawls who was the star of the game for the Seahawks, giving them a much-needed boost in the running back and setting a Seattle postseason record with 161 yards on 27 carries, eclipsing Marhawn Lynch’s 156 in 2014.

The Seahawks showed commitment to the run from the outset and Rawls responded, opening up the pass and keeping the defense off the field for a change.

Paul Richardson emerged with three incredible catches. His diving one-handed 2-yard TD grab in the second quarter had to be seen to be believed, and he made another magnificent catch for 24 yards in the final minutes.

It was just another very solid playoff performance for Wilson, who went 26 of 30 passing for 224 yards and two touchdowns and moved to 8-3 in the playoffs in his career while finally shedding the knee brace he wore for the vast majority of the season.

And Baldwin reeled in solid catch after solid catch, finishing with 11 catches for 104 yards.

The Lions, on the other hand, extended their playoff misery. They haven’t won in the postseason since 1991, and haven’t won a road playoff game since 1957.