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Detroit Lions never find a way to stop Seattle Seahawks' Thomas Rawls

By Scott Johnson, The Sports Xchange

Seattle Seahawks running back Thomas Rawls (34) runs through the tackles of Detroit Lions defensive tackle Khyri Thornton (99) and outside linebacker DeAndre Levy (54) in a Wild Card round of the NFL playoffs at CenturyLink Field in Seattle, Washington on January 7, 2017. The Seahawks beat the Lions 26 to 6 to advance in the playoffs. Photo by Jim Bryant/UPI
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SEATTLE -- After a frustrating regular season, Seattle Seahawks running back Thomas Rawls finally broke out Saturday night -- in a big way.
Rawls rushed for a franchise playoff-record 161 yards to lead the Seahawks to a 26-6 victory over Detroit.
"One of the best performances you'll see in terms of a running back in a playoff game," quarterback Russell Wilson said.
Rawls, who had only one 100-yard game during an injury-plagued regular season, said the timing couldn't have been better.
"It's God's time now," he said. "The moment and the time is now. We've had some struggles and adversity during the season, up and down with the running game in the regular season. But that's on God's time, not man's."
Rawls was particularly excited to eclipse a franchise record that once was held by Marshawn Lynch, his mentor and hero.
"I'm kind of lost for words right now," Rawls said. "I'm just grateful for the opportunity. I'm just a kid from Flint (Mich.) and I want to take it as far as I can."
RECORD NIGHT FOR BALDWIN: Seattle receiver Doug Baldwin caught 11 passes for 104 yards and a touchdown, giving him a franchise-record 50 playoff receptions with the Seahawks.
If Baldwin had his way, he would have given one of them back. Baldwin's only touchdown of the night came on a 13-yard reception that he took away from teammate Jermaine Kearse in the end zone.
"I wasn't where I was supposed to be, and fortunately it worked out and we scored a touchdown," Baldwin said. "But I took a touchdown away from my brother, and I feel terrible about it."
PAUL WHO? It's become a pretty common occurrence for a lesser-known Seattle receiver to break out in the postseason and Saturday night, it was Paul Richardson's turn.
The third-year player from Colorado caught three passes, including a pair of one-handers, and left the biggest impression after the game.
"He's been a big-play guy for us ever since he stepped on the field," Baldwin said. "... We expected that out of him."
No one on the outside did. Richardson has been limited throughout his NFL career because of injuries. He has 51 career catches in regular-season games, including 21 in 2016. A season-ending injury to starter Tyler Lockett in Week 15 opened the door for Richardson to get more playing time.
Richardson's best catch Saturday came on a one-handed grab that he made in the end zone despite being shielded from the ball by Detroit safety Tavon Wilson, who took away the use of Richardson's right arm.
"That was an unbelievable catch," Wilson said, "probably one of the best catches you'll see -- ever."
BOLDIN NOT DONE YET: Lions receiver Anquan Boldin had one of his more frustrating games Saturday night, and it sounded afterward as if he's hoping it won't be his last.
The 36-year-old wideout said after the game that he is leaning toward coming back next season.
"I haven't sat down and talked with my family yet," he said, "but I still have the passion to play."
Boldin's passion resulted in a 15-yard penalty during Saturday's first half. He was trying to catch a third-down pass when the veteran ended up on the Seattle sideline and nearly ran into Seahawks defensive lineman Jarran Reed. Boldin said after the game that Reed pushed him, but the only thing the officials saw was Boldin pushing back.
"I shouldn't have retaliated, but it is what it is," Boldin said.
Overall, he wasn't happy with how the game was officiated.
"There were some calls that left us shaking our heads," Boldin said. "Anytime you come into a place like this, you know you have to play more than just the team."
TAKING OFF THE BRACE: Wilson played without a knee brace for the first time since Week 3, when he sprained a ligament in a win over San Francisco. Wilson said he felt "a little bit" more mobile Saturday and added that the plan all along was to take off the brace in the postseason.
"We wanted an opportunity to get to the playoffs and then cut loose," he said.
ON TO ATLANTA: The Seahawks will play a playoff game in Atlanta for the second time since the 2012 season as the Falcons host Seattle in a divisional-round game next weekend.
"We have tons of respect for their team," Wilson said. "Tons of respect for (Atlanta coach and former Seahawks assistant) Dan Quinn; we know him from when he was here. It's going to be a great game, and we're looking forward to the challenge."

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