NFL Playoffs: Something must give in Seahawks-Packers clash

Cam Tucker

January 9th, 2020

Another chapter is about to be written into the storied, chaotic, controversial history between the Green Bay Packers and Seattle Seahawks.

In 2012 it was the Fail Mary. In 2014 it was an improbable, fourth-quarter comeback for Seattle in the NFC Championship Game. We could dig even deeper for material, but we don't have enough time.
What will happen Sunday, when they meet at Lambeau Field in the NFL’s Divisional Round?

Seattle Seahawks at Green Bay Packers, Sunday, 6:40 p.m. ET (FOX)

TeamSpreadMoney LineTotal
Seattle Seahawks
Over 47
Green Bay Packers
Under 47

Will home-field advantage continue?

The road teams are off to a good start in these playoffs, with three wins in four Wild Card games.

The Seahawks have made the most of their time away from Seattle, at 8-1 straight up on the road this season, including their win last weekend over the Philadelphia Eagles.

Seattle was also 5-2-1 against the spread on the road during the regular season. As good as the Seahawks have been on the road, the Packers have held home-field advantage all season, with a 7-1 straight-up record and a 5-3 ATS mark.

Home field has been critical in this series, as the home team has an 8-0 record in the last eight games between these teams. Could we see an upset this weekend?

QB battle: Russell Wilson vs. Aaron Rodgers

Where would the Seahawks be this season if Russell Wilson had been just OK?

Wilson put together one of his best seasons as the driver of Seattle’s offense, with 31 touchdown passes and only five interceptions. He was able to extend plays with his legs and scramble away from opposing defenders to find positive yards when such a thing didn’t seem possible.

He torched Philadelphia’s secondary for 325 yards passing, and employed rookie receiver DK Metcalf as his favorite target.

Green Bay's Aaron Rodgers didn’t put up nearly the same numbers in 2019 that we were once used to seeing from the veteran quarterback. From Week 9 to Week 17, the 36-year-old eclipsed the 300-yard passing mark in a game only once.
It may be another Aaron—running back Aaron Jones—who is called on to be the offensive catalyst for the Packers.

Will we see vintage Beast Mode?

Earlier this week the football world celebrated the nine-year anniversary of Marshawn Lynch’s epic, 67-yard run against the New Orleans Saints.
We’re approaching the third game of Lynch’s return to Seattle. At age 33 he has two touchdowns, both in goal-line situations, and has had some decent runs here and there. But he is only averaging 2.2 yards per carry.

Will that change Sunday? It seems, based on comments from Seattle, that Lynch should see an uptick in touches against Green Bay, which doesn’t have the best run defense.

Watch out for Green Bay’s pass rush

The Seahawks are banged up on the offensive line, and Green Bay’s pass rush, led by Za’Darius Smith and Preston Smith, could make life miserable for Wilson.

Those two players combined had 25 1/2 sacks this year—exactly the kind of production you want from a pass-rush duo that joined Green Bay during free agency in the offseason.

Eliminating the time Wilson has to throw, and getting him on the ground, should be a major emphasis for the Green Bay defense, particularly if Seahawks offensive linemen Duane Brown and Mike Iupati are inactive.

Eight teams remain in the NFL Playoffs. Which one will win the Super Bowl? Check out BetAmerica’s NFL futures!