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NFC Divisional Round Preview: Seahawks at Packers

Coach Jim Harbaugh 2018

Russell Wilson and the Seattle Seahawks travel to infamous Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wisconsin, this Sunday to take on Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers.

The Packers are four-point favorites as of January 8, but that could change. The over/under stands at 46 (per fanduel.com).

Weather.com lists the weather for Sunday in Green Bay as a high of 25 degrees and a low of 20, with only a 10 percent chance of precipitation.

The game is at 6:40 PM, Eastern Time on Fox.

Packers Offense

The Packers are led by arguably one of the greatest quarterbacks to ever play the game, Aaron Rodgers. He comes into this weekend’s game leading the 13-3 Packers back from a well-earned bye week in the Wild Card round to face off against the Seahawks.

Packers.com lists Aaron Rodgers as completing 62.04 percent of his passes this year, for 4,002 total passing yards. He is averaging 7.0 yards per attempt. Rodgers has thrown 26 touchdowns and only four interceptions this year.

His favorite target has been Davante Adams who has caught 83 passes for 997 yards, for an average of 12 yards per catch, and five touchdowns. But Allen Lazard, Jimmy Graham and Adam Jones have over 400 receiving yards each and have combined for nine receiving touchdowns.

Adam Jones has been a force to be reckoned with on the ground as well, racking up 236 rushes for 1,084 yards for an average of 4.6 yards per carry. He has also scored 16 touchdowns on the ground.

Overall, Green Bay averaged 23.5 points per game this season, good for 15th in the league (per fanduel.com).

Seahawks Defense

NFC Divisional Round Preview - Seahawks @ Packers
Seahawks safety Marquise Blair lays a big hit on a Denver Broncos wide receiver this preseason. Blair has played in 14 games this season, totaling 32 tackles and 2 forced fumbles. Image courtesy of Seattletimes.com.

Bobby Wagner and Jadeveon Clowney are two of the most notable names on Seattle’s defense, and they should be, as they’ve combined for 190 tackles, six sacks, and five forced fumbles, according to NFL.com.

They aren’t the only two members of the defense that are making big plays, though. Rookie Marquise Blair, while limited in his playing time in 14 games this season, has made a bit of a name for himself, with 32 combined tackles and two forced fumbles. With Quandre Diggs back at full strength, Blair might not see as much playing time as he normally does, but Green Bay should take notice when he’s on the field.

Per fanduel.com, Seattle’s defense is giving up less than 20 points per game this year, at 19.0 per contest.

Seahawks Offense

Russell Wilson has had another stellar year. According to NFL.com, he has completed 66.1 percent of his passes, for 4,110 yards, and an average of 8.0 yards per attempt. He also has 31 touchdowns and just five interceptions. His stats and Rodgers’ are very similar in every passing category.

Tyler Lockett leads all Seattle receivers with 82 receptions for 1057 yards and eight touchdowns. Rookie D.K. Metcalf isn’t far behind with 58 receptions for 900 yards and seven touchdowns.

The biggest rushing story of Seattle’s season isn’t Chris Carson’s 278 attempts for 1,230 yards and 7 touchdowns. Nor is it Rusell Wilson and Rashaad Penny each having over 300 rushing yards and six touchdowns between the two of them.

The biggest story is the return of “Beast Mode” Marshawn Lynch. Seattle signed him very late into the regular season in hopes of a playoff push. While they tried to utilize him in Week 17 against San Francisco, to punch in the would-be game-winning touchdown from the two-yard-line, Seattle did not manage the game clock correctly and cost themselves time and field position. Look for them to utilize Lynch in short-yardage situations this week.

Packers Defense

Fanduel.com notes than Green Bay’s defense averages 19.6 points against them per game this year, meaning both defenses are holding teams to less than 20 points.

Blake Martinez leads the team with 155 total tackles, three sacks, and one forced fumble. Adrian Amos has also combined for 84 tackles and one sack. Look for these two to step up big this weekend and give Seattle a headache.

Martinez should be at full strength following his injury.

Green Bay is also +12 in turnovers this year. If they can force Russell Wilson to make mistakes, or cause fumbles from ballcarriers, they will have a good chance to win the game.

(All stats courtesy of Packers.com)

Final Prediction

Both teams have high-powered offenses, defenses holding teams to less than 20 points per contest, and a quarterback that is known for late-game comebacks. This will definitely be one of the better playoff games this year.

Final prediction: 24-21 Packers

 

Featured image courtesy of packersnews.com.

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