Inside the matchup: Seahawks vs. Green Bay Packers
January 9, 2020
With the win this week over the Philadelphia Eagles, the Seahawks season continues. Minnesota's upset win over the New Orleans Saints also helped. Going into the playoffs, the top two seeds are the #1 seed 49ers and #2 seed Green Bay Packers. The Seahawks are the #5 seed and the Vikings are the #6 seed. Because the NFL reseeds teams after the first round, that means Seattle will be playing in Green Bay next weekend instead of San Francisco. Though it is not likely, it also sets up a possibility of Seattle hosting a playoff game should both Seattle and Minnesota win next week.
Green Bay is favored to win this game by 7.5 points if you believe the oddsmakers. Looking at strength of schedule and common opponents, shows a different picture, however. Including the first round of the playoffs, the combined record of Seattle's opponents are 144-128-2 for a .529 winning percentage. Green Bay's opponents are 115-140 for a .451 winning percentage. Clearly Green Bay had an easier path to the playoffs this season. Common opponents for these two teams this season are all playoffs teams: San Francisco, Philadelphia, and Minnesota. Seattle has gone 4-1 against these teams with only the loss to the 49ers in the last week of the season. Green Bay, however, has gone 2-2 giving up 34 points in a loss to Philadelphia and they were blown out by San Francisco 37-8. Their two wins were both against division opponent Minnesota.
Aaron Rogers is having a typical year and his numbers are very similar if not quite as good as Russell Wilson's. At this stage of what will be a Hall of Fame career, Rogers is a smart quarterback that limits turnovers and takes a sack instead of trying to create a play where there isn't one. He doesn't run well anymore but does have one rushing touchdown on the season. Advantage Seattle.
At running back for Green Bay, #33 Aaron Jones handles most of the carries. He also leads the league with 16 rushing touchdowns. Without him the Packers have only two rushing touchdowns on the season. Marshawn Lynch has filled in admirably in both games for Seattle with a touchdown in each. Hopefully he can continue to deliver in key moments like he has so far. Advantage Green Bay.
At receiver, Green Bay has several options, the most used are #17 Davante Adams and #80 former Seahawk, Jimmy Graham. Tyler Lockett and DK Metcalf are both healthy and producing at elite levels for the Seahawks. Advantage Seattle.
Green Bay may have the best kicker in the NFC. #2 Mason Crosby has missed only one extra point in 41 attempts this season and only two fields goals in 22 attempts. Both misses were on kicks of over 40+ yards. Advantage Green Bay.
Three keys to the game for Seattle:
Keep Aaron Jones out of the end zone.
Establish the running game.
Three TD passes for Russell Wilson.