Green Bay comes into the divisional round with mixed emotions for Packer fans. I’ve never seen the twitter timeline race between extremes in week 17, ranging from worst 13-3 team ever to booking travel to Miami for the Super Bowl. The Pack returns to the playoffs after a 2-year hiatus, this time hosting the ill-received Seattle Seahawks.
Cheeseheads are concerned anytime Seattle is on the schedule with 30 for 30 worthy finishes. What if I told you a player once said, “we want the ball and we’re gonna score,” after winning the coin toss? What if I told you that replacement referees simultaneously called a catch and interception to end the game? What if I told you a team blew a 12-point lead with 2 minutes left to lose the NFC Championship game?
Enough of the cursed bullshit, it has been years and most of the faces have left their respected teams. Old glory and unforgettable losses are past storylines and will not decide this Sunday’s battle. These two familiar foes have faced off 3 times since their last playoff matchup in 2014. The home team came out victorious in all 3 events with Green Bay going 2-1 over the years.
Pete Carroll and Seattle are coming off a 17-9 Wild Card victory in Philadelphia where they benefitted from Jadaveon Clowney forcing Carson Wentz’ helmet into the dirt. Malicious or not is debatable meanwhile the league decided no punishment was necessary. Seattle is relying on Marshawn comeback hype and rookie Travis Homer to carry their running game in addition to Russell Wilson’s evasive scampers. Green Bay’s defense main goal will be to control the pocket and keep Wilson from making recess plays to trustworthy Tyler Lockett and freak athlete DK Metcalf.
Russell and Rodgers should make for an entertaining duel Sunday with a dream football scenario at Lambeau. Temperatures expected to be in the low 20s after a weekend of snowstorms. Fortune favors the Packers anytime the frozen tundra is home to football especially with a Lambeau crowd getting all day to tailgate.
Aaron Rodgers & Davante Adams
Green Bay has struggled with inefficiencies all year. We’ve come to realize Aaron and this offense is streaky and are also capable of putting it on when the pressure hits. Rodgers in the playoffs will always hold high expectations and this Sunday’s tilt doesn’t change that. Aaron hopes to attack a Seattle defense that is near the bottom of the league for passing yards allowed. Green Bay’s passing offense will have to be successful between the 20s, as Seattle is 6th in the NFL in passing TDs allowed. The weak spot for QB1 to attack the Seahawk defense is running the ball as Seattle is 28th in rushing yards allowed to QBs and 31st in yards per carry by QBs.
As long as 17 is healthy, Aaron Rodgers will heavily involve him in the gameplan so it is easy to count on this combination. Davante Adams enters a matchup where the Seattle pass defense is ranked in the top 15 in most statistical categories against wide receivers. It takes an elite defense that can stop Aaron Rodgers to Davante Adams and this Seattle defense isn’t even close to their Legion of Boom days.
Rodgers: for 275 passing yards 1 TD 40 rushing yards
Adams: 6 catches for 110 yards
Aaron Jones has been on a hot streak to end the season and enters Sunday with fresh legs from the bye and Jamaal Williams back to spell him. I don’t expect either back to run away with heavy yardage but anticipate both will have well rounded days rushing and receiving with Jones leading the heavier role. Seattle is 11th in rushing yards allowed but tied for 30th in rushing TDs allowed. Green Bay will need to utilize Aaron Jones in a variety of ways to keep him involved against the aggressive Seahawk defense. Expect Coach Lafleur has been a sly dog, keeping a few wrinkles for the playoffs to get Aaron Jones open in the passing game.
Aaron Jones: 65 yards rushing 2 TD 50 yards receiving
Jimmy Graham revenge game incoming. If there is ever a week to be hopeful of his role in the offense its against his old team. Seattle is horrendous to opposing tight ends ranking dead last in yards allowed and receptions allowed to the position. Granted rankings are flawed when Seattle has to play TE monster George Kittle twice a year.
Jimmy and the cast of other Packer tight ends will have to do their damage between the 20s as well as the Seattle pass defense tends to halt air attacks in the redzone. The opportunity is there for Jimmy and we hope to see involvement from Bobby Touchdowns and rookie Jace Sternberger eventually.
Jimmy Graham: 3 for 75 yards
The heralded Lambeau Field hosts an NFC Divisional Round game with two star QBs. Sunday’s winner will be a result of whichever QB is able to will their team to victory with innovative play. Rodgers lacks the receiving options while Russell is missing his starting RBs. Green Bay’s stellar defense will continue to hold this team in a winning position and Sunday is no different. Green Bay freezes Seattle out late in the game and holds onto a narrow 21-16 win.
Do us proud Cheeseheads and make Lambeau loud and miserable for Pete’s frozen gum
Go Pack Go!