On Sunday, the Green Bay Packers will host the Seattle Seahawks in what has become an annual NFC rivalry game over the past few years, as this will be the fourth game between the two teams in the last three years and fifth in the last five.

The 6-6 Packers will be facing a tough 8-3-1 Seahawks team who is making another run at a first-round bye in the NFC playoffs. Don’t count out those Cheeseheads just yet. Aaron Rodgers said the Packers can run the table, and if Aaron says it, it shall come to pass.

Here is how they can continue running the table:

Use Christine Michael against his old squad

It’s time. It is time to unleash the beast. In the past two weeks, newly acquired running back Christine Michael has taken his prerequisite touches in anticipation for this heavyweight matchup. Not only is two of the top tier NFC teams (on an annual basis), but it is also the running backs chance to stick it to the team that ditched out on him.

In a total of 9 games, Michael put up 469 yards and 6 touchdowns. A far bigger number than any other running back on the Seahawks. In fact, Christine Michael remains their leading rusher. On Green Bay, his numbers look Hall of Fame worthy compared to the rest of the rushing “attack” from the Pack.

Christine Michael shows his burst against the Packers

As much as players are directed to put their feelings aside and take each game with as little emotion as possible, it’s no mystery that anyone, football player or not always loves a good “you screwed up” moment to your previous boss, girlfriend/boyfriend, and especially football team.

Hopefully Head Coach Mike McCarthy has been channeling that revenge. And on Sunday, a new Beastmode shows up for Seattle. This time…on the Packers.

“I’m ready to go, man,” Michael said. “I know this offense. If they throw me in there, I don’t really have any MAs (missed assignments), man. I’m just ready to go.”

Contain Jimmy Graham

The matchup of the night clearly goes to Ha Ha Clinton Dix against Jimmy Graham. The third year safety has continued to improve each year and is once again exceeding expectations. He leads the team with three interceptions and is fourth on the team in tackles.

Clinton Dix uses the hit stick in Will Fuller

More importantly, he has begun to adopt a leadership role on a defense that was drastically in need of a voice.

Lining up across from Clinton-Dix at tight end is a well-known name in the NFL. A superstar in New Orleans, Jimmy Graham has had some hiccups getting up to speed with this Seattle offense. That all changed this year as his and Russell Wilson‘s rapport has grown into something special.

Graham ranks third among NFL tight ends in both receiving yards (769) and touchdowns (5) and has hauled in a solid 57 receptions. These numbers are eerily close to the totals that Green bay has allowed this year:

Defensive
Team
Season
Games
Receiving
Yards
Allowed
Total
TDs
Allowed
Number
Receptions
Allowed
Yards
Per Catch
Against
Green Bay Vs. TE 12 851 5 71 11.99

Exploit the Earl Thomas Void

Pete Carroll has always believed in playing defense with a single high safety, using his cornerbacks to funnel the receivers into that safety’s zone. Earl Thomas is the safety that makes the scheme work in Seattle. A five-time Pro Bowler, he has always had great range. Thomas shuts down post routes and takes away seams. He’s a big-time hitter who has seven interceptions in his past 26 games and serves as the last line of defense against the run.

Going forward, the Seahawks must connect with Steven Terrell, who has one career start under his belt. They’ll try to keep playing the same scheme, but if it doesn’t work, they have options, like going with more two deep safety looks.

Even if Terrell plays well, there’s no downplaying how much the defense is going to miss Thomas.

This opens the field for Jared Cook, who has been building his chemistry with Quarterback Aaron Rodgers.

Defensive
Team
Season
Games
Receiving
Yards
Allowed
Total
TDs
Allowed
Number
Receptions
Allowed
Yards
Per Catch
Against
Seattle Vs. TE 12 510 2 48 10.63

Conclusion

Coming into their game against the Seahawks, the Packers are two games behind the Lions in the NFC North and one game behind Tampa Bay (7-5) in the Wild Card Chase. Most of the Packer faithful have started to put their jerseys back in the closet and hang up their Cheeseheads.

Why? The season is just getting started and the Packers are turning it on at the right time. Don’t forget that the Seahawks just lost to the Buccaneers and only put up five points. Stay faithful fellow Cheeseheads!

This is a win that the Packers need more than the Seahawks. Being a three-point underdog at home is not going to sit well with Packers starting quarterback Aaron Rodgers. Look for him to ignite the passing game, exploiting a deficiency in the Seattle secondary left by Thomas’ injury.

Remember, the Seahawks haven’t won in Green Bay since 1999.

Prediction

Green Bay Packers – 38
Seattle Seahawks – 20

 

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