The 11-5 Seahawks come into this game fresh off a 17-9 road win against the Philadelphia Eagles in the wild card round, improving to 8-1 on the road this season. The Seahawks struggled in that game, with the loss of Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz perhaps the main reason the Eagles lost. This continued a late season swoon for the Seahawks, who lost three of their last four games in the regular season.
The Seahawks offense is running on fumes, having scored 21 points or less in five of their last seven games. This Seahawks team has a below average defense and a running game so devastated by injuries they picked up former Seahawks star running back Marshawn Lynch out of retirement recently. Unlike the great Seahawks teams of the last decade, this team will live or die based largely on the play of their superb quarterback, Russell Wilson. If the Seahawks are to make a deep playoff run this year, Wilson will likely have to carry them on his back and lead an offensive resurgence, with little support from the team’s traditional strengths.
The Packers won the NFC North for the sixth time this decade with a 13-3 record, the most division titles by any NFC team over that span. However, this may be the most vulnerable 13-3 team we have seen in quite a while. The Packers finished the season as the 18th ranked team on both offense and defense, an odd mark for one of the top two seeds in the NFC playoffs. The Packers had middling statistics across the board all year, with one crucial exception: turnovers. The Packers success this year was largely the result of turnover differential. The Packers lost the turnover battle only four times all year, and finished the season with a positive 12 turnover differential.
Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers is not quite the all time great he once was, but he’s still more than good enough. Rodgers threw for 4002 yards and only four interceptions this season, his second consecutive season with 4000 or more passing yards and fewer than five interceptions. No other player in NFL history has had one such season. If the Packers are to go on a deep playoff run this year, they’ll likely have to rely as usual on the arm of Rodgers.
It’s Russell Wilson and Aaron Rodgers in a matchup of two veteran quarterbacks headed for Canton. Its the Packers and the Seahawks to wrap up the divisional round of the playoffs and complete the pairings for next week’s conference championship games. Enjoy the game everybody.