Green Bay Packers: Initial Thoughts on Matchup with Seattle

SEATTLE, WA - NOVEMBER 15: Aaron Jones #33 of the Green Bay Packers avoids a tackle by Tre Flowers #37 of the Seattle Seahawks in the second half at CenturyLink Field on November 15, 2018 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
SEATTLE, WA - NOVEMBER 15: Aaron Jones #33 of the Green Bay Packers avoids a tackle by Tre Flowers #37 of the Seattle Seahawks in the second half at CenturyLink Field on November 15, 2018 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images) /

We now know that the Green Bay Packers will face off against the Seattle Seahawks in the Divisional round, and here on some initial thoughts on the matchup.

Well, it certainly was an exciting weekend of playoff football in the NFL. And one of the more exciting Wildcard weekends that I can remember. But fortunately for the Green Bay Packers, they had that crucial first-round bye, and they were able to rest up and watch from home.

While I’m sure most assumed that it would be the New Orleans Saints who would be coming to Lambeau Field, they were upset at home by the Minnesota Vikings. Which of course means that Seattle will be Green Bay’s opponent after knocking off Philadelphia.

Naturally, there is plenty to discuss when it comes to the Green Bay Packers and the Seattle Seahawks and as the week goes on I will be sure to dive into this matchup in much more detail, but before we get to that point, these are my initial thoughts on the upcoming game.

Containing Russell Wilson will be key

When the play breaks down, Russell Wilson may be at his most dangerous with his ability to get out of the pocket and find open receivers downfield. And in order for the Green Bay Packers to come away with the win, limiting his success on the broken play will be key.

Fortunately, this time around the Packers have The Smiths and Kenny Clark playing at a high-level which should allow them to wreak some havoc on the Seattle offensive line that has allowed 48 sacks this season, the ninth most in the NFL.

Seahawks’ WRs v. Packers CBs should be a fun matchup

We just saw D.K. Matcalf have an incredible performance in Philadelphia as he totaled 160 receiving yards while Tyler Lockett had 62 of his own. Limiting the production of these two will be a tall task for Jaire Alexander and Kevin King, but to their credit, the duo has been playing excellent lately as they shut down Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen just a few weeks ago.

Obviously we hope this is a matchup that Green Bay can win and it is another key to the game, but from a football perspective, it is going to be incredibly fun to watch these four players battle.

 Limit the big plays

This ties into the first two thoughts, but limiting the big play will be a necessity for Green Bay. This is a Packers’ defense that has given up a number of big plays this season and they are going up against a Seahawks team that likes to take their shots downfield. Containing Wilson and winning the matchup against Metcalf and Lockett will go a long ways towards preventing this.

A good opportunity for the Packer passing game to have success

One of the major issues on offense this season has been Green Bay’s consistency – or lack thereof – in the passing game. However, their matchup with Seattle presents them with the opportunity to have a big day. This is a Seattle defense that has given up a good chunk on yardage to running backs in the passing game – hello, Aaron Jones – and overall they’ve allowed 263.9 passing yards per game in 2019, the sixth most in football.

Stop the Seattle run game and make them one-dimensional

For a majority of the season, Seattle was one of the best rushing offenses in football, averaging 137.5 rushing yards per game, the fourth most. However, a recent string of injuries to the running back position has, as expected, hurt their production. Over the last two regular season games they averaged just 108 yards per game on the ground and against Philadelphia, they totaled just 64.

While this is a Green Bay Packers team that has struggled against the run at times, for the last month or so they have been much better and that has been a big contributor to the defense’s overall dominance during that span. If they can continue playing at that high-level it will make Seattle one-dimensional and allow that stout Green Bay pass-rush to get after Wilson.

Big day potential for Aaron Jones

As always, Aaron Jones should be the focal point of the Green Bay Packers offense, but this matchup against the Seattle defense is a favorable one for him. As I mentioned above, Seattle has had issues against running backs in the passing game as they’ve allowed 9.5 yards per catch to RBs this season, the third most in football, and 51.1 total receiving yards per game, the fourth most. Not to mention that the nearly 118 yards per game they’ve given up on the ground ranks 22nd in the NFL.

Packers should win

Yes, the last time these two met in the playoffs it was an ugly outcome and one that I’m sure we will be reminded of numerous times throughout the week. And while Seattle is a good team that should never be taken lightly, the Packers should absolutely win this game. For one it is at Lambeau, but also Seattle just doesn’t matchup well with Green Bay.

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From Aaron Jones and Davante Adams on offense to The Smiths and Clark on defense, Seattle is going to have a difficult time matching up and slowing them down. While at times it certainly won’t be easy and stopping Russell Wilson is a tall task, this is Green Bay’s game for the taking.