Green Bay Packers v. Seattle Seahawks: The Final Predictions

Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images
Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images /

Before the Green Bay Packers take on the Seattle Seahawks in the NFC Divisional round on Sunday, here are some final predictions.

Well, it’s almost here. And while I’m sure we were all very happy that the Green Bay Packers had a bye during the Wildcard round, I’m also willing to bet that everyone is very happy that it’s almost game day at Lambeau Field.

As you all know on Sunday at 5:40 PM central time, the Packers will host the Seattle Seahawks and the winner will punch their ticket to the NFC Championship game. However, before we get to that point, as always a few of our writers at Dairyland Express have given their predictions for the game. So let’s take a look at who they have winning.

Kenny Jilek: Packers 27, Seahawks 23

For the Lions game a few weeks ago I started by posing a question: Do you see a world in which a team with David Blough beats a team with Aaron Rodgers? That was more as a joke and then it almost happened. This time a real question: Can the Green Bay Packers keep Russell Wilson from activating his Superman mode?

Seattle is an extremely depleted team due to injuries. Their offensive line is starting multiple backups and they brought in Marshawn Lynch because of how low they are at running back.

For the Green Bay Packers’ defense, it will be about containing Wilson in the pocket. They have blitzed much less this year and have only needed four guys to get consistent pressure, but they may have to send more on Sunday.

When a team only sends four men, there are quarterback running lanes open. If they send five or even six then there will likely be nowhere for Wilson to go. They also have the option to have one player dedicated to spying Wilson and mirroring his movements in the pocket. This responsibility would likely fall on Ibraheim Campbell or the returning Raven Greene since they have the speed to catch Wilson as opposed to someone like Blake Martinez.

Offensively, it’s all about Aaron Jones. Seattle was tied for fourth worst in yards per rush given up this season at 4.9 per carry. If Aaron Jones and his offensive line can set the tone early with some solid runs, a lot of things will open up for this offense. Jones will hopefully also get involved in the passing game.

The Seahawks have, at times been susceptible to running backs having big receiving games out of the back field. Four times this season, an opposing running back has had eight or more receptions against them. Jones doesn’t need that many, but he should be involved. This offense is better with Aaron Jones getting a healthy number of touches, and if he can get anywhere in the high teens or low 20s that should spell a W for the Packers.

Paul Bretl: Packers 24, Seattle 16

I know for most Packer fans because of how the 2015 NFC Championship game ended, the Seattle Seahawks are the boogeyman. However, since then that hasn’t really been the case. In their last three appearances at Lambeau Field, the Russell Wilson led Seahawks have been dominated for the most part and Wilson has really struggled.

But as they say, past performance is not indicative of future results. So let’s look at Sunday’s game where across the board there are many key matchups that favor the Packers.

For one, Seattle has allowed over 160 rushing yards per game on average over the last five and struggle to cover running backs in the passing game. Well last time I checked the Packers have Aaron Jones. The Seattle offensive line has also allowed Wilson to be sacked a league-high 48 times this season, and Green Bay has a very potent pass-rush.

I also have to mention that the Seahawks have been one of the worst teams in covering an opposing team’s No. 1 wide receiver, and as we all know, the Packers have Davante Adams. The last point I’ll touch on is their pass-rush, which once again, is one of the worst in the NFL, meaning Aaron Rodgers should have plenty of time.

The only way I can envision this game going truly south for the Green Bay Packers is if they are sloppy with the football, allow too many big plays and we see some of that famous Russell Wilson magic.

Obviously no NFL team – especially in the playoffs – should be taken lightly and as they always do, Seattle will put up a fight. With that said, the game is at Lambeau Field and the Packers are simply the better team with more matchups in their favor.

Brian Sampson: Packers 28, Seahawks 21

My, how the tables have flipped. Once upon a time, it was all up to Aaron Rodgers and his arm to lead the Packers to a playoff victory. Now, the Packers are the well-rounded team and the Seahawks are forced to rely solely on the magic of Russell Wilson.

This Packers’ advantage will lead them to a victory in the Divisional Round and berth in the NFC Championship game. Green Bay is mostly healthy and will be well-prepared for the shorthanded Seahawks. They should also be able to dominate the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball which will provide a huge advantage.

In the end, this 13-3 team is the one who has a chip on their shoulder and will be playing like underdogs. When you combine that with their balanced attack and talent advantage, it’s too much for the Seahawks.

Matt Carroll: Packers 24, Seahawks 20

Lambeau Field certainly has been kind to the Packers this season, with Green Bay tying for the league lead with a 7-1 record at home. But if any team is unafraid to go into the Frozen Tundra, it just might be the Seahawks, who tied for the league lead themselves with their own 7-1 record on the road. That includes road wins at San Francisco, Minnesota, and Philadelphia, where they added an eighth win with their Wildcard win.

This Seahawks defense isn’t a strength like it used to be as they’ve struggled against both the run and pass, which could very well lead to a big day for Aaron Jones as well as Davante Adams. Seattle also doesn’t pressure the quarterback much at all, sitting second to last in the league with just 28 sacks on the year. Meaning, behind Green Bay’s offensive line, Aaron Rodgers should have time to throw and pick this secondary apart.

Offensively, Seattle relied very heavily on their 4th-ranked rushing attack during the regular season. But with their top two rushing options Chris Carson and Rashaad Penny done for the year due to injury, and recently-signed, formerly-retired Marshawn Lynch being eased back into the NFL, it could all fall on Russell Wilson to carry the Seahawks.

Next. Getting to Know Seattle & Big Takeaways. dark

However, while Wilson may find some success, a steady dose of pressure from the Smiths and Kenny Clark against a struggling Seattle offensive line should help negate what he can do. And although the game will likely stay close, the Packers should move on to the NFC Championship.