SnoTap Packers Preview: Seattle vs. Green Bay
One of the best rivalries in National Football League writes another chapter at chilly Lambeau Field. Packers are looking to keep their hot streak going as winners of their last two games, and Seattle looks to keep pace with Dallas Cowboys to have an outside shot at homefield advantage throughout the playoffs. Packers won their last meeting here at Lambeau, 30-27, in 2015, and in fact, Seahawks haven’t won here since 1999.
Aaron Rodgers underappreciated greatness
I still contend if Packers run the table like Rodgers said a few weeks ago, he deserves to be in the MVP conversation. Rodgers has been nothing short of great in the last month. Rodgers hasn’t thrown an interception since 11/13 versus Tennessee, and he has three straight games of his quarterback rating being above 100. He’s making all the right throws. To me, Rodgers feels more dialed in than he’s been in a couple years. As Dan Katz said a couple weeks ago, a ‘Fuck The World Aaron Rodgers is the scariest version of him.’ Last year, Rodgers handled this secondary pretty well, and now gets them without Earl Thomas, that’s a huge plus for Green Bay.
Slowing down Rawls and Wilson
Green Bay will be missing a couple pieces on defense with Nick Perry and Blake Martinez out. It does sound Clay Matthews will be ready to go though. Thomas Rawls and Russell Wilson could have a big day on the ground. Green Bay must keep contain with Wilson. Too many times in their meetings with the Seahawks quarterback, they would have the sack, and Wilson would find a way to escape from pressure. Packers should bring the house a bit against that offensive line, but they need to be disciplined. That’s been the hard part versus Wilson.
No Earl Thomas, big problem?
Interesting read regarding what Thomas provides for this Seattle team. He is the quarterback of the defense. Jared Cook should expect to get a lot of work through the middle, and they are going to try to break the seam a couple times with Jordy Nelson, Davante Adams, etc. Steven Terrell will get tested early and often. If Green Bay can make Seattle break away from their one-high safety look, that’s a huge win because that’s not how Seattle wants to play defense. Another underrated thing about Packers offense is they’ve seen variations of this defense twice already this season playing Gus Bradley’s Jaguars and Dan Quinn’s Falcons. Packers should be pretty comfortable knowing what works and what doesn’t.
Jimmy Graham haunt Packers fans again?
If you remember long ago, Jimmy Graham put up some massive numbers against Green Bay when playing for Saints. People should expect the same sort of thing against Micah Hyde. Let’s face it, Hyde hasn’t been the same since a shoulder injury and looks slow against most tight ends. The expectation should be that Graham will go off, and Green Bay needs to shut down the other parts of the Seahawks passing game.
Something gotta give
We already mentioned how Seattle hasn’t won here since Bill Clinton was the president. Seattle is also 16-3 in December with Russell Wilson at quarterback. Green Bay hasn’t lost a home Rodgers December start since 2008.
Every year, I get a couple gut feelings that are stronger than other ones. This one tells me Rodgers is ready for a big day, and Green Bay’s defense will continue to be a bright spot for this team coming on strong to finish the year. This will be a nail-biter, but at the end, Packers hold on for a 23-20 victory to continue their run to the playoffs.