The Seattle Seahawks will travel to Lambeau Field for Sunday Night Football this week in another installment of the new found rivalry between the reigning NFC Champions and the Green Bay Packers. While the Packers want nothing more than to move past what happened in January, the Seahawks are hoping they don’t have to rely on an improbable comeback to get the win. Will home field advantage be what Green Bay needs to beat Seattle for the first time in their last four meetings? We currently have their point spread at -3.5 to do just that.
Sunday Night Football: Green Bay Packers vs. Seattle Seahawks
Point Spread: Green Bay -3.5 Over/under: 49.0 Date: Sunday, September 20, 7:30pm ET Location: Lambeau Field, Green Bay, Wisconsin
Seattle lost in overtime to the St. Louis Rams in Week 1 amidst another play calling controversy and a decision to run out of the shotgun formation on 4th and 1 that failed. It could be a sign of a bigger problem for the Seahawks, who are perhaps facing a Super Bowl hangover after their excruciating loss in February. They’ll need to find confidence on offense and could do just that as they face a suspect Packers defense.
The Seahawks will give the Packers a healthy dose of Marshawn Lynch after seeing Green Bay’s run defense exposed in Week 1 against the Bears. As a big and hard to take down back, Lynch should see a lot of yards after contact which could keep the chains moving and Aaron Rodgers off the field. The passing game will come into play only to keep Green Bay’s defense honest, but don’t expect Russell Wilson to put up big numbers. He’ll be expected to manage this game, limit mistakes and make plays with his feet as opposed to putting up big numbers through the air.
Expect the defense to be a little bit softer against Green Bay this time around. Dion Bailey is in for holdout Kam Chancellor and simply can’t compare in pass coverage despite the presence of Richard Sherman and Earl Thomas there to help out. Aaron Rodgers will test the ‘Hawks secondary early and often after they gave up 297 yards through the air. Seattle has had success against Green Bay purely based on their ability to keep the Packers out of the end zone. If they get behind early, this game could get away from them.
Green Bay Packers
Same scary offense, same soft defense. The Packers offense was business as usual in Week 1, moving the ball at will against Chicago. Green Bay didn’t skip a beat without Jordy Nelson after signing James Jones, and they’ll need the efficiency to continue against Seattle. The Packers need to score early against the ‘Hawks with long, sustained drives. If they score too quickly, they’ll be at risk of wearing their defense down and keeping the ball out of Rodger’s hands for too long.
The Packers offense will need to be strategic in how they attack the Seattle defense. Expect Rodgers to spread the ball around, using the tight end heavily out of the slot. The Seahawks’ defense showed uncharacteristic vulnerability against St. Louis’s less-than-stellar offense, which could mean a high scoring affair, if the offensive line can keep Seattle’s pass rush at bay.
Facing Lynch, the Packers could slide Clay Matthews back to the inside to help stuff the run. With safety Morgan Burnett back in the line up, Green Bay should see an improved run defense overall. If they can contain Lynch and find a way to get off the field on third downs, they should be able to put the offense in good position to win the game for them. It sounds easy in concept, but will be harder to execute, especially for this defense. Another big advantage for Green Bay, and a reason why the point spread is favoring them, is because the Packers are very hard to beat when they play at home.
Sunday Night Prediction
With Green Bay’s high powered offense and Seattle licking their chops at the Packer’s defense, I expect this one to be a high scoring affair; a contrast to the normally low scoring games these two teams play. Aaron Rodgers will have a big day due to Kam Chancellor’s absence and while Lynch will also get big yardage on the day, the one dimensional offense won’t be enough to top Green Bay this time. Expect the Packers to continue their home field dominance at Lambeau.
Green Bay takes it 31-27.