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Familiar Foes- Green Bay Packers vs. Seattle Seahawks Divisional Round Preview
Photo Courtesy of Bleacher Report

Familiar Foes- Green Bay Packers vs. Seattle Seahawks Divisional Round Preview

The Seattle Seahawks, despite a better record, had to handle business on the road in the Wild Card round. Well, they went to Philly and did what they had to do, winning 17-9. Their reward: heading to the Lambeau Field in the winter.

The Packers were able to secure a home Divisonal playoff game and they will have to be on it against a team that seems to play their best in clutch moments.

Along with the game, two of the best quarterbacks in the NFL and future Hall-Of-Famers Russell Wilson and Aaron Rodgers face off against each other again. It’s always a good game when these two are facing off, so expect a great one with these two at Lambeau.

 

Keys To The Game:

The Pack may not be strong against the run but they strike fear when the opposing quarterback drops back to pass. While the “Mush Rush” may be involved in this one for the Pack, they have two high-quality pass rushers they brought in this offseason in Za’Darius and Preston Smith.

These two may not be related but they are related in their passion to rush the passer and make opposing offensive lines squirm. Russell Wilson may be elusive but these two can track him down.

It will be up to the Seahawks’ offensive line to make some things happen and keep the Smiths in check. With the Seahawks unsure that starting guard Mike Iupati will play and a recently reshuffled line, the pressure will weigh heavily on their shoulders. Can they get the job done? Only time will tell.

While Seattle’s offensive line is thinking about the Smith brothers, the Packers offensive line may be having nightmares about Jadeveon Clowney. The talented defensive end is fighting through core muscle injuries and is still wreaking havoc on opposing offense, as evidenced by his two tackles for loss and one sack last week.

The Packers have notoriously had trouble keeping heat off of Aaron Rodgers, which is why he has run around to create plays over the last few years. There will be no running away from Clowney. The Packer offensive line has a tough task on their hands.

Another matchup that bears matching is Bobby Wagner, KJ Wright and the Seattle linebacker crew versus Aaron Jones. The talented Mr. Jones rushed for 1,084 yards and 16 rushing touchdowns this season and at times, he was the focal point of the offense.

The dynamic duo for the Seahawks at linebacker will be tested with Jones’ elusiveness and quickness. Whoever gets the best of this matchup could loom large on the outcome of the game.

 

X-Factor:

The Seahawks have plenty of guys that can make plays but one player in their secondary could come up huge. Bradley McDougald was present in all categories against the Eagles with eleven total tackles, 2.5 tackles for loss and one sack in the 17-9 win in Philly.

In this game, he has Aaron Rodgers in his sights and the Packers have to be aware of McDougald at all times because he can change the game with the plays he makes. Sure, he isn’t one of the names you mention when you think of the Seahawks but he can definitely make some plays.

For the Packers, Allen Lazard wasn’t a guy that was highly thought of to start the season, as he was at the back of the depth chart for the Packers. As the season has gone on though, he has become one of their most dependable receivers, finishing second on the team in receiving yards.

Seattle has good size at cornerback but even they will have issues with the 6’5″ wide receiver from Iowa State. He can be especially dangerous in the red zone.

 

Prediction:

The Packers may have gotten homefield advantage, but they are a team that doesn’t necessarily instill confidence that they will handle business easily this weekend. The Seahawks and Russell Wilson live for these types of games and challenges and this week will be no different, as they knock the Pack out at Lambeau Field, 23-17.

About Mike Patton

Nashville, Tennessee

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