Friday, December 09, 2016

What To Expect When The Packers Host The Seahawks

I've been dreading this game because the Seahawks keep looking better each week. There are some odd things about this match-up, such as that the Seahawks' leading rusher will be playing for the Packers. As I looked closer at the match-ups, there are some major concerns and the Seahawks are 3 point favorites for a good reason, but there are reasons to be optimistic.
The loss of FS Earl Thomas, one of their best defensive players over the past several seasons, is a huge blow. In his place is FS Steven Terrell, who was released by the Jaguars and Texans before earning a spot with the Seahawks, and this will be his 2nd NFL start. On what might be a snowy field. He'll have a lot of help from his talented defensive teammates but his lack of experience could help the Packers.

Football Outsiders currently has the Seahawks ranked as the 5th best defense, just below the Eagles, who the Packers played pretty well against two weeks ago. Though the wheels have seem to come off the Eagles D over the past couple games. The Packers did well against the Eagles by holding up against their pass rush (except for rookie RG Jason Spriggs, who struggled against All-Pro DT Fletcher Cox, though RG T.J. Lang might return this week). If the Packers can protect QB Aaron Rodgers, then they should have some success against them.

The defense is a bigger concern. Their outside pass rush is weakened by the loss of OLB Nick Perry and who knows who might be healthy to play at the other LB spots. While Seattle's offense is only ranked 13th overall, that's about the same as the Lions and Colts. The Lions tore apart the secondary while the Colts only did OK (Luck was intercepted twice). The good news is that against the Lions their secondary was falling apart with injuries, and it's somewhat stable at the moment since CB Damarious Randall has returned. They might do better against WR Doug Baldwin but TE Jimmy Graham is problem. And QB Russell Wilson has been running better the past couple weeks too. RB Thomas Rawls had a huge game last week against the Panthers, but he's their 4th biggest concern (at best). It'll be a small victory if they can keep them under 30 points, though if the weather's bad, then the game might be low scoring.

If the Packers win, it'll be a close win, but they have a chance, and I'm optimistic.

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