Shawn (7-4, 5-5-1 ATS): It is finally a winter wonderland in Green Bay, Wisconsin: just in time for the biggest game of the year. The snow started around 10 p.m. last night and continues now as we approach 11:00 a.m. in Green Bay. However, the snow is expected to either cease or lighten as the day goes on. With that being the case, the snow conditions on the field should be lighter than they were last week. It is in the mid-20s, which is colder than last week, but still not cold enough to be a big factor.
With all that being said, besides the ball being a little harder and thus a little bit harder to handle, the only effect any of the weather should have on the game is that the field might be a little slippery again. Obviously, considering the Green Bay Packers played on a similar surface just last week, that should be to their advantage. Every Packer should know what cleats to wear and so forth.
With their season perhaps on the line against a team that we’d all love to see get beat, I’m afraid the Seattle Seahawks are a difficult task right now for the Packers. The Seahawks are a 3-point favorite, and that is with Vegas STILL giving the Packers too much respect at Lambeau Field. You would probably have to give me 8 points before I would consider taking the Packers.
My PRIMARY concerns are twofold. For one, the Packers’ run defense has been scuttling as the season wears on, and now they are without their best run defender in Nick Perry. The Seahawks rediscovered Thomas Rawls and their running game last week when they rolled the Carolina Panthers. The Seahawks and Pete Carroll won’t make the same mistake that the dumbasses for the Texans did last week. This is weather to run the football in and I expect Seattle to do so.
Secondly, the injury report. Yes, not unusual for these Packers at this time of the season, their roster is basically a parade of the walking wounded. Aaron Rodgers has a hurt hamstring that won’t feel any better in the cold. Clay Matthews has a perennially hurt hammy and a hurt shoulder. Both inside linebackers, Jake Ryan and Blake Martinez, are still coming back from injuries. And now with Ladarius Gunter’s illness, the top five corners for the Packers are out or returning from injury.
I just see it all as too much for the Packers to overcome against one of the better teams in the NFL.
True, the biggest injury for either side, and biggest wild card in this game, is the injury to Earl Thomas, which makes a huge difference in the Seattle secondary. Could Aaron Rodgers finally have a big game against them? The weather suggests that’s a long shot.
The ONE area on the roster where the Packers are completely healthy is wide receiver. Could Rodgers finally go after Richard Sherman? Could the position that doomed the Packers last season save their season this year?
Probably a fairy tale.
Seahawks 31, Packers 17
Monty (7-5, 4-6-2 ATS): There are a number of reasons why I think the Green Bay Packers could beat the Seattle Seahawks.
The weather, Aaron Rodgers, the fact that they pretty much have to to keep their playoff hopes alive, the fact that this is now a rivalry game, etc.
That being said, I am going to go with common sense here. There is a reason why the Seahawks are favored by three coming into Green Bay. They have a better football team.
It’s pretty much that simple. The Green Bay Packers have played only one complete game this season. It happened against Philadelphia. Last week’s win against the Houston Texans did nothing to inspire my confidence of belief that the Packers have really turned the corner.
I think they can beat other crappy teams, sure, but Seattle doesn’t fall into that category.
What the Packers would need to do to win this game is simple — run the football and stop the run. As demonstrated by Tampa a couple weeks back, if you shut down Thomas Rawls and the Seahawks’ ground game, then you can handle Seattle.
Let’s not understate the loss that safety Earl Thomas is to the Seahawks’ secondary either. That will play a roll and is an area the Packers may be able to exploit.
If Rodgers can get some big plays in the passing game and the Packers get Ty Montgomery and Christine Michael going on the ground, that’s a recipe for success.
And while I just gave you all of that, I’m still going to take Seattle in this game. I really don’t like the line at three points. If you can find it lower, then I’d say go for it.
I think this is a low-scoring, tight game throughout. The Packers have a chance and I think that’s really all they can ask for right now.
Seahawks 20, Packers 16