Nothing like heading to your personal House of Horrors when you really need to win a game on the road. And on a short week. And in prime time.
It’s a tough spot for a banged up Packer team that will be without Kevin King, Nick Perry, Kentrell Brice and Randall Cobb–none of them made the trip to Seattle. The Seahawks come into this one losers of two straight, at home to the Chargers and at the Rams and at 4-5, desperately needing a home win to stay in the wildcard picture.
The Seahawks aren’t as imposing as recent vintages, especially on defense. But they’ve played well enough defensively to stay in most games. They’ve feasted on turnovers most of the season and are plus eight, but haven’t taken the ball away from Philip Rivers or Jared Goff the past two weeks, and don’t figure to be able to rely on that against Rodgers either (provided there’s not another Fail Mary call).
The trick for the Pack will be dealing with Seattle’s suddenly prolific running game. They gouged the Rams for 273 on the ground last week, with Russell Wilson accounting for 93. The Pack’s run D has been mediocre and allowed Frank Gore to look like the ’08 version of Frank Gore. They’ll need to do a much better job especially with Chris Carson, their leading rusher back on the field after missing the last two games.
The Pack’s secondary will likely see Josh Jones, Raven Greene and Tony Brown get snaps. All three made some nice plays last week and will need to follow up if the Pack is to win its first road game of the season. While Seattle will ground and pound, they’ll take some deep shots to speedy Tyler Lockett and Doug Baldwin remains a tough guy to cover and is coning into his own after missing some games with an injury.
The good news is the Seahawks’ run defense is also sub-par, so they should have issues containing Aaron Jones as well; the dude is averaging eight yards per carry on first down–that’s nuts, and would really come in handy as a way to keep the crowd noise down and allow Rodgers to work out of friendly second and third down and distance and continue to thrive with play action, as he did against the Dolphins.
The Packers absolutely must win one of these two road games, but I just don’t see it happening in Seattle. Though they’ve played well against two really tough teams in their last two games away from home, they’ve turned the ball over or committed a couple of penalties that have sunk their hopes late.
It’s tough to win Thursday night road games and it’s always been tough to win at Century Link where the Pack is 1-4 and suffered a couple of losses where the hangover lasted a long time. Maybe Rodgers and company will turn in a virtuoso performance to follow up the win over the Dolphins.
I need to see it to believe it.
Seattle 27 Packers 26