The final Divisional Round game sees the Seattle Seahawks face the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field. Ben Steele thinks Russell Wilson could spark an upset...
"Seattle believe that their quarterback is the best player involved in the game on Sunday and they will need him to prove that if they are to emerge victorious at Lambeau Field."
Air attack the recipe for Seattle
The Seattle Seahawks stuttered past a Philadelphia Eagles side missing multiple starters last week, thanks to quarterback Russell Wilson producing his traditional all action performance. Wilson threw for 325 yards and a touchdown, while also leading the team in rushing yards, as he connected with rookie sensation D.K. Metcalf on a regular basis. Seattle believe that their quarterback is the best player involved in the game on Sunday and they will need him to prove that if they are to emerge victorious at Lambeau Field.
Seahawks' running backs Travis Homer and the returning Marshawn Lynch combined for a woeful 19 yards on 17 carries last week due to a combination of poor run blocking and their general lack of explosiveness. Wilson is likely to finish second in MVP voting, behind Ravens QB Lamar Jackson, and will need to live up to that billing on Sunday. Green Bay's defensive line should be able to generate pressure on a regular basis against a Seahawks O-line who have struggled to stay fit and consistent throughout the year.
It will be up to Wilson to react to that and take on the Packers secondary. Look for the QB to throw with regularity and go over 249.5 passing yards. With that in mind, both D.K. Metcalf and Tyler Lockett could be in for big games too, the pair combined for almost 2,000 receiving yards and 15 touchdowns. Green Bay blitzing Wilson means both men will go up against single coverage with regularity and they both comfortably good enough to beat their men. I'm backing a Same Game Multi of both receivers to rack up the yards.
Points at a premium in the snow
When it comes to playoff time, Green Bay is one of the toughest places to play in the NFL. Visiting players have to battle the opposition, a vociferous crowd and perhaps most importantly of all, the Wisconsin weather. Sunday will be no different, the temperature is predicted to be well below zero and Green Bay have already begun making plans for 700 people to begin shoveling snow off the field in the hours before kickoff. With the weather a factor I'm expecting mistakes, mainly fumbles, to be a theme of the game.
This, along with deficiencies in both teams' offences, could lead to a low scoring game. The Seahawks have an inability to run the ball consistently which limits their scoring, they have scored just 41 points across their last three games, while the Packers seem to be too reliant on Aaron Rodgers throwing the perfect pass when they get in scoring position.
Other than star receiver Davante Adams, Rodgers is starved of receivers who can win their 1-on-1 matchups on a consistent basis, which means the two time MVP is forced to make contested throws. Seattle's secondary is no way near the 'Legion of Boom' outfit from a few years ago but should be able to keep a lid on the Green Bay receivers.
Both offences will have to battle the elements and their own struggles, to score points so I think we could be in for a low scoring affair. Under 46.5 points looks like a good line.
Jones will kick start Green Bay
One answer the Green Bay have to their pass catchers inability to get open is to turn to running back Aaron Jones, who lead the league in rushing touchdowns during the regular season. Jones is an emerging superstar who has begun to take the load off of Rodgers when it comes to moving the ball. Historically, in cold weather the run game has become all the more important so Rodgers will be leaning on Jones to carry the load.
The Packers have relied on their 25-year-old rusher throughout the season, he scored 43% of their touchdowns in 2019, and facing a Seattle team who have struggled to contain the running game, this week should be no different. In the last five games of the regular season the Seahawks conceded 10 touchdowns on the ground and knowing that I expect Green Bay to open up the game running often, back Jones to score the first touchdown of the game at 9/2.
Ben Steele NFL P/L:
Staked: 66 pts
Returned: 68 pts
P/L: +2 pts