Previewing the playoffs: Seahawks in Green Bay

January 9th, 2020 | Written by Rob Staton

The Seahawks have to find a way to limit Aaron Jones

This is a difficult game to predict. Neither fan base is particularly confident, apart from the people who naturally are eternal optimists.

Both teams won a bunch of close games in 2019. Both teams had a bunch of unconvincing performances, too.

Green Bay tends to start fast and peter out. The Seahawks do the opposite.

The Packers scraped to wins against Minnesota (21-16), Detroit (23-22), Kansas City without Patrick Mahomes (31-24), Carolina (24-16), Washington (20-15), Chicago (21-13) and Detroit again (23-20).

The Seahawks toiled against Cincinnati (21-20), Pittsburgh without Ben Roethlisberger for a half (28-26), Cleveland (32-28), Atlanta without Matt Ryan (27-20), Tampa Bay (40-34) and Carolina (30-24).

The Packers were hammered in San Francisco, surprisingly clobbered by the Chargers and lost at home to the Eagles.

The Seahawks lost their last two games, both at home, including an embarrassing loss to Arizona. They were battered by the Rams in LA and lost a home game to the Saints without Drew Brees.

Both teams have superb Super Bowl winning quarterbacks and weaknesses on defense.

They’re very similar. Not in terms of style, personnel, scheme or approach. There are so many comparisons though. So you’d lean towards a close game, decided by a big moment or two.

Yet for some reason it feels like either team could win relatively convincingly, too.

The Packers have played so poorly in certain games. The Lions match in week 17 was stunning. They needed to win to secure a playoff bye. Matt Stafford was out, the Lions were stumbling into the off-season. Detroit led for most of it and should’ve won.

They looked soft in Santa Clara. They looked rubbish against the Chargers.

Yet they run the ball well, use an offensive scheme that has given Seattle fits already this season and they have Aaron Rodgers. They’re at home, the Seahawks usually don’t play well at Lambeau and it won’t be a surprise if the Packers — fresh off a bye week — simply saunter to a comfortable win.

There’s maybe a lesson to be learnt from Green Bay’s aggressive free-agency splurge a year ago that was pass-rush centric.

The Seahawks equally have shown they can go toe-to-toe with the best when they, unlike Green Bay, beat the Niners. It’s that statement win that offers hope. That and the fact Russell Wilson is, seemingly, returning to his best form at the right time.

Seattle beat the Packers a year ago, albeit in Seattle. The Packers are 26th in the league for yards-per-carry and 24th for yards-per-game in the running game. They also don’t defend the deep-ball very well — although they rush the passer well and defend the short/medium passing game with a degree of success.

Considering the Seahawks are built to run the ball and make explosive plays downfield in the passing game, those numbers are encouraging.

Yet, again, they are the road team, they haven’t enjoyed the benefit of a bye week and they haven’t played well at Lambeau. The Packers could win comfortably here led by the two Aaron’s and go to San Francisco in the NFC Championship and suffer another chastening defeat. It wouldn’t be a bad wager.

Last week the blueprint to a Seahawks win felt obvious. Attack Philadelphia’s secondary because they struggle defending deep passes. Wilson, Metcalf and Moore looked like the key and so it proved. The defense also needed to make plays which they struggled to do — but to their credit they limited the Eagles to nine points.

The blueprint this week is different. For starters, the Seahawks need to stay in the game early. The Packers are fast starters. Keeping it tight or gaining an early lead is a good platform. Don’t let the Packers get on top and play with a lead. They’ll be able to attack Seattle’s passing game with pressure. All five of Seattle’s losses in the regular season came after they got stuck chasing the game. They can’t afford to be trailing and chasing on Sunday.

In the 2018 game Seattle trailed 14-3 in the first quarter and answered with a touchdown. It was a vital moment, creating a back-and-forth contest when at the time it was threatening to drift. It won’t be a surprise if there’s a similar moment on Sunday with the Packers scoring points quickly. Will the Seahawks be able to counter and keep up, or will it become one-sided?

The defense is going to have to do whatever it can to limit Aaron Jones. Just assume Aaron Rodgers is going to make some plays. He’s Aaron Rodgers. The key to winning is to not let Jones control the game with the kind of massive day he’s capable of. Seattle will have to do a far better job defending the run than they have done recently.

The Packers will have seen Seattle’s running game against San Francisco and Philadelphia and, presumably, will be giving it zero respect. They know the key for Seattle is Russell Wilson. Therefore they’ll probably drop bodies into coverage and will try to contain Wilson in the pocket with discipline off the edge. They’ll dare Seattle to run by offering it as a tempting option.

They also might not attack and blitz with the pass rush early. Their plan is probably to contain and flood coverage.

This will make things difficult for Wilson. He will not see a lot open at the second level. He will naturally look to escape, extend and create. If Green Bay is properly disciplined, he could simply scramble into pressure.

Play-action can take the edge off this and it’d be wise to use a lot of it in this game — if for no other reason than to get Wilson into a deep drop, extend the field and create more open space underneath. Plus there’s more time for someone to uncover. One thing’s pretty certain — Green Bay isn’t going to let D.K. Metcalf run downfield and beat them after last week. Metcalf is Seattle’s best weapon on slants and crossers and might need to be used slightly differently in this game.

To Seahawks twitter’s angst, they also probably need to take the invitation to attack the running game. If Green Bay is going to set out to take away the explosive pass plays and contain, it does create big opportunities in the running game. The Packers statistically are also not a good run-defense unit. If it’s a weakness you have to try and exploit it.

As mentioned, the Packers will probably dare the Seahawks to run. The Seahawks will have to prove they can, at least to a certain extent. Anyone who doesn’t like this needs to realise one point. A year ago some of you complained Seattle played into Dallas’ hands by running into a defensive wall determined to take away the running game. If the Packers are determined to take away the deep pass and contain Wilson’s scrambling in this game, wouldn’t aiming to throw into thick coverage over and over again be making the same mistake?

Yes — Wilson is the key. It’s not as simple as writing ‘let Russ cook’ on twitter though. Green Bay has spent the last seven days specifically preparing a plan to limit Wilson. Heck, they probably spent two weeks doing it knowing they could end up facing Seattle. You don’t think Matt LaFleur rang his buddy Sean McVay for a few tips on how to contain Wilson and hammer the Seahawks the way the Rams did recently?

As much as they needed to attack Dallas in the right areas a year ago, the same will be the case against Green Bay. To some extent, that will mean attacking a usually porous run defense that is inviting itself to be exploited.

If you can run productively and force Green Bay to adjust — that simply opens up fantastic opportunities downfield for Wilson if they switch their coverage away from whatever they spent the week planning. There is absolutely no way they’ll do what the Eagles did and leave the downfield passing game open and play lights out to stop the run and attack the O-line. That would be nuts.

In 2018 the Seahawks beat Green Bay on a night where Russell Wilson was efficiently 21/31 for 225 yards and they ran for 173 yards at 4.9 YPC. Aaron Jones finished with 11 carries for 40 yards. Green Bay ran for 48 yards in total.

So overall if they can avoid an early deficit, if they can limit Aaron Jones, if they can exploit the areas where Green Bay are likely to be weaker on defense — they have a shot. Admittedly there’s a lot of ‘if’s’ there but that’s why the Seahawks are currently a four-point underdog.

If Minnesota finds a way to beat San Francisco on Saturday, it’ll be a game contested for the right to host the NFC Championship game. That’d be something.

Seahawks fans haven’t had to endure annually crushing playoff defeats like Saints fans over the last few years. However, we’ve suffered the single most devastating Super Bowl defeat in history. It’d be nice to extend this season beyond the weekend. Maybe, you could even argue, we deserve a break.

Yet it’s also at this time that you remember the following…

Drew Brees isn’t winning a Super Bowl this year. He’s only won one.

Aaron Rodgers is chasing the Super Bowl. He’s only won one so far.

The Seahawks have no divine right to win more than one. Hopefully they will. But sometimes you simply have to cherish the fact that we lived through the first and have watched playoff football in eight of the last ten years.

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113 Responses to “Previewing the playoffs: Seahawks in Green Bay”

  1. Ukhawk says:

    Go Hawks!

  2. cha says:

    Well said Rob. Agree.

    Really hoping Duane Brown is up for this game. The Hawks have a lot of offensive options with the Fant as the Jumbo TE set. Run hard with a RB, jet sweep with a WR, play action, finding Hollister isolated on a LB. The Hawks could run a series with that set and keep the defense guessing.

  3. Paul Cook says:

    Good read, Rob. I think you pretty much nailed the gist of this game. I’ve already got a headache envisioning Aaron Jones gashing our run defense. That really worries me. Please Hawks, surprise me and bottle him up a bit. If he runs wild on us, it could be a long afternoon.

    I’d like to see Marshawn get some short pass plays where he has the chance to get a full head of steam. That might be fun to watch. And yes, we’ve got to try to get something on the ground. I hope we can keep them off balance with our play-calling.

    Totally agree about getting ahead early, or at least keeping it very tight. I don’t want to get behind in Lambeau and have the Aarons just chewing up the clock and first downs in the second half. That slow Chinese water torture death.

    We might need a little but of luck to win this game. We’re due for some.

    By the way, I perused a bunch of updated mocks. I noticed a few things…

    –Wills becoming the #1 OT on some of them
    –Andrew Thomas slipping just a tad on some
    –Reagor is ours to be had late in the 1st round if we wish on a bunch
    –Isaiah Wilson is still not getting as much love
    –Gross-Matos is getting some more love on some

    Anyway…thanks for the quality analysis. Great job.

    • Rob Staton says:

      I haven’t seen a worthwhile mock all season.

      • BobbyK says:

        Rob – you are the only mock draft that’s somewhat worthwhile. That’s it. You are generally ahead of the curve in terms of which players will be risers before the “media” says they will be (and are). And you’ve been doing it for years.

        I know you’re in the media and in reading this post – I see you refer to “Seahawks twitter” and stuff like that (which you have to be because you’re a journalist) but for a commoner like me – my life (as I’ve said a few times the past few weeks) is better not reading as much crap online anymore. I’m smart enough to know where good stuff is and I don’t know of any blog where someone writes as much quality content as you. In all seriousness, you do amazing work. And I thank you for it – I know many others feel the same based on the comments.

    • McZ says:

      Some thoughts on Isaiah Wilson… when I watched him in 2018, he was prone to lean into defenders and winning by using his power only, and more often than not he tries to overaccomplish using that technique. This translates to a lot of risk in the NFL.

      I don’t know if he made strides in his technique, the single game I was able to watch this season was vs South Carolina, and this was a really poor outing.

      We will have to wait for Combine to happen.

  4. jopa726 says:

    Rob, Bill Barnwell of ESPN just did an interesting article on upcoming offseasons for all 12 playoff teams. The Seahawks have the most Projected Cap Space (68.6 million, 8th in the NFL) by far. More than double the next team, the Eagles (33.7 million, 21st in the NFL).

    Of course, Rob, you have kept us abreast of all year. But, what I found interesting was the 49ers situation. They have 14 million dollars in Projected Cap Space, 27 in the NFL. Emmanuel Sanders is 32 years old, their best receiver and free agent. He’ll want to get paid big bucks.

    Arik Armstead might be the odd man out in San Francisco according to Barnwell. Do you think that Seahawks would have any interest in him, Rob?

    • Rob Staton says:

      Yes I would imagine so. But I think a lot of teams will have interest in Armstead.

    • LAHawk says:

      Someone on the Mina Kimes show (can’t remember who) suggested the Seahawks go after sanders if he’s a free agent. I think that’s interesting… if they’re in win now mode next year, they might not want to draft a receiver who has to develop into a weapon but get someone who can be a reliable third receiving option right out of the gate. We have other needs, but hmmmmm

    • Gohawks5151 says:

      I personally do not trust Armstead. He has always been an athletic freak which will appeal to Pete. But he has underachieved for years and many would say he has all the way back to his days at Oregon. Until recently he was behind Ronald Blair. He also is a 5 tech like Clowney, LJ and Greene but that’s not a reason not to sign him. I just find him to be a classic contract boom player.

  5. charlietheunicorn says:

    Beastmode is expected to take 25+ snaps according to the Seahawks beat reporters.
    It took him 2 “preseason” games to get warmed up, but should be closer to the former player than the one we have seen the last 2 weeks.

    Homer is expected to play more to spell Lynch and be a 3rd down back in the game.

    Unfinished business, indeed.

    • Rob Staton says:

      I don’t believe that for a second. I’d expect Homer to start and Marshawn to get more carries than the last two weeks but not take on a key role. He’s a situational runner.

      • 25+ snaps only gets you in the game 40% of the time. That leaves the other 60% for Homer as Turbin most likely wont see much. The rush attempts might be closer but I would still expect Homer to get more touches unless BM goes crazy.

      • dcd2 says:

        He had 18 last week (VS Homer’s 44).

        25 doesn’t seem far fetched at all, especially if we can average more than 1 yard per carry.

        • charlietheunicorn says:

          I was shocked he was in for 18, but he was… LOL

          If the OL can open some running lanes, I feel comfortable with anyone rushing the ball.
          I really liked they got Marshawn the ball in the passing attack as well, so now both he and Homer could be legit threats to rush OR catch a ball from RW.

          The OC is not getting enough props for how he is calling games and putting the team in position to succeed, even though they are a bit thin do to injury. I can honestly say, he has caught defenses off-guard several times with big plays or play calls… and I can’t say that about the prior OC 😉

        • Rob Staton says:

          I didn’t say anything about snap count. Just that Homer will be the lead.

      • Pran says:

        Marshawn is our goal line, short yardage back primarily with some players sprinkled here and there.. Pete is just teasing GB …

        • James Z says:

          If Pete/Schotty decide to get Lynch involved in the short passing game on 1st and 2nd down, we may see him in a bit more than the the more conservative predictions/guesses.

  6. steele says:

    A winnable game. The Packers defense is unimpressive. There will be plenty to exploit. Their offense? Yes, stopping Aaron Jones will be important. If they manage to do that, and the Hawks pass rush has a good day, Rodgers makes mistakes. Don’t let Rodgers start hot, or end hot with heroics.

    Meanwhile, the 49ers once again get lucky. WR Thielen may be out for Minn., and they will be missing on two of their corners, ensuring Kittle has a huge day. SF’s road to the Super Bowl has been, and remains, very fortunate.

    • astro.domine says:

      To me, the combination of their pass rush and secondary is pretty impressive.
      Jaire Alexander + Kevin King is a formidable young duo.

      • clbradley17 says:

        Both GB DEs Za’Darius and Preston Smith have 12 sacks or more, and last year DE/LB Fackrell had 3 sacks against us. DT Kenny Clark is no slouch either with 6 sacks. With our injured and depleted OL, it may be a Long day for Russ against these guys.

        https://www.espn.com/espn/now?nowId=21-41090113-4

      • Justaguy says:

        I assume Kevin King will line up across from DK. If so, this is an intriguing matchup that could be something the Hawks look to exploit. Predicting DK will have another big day.

        • Rob Staton says:

          I wouldn’t expect DK Metcalf to get the benefit of single coverage. There will be thick coverage from GB, generous safety help. They will try and contain Wilson in the pocket and give him a flooded coverage look, in the hope he scrambles into trouble. They are going to dare the Seahawks to beat them with the run.

          • Largent80 says:

            Even if they double DK, he has learned to high point the ball, and with his strength I don’t see it as much an advantage for GB. It’s not like the have a great secondary. They have given up 15 pass plays over 40 yards.

            And if they do double him and are successful, we have Lockett, and Moore in the passing game, and even whoever is running the ball, plus Russ can run. For their defense , we are a formidable offense.

            Obviously, GB will score early, we’ve seen it in almost every game this year except maybe the Atlanta game.

  7. BobbyK says:

    I coached a highly competitive summer baseball team a number of years ago (15-16 year olds). We were good. We were a rural Minnesota team and there was no class system in Minnesota. We had to compete with everyone to get to state (people who drew hundreds or thousands or hundreds of thousands of more people than our “hick” team – see movie “Hoosiers”). We were so close to state and competing in it but lost out.

    The next year, we had a great team – yet they were not as good as the year before. However, we caught post-season breaks and things fell our way (and I talked them into thinking they were better than they were – see Carroll, Pete). Sure, we created our own success because we were good but, as their head coach, there’s no way anyone will ever convince me that team was better. However, due to an easier post-season schedule – we achieved what the better team never could/did.

    What am I trying to say?

    This Seahawks team can beat anyone even though it’s not to the level of a few past (Seahawks) teams that failed. The Eagles last week was a MASH unit. This Packers team, at least according to its fans and how Rob mentioned above – they’ve got to be one of the worst (in terms of fan base predictions) ever in terms of teams who have earned a first round bye… Then there’s a possible (HOPEFUL) next week [if possible] showdown against a 49ers teams this team could be 2-0 or 0-2 against AND a Minnesota team that we’ve already beaten. They can legitimately get to Miami! Even though, IMO, they’re not as good as the ’11 team, the team that finished ’86, or some of the LOB era teams like the Malcolm Butler team…

    • Troy says:

      Interesting point Bobby. I see it possible to get to the super bowl but honestly if we end up playing Baltimore I don’t see us having a chance. They were one of the teams that truly whooped us…we can’t stop Lamar/that offense, and their defense is legit. In order to have a chance Lamar would either have to get injured or have the worst game of his life.

      • BobbyK says:

        I’ve thought about this and think back to the game we already played in Seattle. It was close towards the end of the 3rd quarter. The final score made it seem like a blowout, but it wasn’t.

        For those who think Lamar Jackson is “too much” for the Seahawks to handle – it’s not true (aside from a couple runs). Think about this… in the game the Ravens blew us out… this is what Lamar did…

        Lamar Jackson led the Ravens on a 57-yard TD drive. That’s the only TD the Ravens would score. Lamar also led the Ravens to a couple of FGs (“including” a missed one).

        How is that the Ravens offense blowing the Seahawks out? 13 points… Chris Carson won’t be fumbling in that game for defenders to run back for TDs or whatever…

        • Troy says:

          Ya your reply seems like blind homerism to me…you discredit Lamars runs but that is precisely what makes him so dangerous. Also you say we won’t have Carson fumbling, but the bigger problem is we won’t have Carson! Our top 3 running backs are out, that is a huge problem for our running game. They have pretty much decisively beat every team they played since early on in the season.

      • Paul Cook says:

        Don’t go to sleep on KC and Mahomes. That game, if it comes to pass, will be a flip of the coin to me.

    • Matt says:

      Nice post. Really like it.

      I played baseball through college – the least talented team I was on was the most successful because of things like you said; late season breaks, etc. The most critical element on that team was that everybody was on the same page. No egos. We actually voted 2 kids off the team because of the problems they were causing. After that, we didn’t lose a game the rest of the year and won the state title. Addition by subtraction.

      There have been some interesting quotes coming from this team, especially from KJ Wright – heavily implying that the dysfunction of year’s past is gone. There are no longer personalities that are bigger than the team. I’ve said this before, but we are absolutely missing the individual talents of Doug Baldwin and Richard Sherman…but I think this is a better team without those guys on the roster. Those 2, in particular, were wholly incapable of “picking their spots” when it came to running their soup coolers. It got to the point where their egos were more important than the team. Sherman felt like he was constantly undercutting PC. Baldwin, likewise, undercutting RW. What started out as “edgy” quickly transformed into “dysfunctional.”

      No matter what happens, I love this team. We have the right guys moving forward. We just need to add a few pieces at critical spots to take the next step. Hopefully, they continue to prioritize the “right guys,” and not just talent.

      • Carson says:

        There’s no way this team is not better if Doug Baldwin is on the roster, in my opinion. I see your point on Sherm, but if we had Tyler, ADB, and DK on the field Russ would be damn near unstoppable.

  8. Donovan says:

    Nervous, but excited for Sunday’s game. So lucky to be Hawks fan! In RW words, ‘An attitude of gratitude.’

    How crazy is it there’s a non-zero chance that Russell, Marshawn, Sherman, Earl and Frank Clark are all playing in conference championship games next Sunday?

  9. Lil’stink says:

    ‘Let Russ cook’ might be the dumbest, most naive theme in the Seahawk cyber realm. Pete is clearly trying to hold Wilson back, as evidenced by that bomb to Metcalf on 3rd and 10 at the end of the Eagles game.

    • Uncle Bob says:

      Similarly, how was Russ not allowed “to cook” at the end of the final game of the season against the Niners. Approximately one minute on the clock, LOS inside the six………..Russ had EIGHT snaps to score, and passed for most of them. Didn’t get the job done, in front of the home crowd, with the division title on the line. When Russ is on the lazy minded believe him a demi-god, when he’s off it’s because Schotty can’t call a good game, or Pete is too old/stuck in his ways/a lousy coach, whatever.

      Just watched the replay of the NFC championship game against the Packers in ’14. Russ pretty much sucked for 55 minutes…………………but was beautiful for the last 5 and into OT. Let’s just hope we get on target, get rid of the ball quickly Russ this weekend. I’m gettin’ too old for the accumulated drama. 🙂

    • CHawk Talker Eric says:

      I do the twitter a lot, but mostly for politics, so I’m really glad I’ve never seen the words “let Russ cook” before.

      Now let us never speak of them again.

  10. neil says:

    Hawks have lost 8 straight in Green Bay. Maybe this is their time to get one. If the Packers are going to try to keep RW in the pocket, so should the Hawks do the same to Rodgers. I have noticed over the years, when he escapes it is almost always to his right and there is always plenty of room to run for some reason.

    • Paul Cook says:

      The thing about Rodgers is the guy can make just about every conceivable throw. Mahomes is a lot like him in that way. There are just going to be times where you say “how did he pull that one off…”

      Round up all the usual cliches….that’s why they play the game…we’re playing with the house’s money now…we have nothing to lose and everything to gain…etc… I’m good either way, win or lose. Of course I want to win, but the probability is that this magical mystery tour is probably going to end at some point.

      • steele says:

        Rodgers can make any throw. But he can also be a boneheaded gunslinger, Favre-esque. Rattle him, and he devolves into the latter.

        • Rob Staton says:

          He doesn’t throw many picks though. I wouldn’t say Aaron Rodgers is a boneheaded gunslinger. I think sometimes he holds onto the ball too long but you live with that for the brilliance he produces. He’s awesome. Possibly the most talented passer we’ve ever seen.

  11. DC says:

    “…we’ve suffered the single most devastating Super Bowl defeat in history…”

    That’s correct. Super Bowl XL. Just a sick, sick feeling. I felt way worse from XL than I did from XLIX. Had we not just won XLVIII though… Seattle might have burned to the ground in the aftermath.

    • Paul Cook says:

      The great debate was what was the worst SB loss, Seattle’s or Atlanta’s? In Seattle’s case, it’s almost like where were you when Kennedy was shot? I’m biased in the pain department. The way that ended was the single most shocking experience I’ve ever had as a sport’s fan. Jeremaine Kearse’s catch might have gone down as the greatest catch in SB history had we won the game. Now it seems like an afterthought.

      Anyway…it’s best not to go there. LOL

    • neil says:

      The Steelers were a wild card team that year. Rothlesberger finished the game with a qbr of 25 I believe, and we still lost. Unbelievable.

      • Paul Cook says:

        There were only a couple of times where I’ve felt you could legitimately whine about the refs costing you a big game/or playoff series. That was one of the very few. They literally changed the momentum of the game like three times. Phantom holding call, offensive PI, personal foul on a QB tackle, etc… Come on!

        I felt the way when Sacramento was playing the Lakers in the West coast finals of the NBA some years ag, and I had minimal emotional investment in it. If you remember that one, I think you might know what I mean.

        • neil says:

          Not much of a basketball fan. In SB 40, losing Marquard Manual was the big factor. I can’t remember his replacements name, but he was lost on the Steelers two big plays.

          • Paul Cook says:

            Mike Holmgren is a pretty straight shooter, not a deflecting the blame whiner, and he was also one of the lead guys on the NFL’s rules committee. When he got off the plane after that loss in Seattle one of his first responses (to paraphrase)…I knew we were going to be playing a good team in the Steelers, but I didn’t know we were also going to playing the guys in the striped shirts.

            I think Paul Allen paid the fine.

          • Thomas Wells says:

            I think Marquand Manuel was replaced by Etric Pruitt

        • GerryG says:

          That Kings Lakers game was the worst officiating I’ve ever seen, and the only time I ever thought that a league had an obvious, blatant motive for one team to win. It was only a few years later that ref got busted too

          • Jed says:

            Not sure if you remember game 7 of the Sonics/Suns to get to the NBA finals against the MJ Bulls. This was when Barkley was at his peak and the 2nd biggest superstar in the league. The Suns had 64 free throws!! Sonics had a lot at 36, but that’s the game that caused me to stop watching the NBA. I was a kid and had a Shawn Kemp poster on my wall at that time, but that game made me think the NBA was about as fixed as the WWF.

            • evan says:

              Suns Sonics 1993 Patriots Raiders 2002 Lakers Kings 2002 Steelers Seahawks 2006 Barcelona Chelsea 2009 France Ireland 2009 I saw all those scandalous games.
              I thought the PI calls in the playoff loss to the Cowboys last year were pretty fishy.
              I thought the Saints got hosed in the playoffs on PI calls for the last three years running. most obviously vs the Rams. I honestly wonder if somebody in the NFL office decreed that the Sean Payton Saints are never allowed to win another SuperbOwl after Bountygate.
              which then leads me to wonder about the end of that game vs. the Whiners week 17…

      • Awsi Dooger says:

        The Steelers may have been a wild card team in 2005 but they were second in the league in Yards Per Pass Attempt Differential. The #1 team in that stat was the Colts. So when those two teams faced each other in the divisional round it was not much of an upset at all, despite the conventional wisdom. It was merely the second best statistical team from the season narrowly defeating the best statistical team.

        The sports media does an inept job of portraying stuff like that. It’s the reason I really appreciated my 24 years living in Las Vegas. The sharp guys in that town made sure I was hearing and learning the important stuff, instead of subjective fluff.

        Likewise when Green Bay won the Super Bowl as the 6th seed they were the #1 team in the entire league in Yards Per Pass Attempt Differential.

        Many other examples. When the Seahawks won the Super Bowl they were #1 in YPPA Differential by wide margin. It was +2.7, or something like that. They never managed anything like that again. The following season it was basically cut in half to +1.4, if I remember correctly. That is a very good team but hardly a dominant team. Very vulnerable and it played out that way.

        The category works in college football also. When Ohio State supposedly pulled a huge upset over Miami in the 2002 Fiesta Bowl it was similar to the Steelers/Colts situation…the #2 YPPA Differential team in the country narrowly defeating the #1 YPPA Differential team.

        Same thing with USC. The team that lost to Texas in the Rose Bowl was only a fraction as statistically dominant as the great USC team of the year prior in 2004. I’m a USC alum. Nobody on those forums wanted to hear it all season and especially entering the bowl game as 7.5 point favorite over Texas, but all the numbers indicated it should be closer to a pick-em game.

        • CHawk Talker Eric says:

          By that metric SEA has the advantage. They finished the season with a -0.1 YPPA differential compared to GB’s -0.5

  12. charlietheunicorn says:

    BobbyK brought up something touched on by local 710 radio today. The current Seahawks team is in no way as talented as many of the teams in the last 6 years, but they appear to all be pulling the same direction and believe what PC is preaching / how RW leads them on each play, each game… all season. It sort of reminds me of the NY football Giants that went into the playoffs, caught a few breaks and beat an undefeated Patriots team to hang a “L” on them. Winning a SB in the process. They were definitely not the elite team in the playoffs, but showed up at the right time and played with heart, passion and purpose.

    • Rob Staton says:

      They also rushed the passer very well and ran the football. Can the Seahawks do that??

      • Troy says:

        Ya I feel like I am taking crazy pills…do people not remember the absolute insane Dline NY had that year? Our dline is nothing even close to that, even with a healthy Clowney/Reed.

        Sure our QB is better but that dline they had was ferocious.

  13. LouieLouie says:

    If the Hawks don’t come out of Green Bay with a win I won’t be too disappointed. I didn’t really expect them to go to the Superbowl this year because I think they are a year (or possibly 2) from being a Super Bowl team. I’m looking forward to the future, but I’ll root like hell for the present.

  14. EranUngar says:

    GB is healthy, rested and playing at home. We are anything but…So yes, an easy win for GB is certainly a possibility.

    IMO, this game is all about the running game, 80 yards of it. If Lynch&Hommer can combine for more than 80 yards rushing it would be enough to force GB to play honest and not sell out to take away RW’s deep targets. If the defense can keep Jones under 80 yards and force Rodgers into a lot of 3rd downs – we have a chance.

    The 1st quarter would be very telling in this one. The scripted plays could go either way. We could try to establish the run forcefully to keep GB honest or we could opt to attack passing in order to thin the box and open the running game. The successes of either strategy will dictate a lot regarding how this game will evolve.

    I would also expect that whatever strategy we chose to start the game will be reversed to start the 2nd half.

    My key player for this game is Ford. The strength of GB’s OL is pass protection by the OTs. If Poona can penetrate in the middle and disrupt running plays it would go a long way to balance the field.

    GO HAWKS

  15. Volume12 says:

    Darius Anderson, RB TCU. 5’11, 212 lbs. Reportedly ran a 4.39 and had a 42″ vert a couple summers ago. One of those guys I mentioned that you can get on day 3 this year.

    Darius Anderson vs Purdue (2019):
    https://youtu.be/kskxVK06P9M

  16. Volume12 says:

    Clemson G John Simpson (6’4, 330 lbs.) is a grown man. Moves dudes off the ball in the run game, awesome power, incredible backstory.

    Gave Javon Kinlaw all he could handle and then some this year. Was gonna post it, but not sure how many are gonna watch a 12 min. clip.

    Should be a top 75 pick.

  17. Adog says:

    I have to wonder if the Seahawks were booby trapping the packers game plan last week by calling those read draws right into the teeth of the eagles defense. Perhaps this will slow down the green bay pass rush. Another interesting plot is where will they put DK? Maybe in the slot?

  18. Georgia Hawk says:

    I have this sort of sick feeling in my gut thinking about the matchup of our OL vs. GB DL this week. Brown and Iupati being doubtful, plus Hunt in the middle….I just get squeemish thinking about it. I feel like Smith could have an Arron Donald type game against us. I think straight drop backs are just begging for Russ to get smashed and any offensive success is going to come out of runs that get outside quickly and play action passing.

    I know, just regurgitating Rob’s thoughts above, I just get this feeling the Offense is going to struggle based on available players and matchups.

    • GerryG says:

      Fant missed practice all week too.

      If there is no Fant/Brown the game is done sans GB having four turnovers. Jones will get eaten alive by the GB pass rush ala AZ game.

      If we have a functional OL we can win.

  19. clbradley17 says:

    Rob, have you checked out Baylor DT James Lynch, 6’4″ 295? Expected to declare for the draft since Baylor coach Rhule was hired by the Panthers. “2019 Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year.
    Lynch led the Big 12 with 12.5 sacks, five more than anyone else in the league, and was second to Texas Tech’s Jordyn Brooks with 18.5 tackles for loss.” Also had 3 forced fumbles, 2 fumbles recoverd and 5 passes defensed.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xm8iOvwFQzM

  20. king. says:

    I have three great sports’ loves. The Seahawks. The Lakers. And Barcelona.

    All of those fandoms are decades old and all but the Lakers predate their glory years (I am not old enough to predate the Laker’s glory years, because the Lakers don’t stop having amazing stretches of championship level play).

    People can call me spoiled. They can call me entitled.

    They are wrong.

    I have been deeply emotionally invested in so many championship teams over the last 40 years that I think I know something about teams that have a championship mentality.

    Seattle had it for the better part of two years. Other than that, this is a team and a fanbase that is content to win a few games, make the playoffs, and pretend it is a job well done.

    It’s not about being entitled to championships. It’s just about recognizing when the necessary components for a championship exist.

    And when they don’t.

    • Rob Staton says:

      It’s nowhere near as simple as that.

      When people shout ‘fire Carroll’ on social media, they aren’t merely recognising when the necessary components for a Championship exist. They’re ignoring all of the fantastic benefits of Carroll’s culture, ignoring what this franchise was before it’s arrival, acting like everything will be fine if they just replace the greatest HC this team has ever had with someone who does what THEY want and acting like success will be a given if we just follow their suggestions. They’re arrogantly ignoring how difficult it is to win in this league — emphasised by the classic coach/QB combo’s that have won one or zero title’s.

      This is all highly entitled and ignorant.

  21. Trevor says:

    When I look at this game it seems like the Packers should be favoured by more than the 4 points they are getting. They are rested, healthy and playing in Lambeau where Russ and the Hawks have really struggled. They rush the passer on defense and run the ball well on offense. The Hawks are not great in pass protection and struggle against the run. It all screams easy GB win.

    What you can analyze are the intangibles and I think this is where the Hawks have an edge. They believe they are road warriors and why wouldn’t they? Has any other west coast team travelled to the east coast 6 times in a season and gone 6-0. This team has overcome alot and squeaked out a lot of close wins. They are battle tested and seem like a really close group.

    GB has all the pressure on them. This game will go a long way to defining Rodgers legacy after he ran Mike Mcarthy out of town. He is still really good but since that shoulder / collar bone injury he does not like on of the all time greats he once did. If he goes another year without a playoff win the narrative around him starts to change. Also they have a rookie head coach and who knows how he will respond to the playoff pressure.

    My mind say GB wins by 10-14 points. My gut tells me the Hawks hang around and despite all odds Russ leads them on a game winning drive as time expires and the Hawks win 27-24 then play SF in the NFC Final.

    • DC says:

      I like your gut Trevor.

    • cha says:

      I think this can be a statement game for RW. He can forcefully supplant Rodgers in the QB hierarchy Sunday. Make way for the new king if RW can plant a flag on Lambeau turf (metaphorically).

      He’s rediscovering his early season form at exactly the right time. Word of him leading during the game, uber-preparing with his wideouts, and taking hits and bouncing right back up are all coalescing into a dominant performance that threatens to rise above the lack of a serious running game or rushing the passer.

      I do think he needs to take the bull by the horns, not unlike what he did vs Philly. Do not be afraid to take off and run after 2 or 3 beats. Frustrate those pass rushers that are winning their 1 on 1’s, draw in the blanket coverage LBs and Safeties and mess with their heads. Mix up taking the 4-5 yards and sliding with dumping it to a safety valve a couple yards behind the close coverage. Then find Lockett, DK or Moore with the dagger.

  22. Mark Souza says:

    Looking at Greenbay weather forecasts, cleat selection is going to be critical. We’ve lost games in the Holmgren era due to not figuring out what footwear works on the frozen tundra, or what cleat to switch to when it starts raining on frozen ground. Being on equal footing (pardon the pun) is paramount. Greenbay has a ton of experience dealing with their winter conditions. A lot will ride on the Seattle equipment managers keeping pace.

    • I see 23 degrees now. A few days ago it was 38 and sunny but that temp gage is lowering by the day. As long as it doesnt get Minnesota playoff game cold we should be OK.

  23. DC says:

    Huskies hire John Donovan as new OC/QB coach. Other than what I just read in the press release I’m in the blind.

  24. RWIII says:

    The Biggest concern I have is the offensive line. Who is playing and how healthy are they going to be? The offensive line played well against the Eagles. Now they have to go and deal with the Smith gang(Preston/Za’Darius). That is going to be critical.

    • Rob Staton says:

      I’m not sure GB will be that aggressive in the pass rush. I think they will contain and flood coverage.

      • astro.domine says:

        GB used a lot of 4-man rushes against Minnesota, too, and still managed to absolutely pummel Cousins all day. Za’darius was nigh unblockable, ala Clowney against the Niners.

        Let’s hope we fair better than they did.

      • Volume12 says:

        I saw you say that your gonna check out John Simpson tonight. I know you mentioned him in the PFF piece, but have you checked out Kentucky’s Logan Sternberg yet? Mean SOB

        • Rob Staton says:

          I haven’t but will also look at him tonight.

        • CHawk Talker Eric says:

          Between Shane Lemieux, John Simpson, Logan Stenberg, Solomon Kindley and Ben Bredeson there are some fine looking OG prospects in the 2020 draft.

          Add in Tyler Biadasz, Cesar Ruiz, Nick Harris, Jake Hanson and it’s a good group of IOLers.

  25. Logan Lynch says:

    Beat the Packers, nothing else matters. Go Hawks!

  26. Coleslaw says:

    1 thing that hasnt been mentioned yet is this is going to be a snow game. Aaron Jones SUCKED in the snow this year.

    • Coleslaw says:

      Also, Lynch is historically good in snow.

      I’ve been saying this but its 10 fold this week. Get Lynch in space. Lynch will make GB look silly in the open field in snow. I’m hoping he does play 30 snaps, maybe only 10-15 Carrie’s but hopefully 5 targets or so on screens and in the flats. Not to mention hes our best pass protector.

      I believe Pete when he said Lynch will have a bigger role.

  27. JimQ says:

    I’ve been looking into potential veteran OL FA’s that may be of interest to the Seahawks, I’ve picked
    through the pile and found a few I could see as possibilities. I know most of these guys have been
    talked about favorably on SDB in the past. Should any of the below be options to go after in FA?

    Veteran FA C/OG-Connor McGovern, Denver, age 27 – a FA to go after? Cheaper than Britt?
    Veteran FA OT-D. J. Humphries, KC, age 26, some past injuries, solid LT/RT on a prove it deal?
    Veteran FA OT-Halapoulivaati Vaitai, Philly, age 27, solid backup ready to compete to start?
    Veteran FA C/OG-Graham Glasgow, Detroit, age 28, plays C & OG well, a FA to go after?

    Also, a couple of DL’ers caught my eye:
    Veteran FA DL-Robert Quinn, Dallas, age 30, coming off 11.5 sack season, 1- 2-yr prove it deal?
    Veteran FA DE/OLB-Kyler Fackrell, Green Bay, had 10.5 sacks in 2018, B/U since, a FA to go after?
    Thoughts?

    • We have been talking about Quinn for a couple weeks now as he could be a great speed option off the edge and he is my personal favorite guy to target. There was a good amount of talk as well about Fackrell as well leading up to the draft. Im just not sure if he is big enough to rush the passer in our system as he is more of an OLB. Plus he had three years of bad stats plus one good one. He could be a one year prove it guy for someone. Not sure if it would be us.

      • In regards to the OLine, my best guess is that it will be Brown…Not Sure…Britt…Fluker…Fant.
        I just think they will let Britt play out his final year and absorb his cap hit this year as they have the space. See how he does then go from there. It will be interesting to see what the do at LG.

  28. Ashish says:

    Based on comments we all rooting and hoping to win but will not disappointed otherwise. I can’t keep thinking with win we will be top 4 teams remaining without our best players (Dissly/All RBs/OL/DL banged up). I will be not surprised if we win because GB does not scares me at all.

  29. Rob Staton says:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zWX3ALx9w_k

    Watch this video and notice Marshawn in the back ground and on the sidelines.

    This is a totally, 100% different Marshawn than the one from last time in Seattle. He looks happy, he looks like he’s fitting right into the blend of the group. For no other reason, seeing this and the touchdowns he scored makes me appreciate to the max his return at the end of this season. As a Seahawks fan it’s fantastic to see.

    Plus, Jordan Roos is an awesome BAMF viking.

    • cha says:

      Marshawn was a peacemaker in the locker room the first time around, at least according to the “untold stories” video with Percy Harvin.

      He is probably happy he’s not having to separate/tolerate the Bennetts, Shermans, and Thomases.

      • Rob Staton says:

        I’m not sure he was strictly a ‘peacemaker’.

        After all, he drove the conspiracy theories about Carroll ‘wanting Wilson to be MVP’. He held out, was pulling himself out of games for stretches due to ‘illness’, gave the rod to the play-caller and then we had the infamous not getting on the bus to Minnesota episode.

        He was anti-authority and Wilson/Carroll were seen as the authority. I think a lot of the ill-will was created through Marshawn.

        But things seem to be a lot smoother now which is nice.

        • James Z says:

          Lynch was/is the proverbial X factor. He was disruptive sometimes, constructive sometimes, and destructive sometimes. So far he seems to be the same X factor but much more benign around the edges. It’s working in the short run, but over a whole season I’m pretty sure the edges might tend to sharpen. Still, gotta love what he’s brought to the team and the game itself based on the TV ratings for the game against Philly.

    • CHawk Talker Eric says:

      Love the old folks home bit with Turbin and Homer 😂

      Also very encouraging to see Clowney take more of a leadership role.

    • pdway says:

      totally agree w this .. .all of his body language, and all of the stories since his arrival tell us what a net positive he is, even if he does little or nothing on the field. And I do think he’s got it in him to contribute in specific moments – like the TD run last week. He’s not going to carry it 20 times and get 100 yards, but that’s ok.

      Here’s a stat i was pointed to – http://powerrankingsguru.com/nfl/strength-of-schedule.php

      Hawks had the #1 most difficult sched this season, GB #27 . . .

  30. Bruce McDermott says:

    We didn’t play the Chargers this year. From the context, it looks like the references are to the Cardinals?

    I think that if we run like we did last week, we’ll get crushed. But I also think that even if we run “not great, but not horrible,” we’ve got a decent chance in this game. Gotta stay close enough early that we can close it out late.

  31. steele says:

    Let’s remind ourselves that at this time last year, the Rams were hot and expected by many to win the SB with flair. This year, it’s the 49ers. Who still have much to prove, even with a win tomorrow.

    Meanwhile, the Seahawks are absolutely the underdogs, but the team with the most intangibles and the least predictability.

    Do I dare consider the possibility of a SB, even with a decimated roster (that isn’t elite this season anyway), and the toughest road to get there? When I put aside reality—yes! It would be the greatest story and the most unlikely outcome.

    Go Hawks.

  32. Von says:

    Has anyone looked at Benito Jones? DT from Ole Miss. looks like he has a little Poona in him. Short stout dude with some lateral movement skills. Came in the same class as DK.

    • Eli says:

      I’ve seen a little of him. Moves surprisingly well and has some solid pass rush moves despite his size.

  33. WallaSean says:

    Here we go, the best weekend of the season and our biggest concerns about the roster have to do with the inactive list, what a great accomplishment to still be alive. Better yet, none of the three other teams inspire a sense of dread, play OK and there still is a chance, play lights out and find yourself a big underdog in the last game. We showed our underbelly all year, a flock of chickens came home to roost, but flashes of what we could be got us here. If seven sacks and a Julio Jones impression just happened, what could they have left to show us? Sit back, think positive and enjoy the ride….somebody has to win,..it just could be us!