Posted on January 12, 2020, by Travis Pulver
If you had asked football fans after Week 13 about the Seattle Seahawks, they would have had nothing but good things to say. After all, the team was 10-2 and fresh off a stomping of the Minnesota Vikings (37-10). Life was good.
But then fast forward to the end of the regular season, and they lost three of their last four and most of their running backs to injuries. They were still a playoff-bound team, but not one many folks outside of Seattle believed in anymore.
Their Super Bowl odds reached as high as +2700—which basically meant they were not expected to make it out of the Wild Card round. But an easy matchup against the Philadelphia Eagles helped them make it to the next round.
However, that meant facing the Green Bay Packers and Aaron Rodgers.
Eh, the Packers are just another team, right? Not exactly.
They are the one team that Russell Wilson often seems to struggle against. He has never won in Lambeau in three tries, and in seven games against the Packers, he has thrown ten interceptions.
But the big issue for the Seahawks is not going to be turnovers. No, it will be the lack of a running game.
Bringing Marshawn Lynch back has provided an emotional lift and a few good plays, but not much of a run game. Then again, he has only played in 41 snaps over two games. So, maybe with more opportunity, he can heat up and make an impact?
Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll is probably hoping so and says the plan will be to get Lynch more involved this week, via ESPN:
“He’s going to play more this week. He’s ready to, and has had enough time with us. He feels confident about what he’s doing and the plan. We can get him in and out of there and have those two guys really go at it.”
After facing two of the better run defenses in the league in San Francisco and Philadelphia, running against the Packers defense may be just what Lynch needs.
At the same time, the Packers are likely going to feature their own running back Aaron Jones. Seattle’s run defense is ranked a hair above Green Bay’s. So, if Jones can get going, the Seahawks could be in trouble.
That possibility, along with Seattle’s many injuries and run woes are likely why Green Bay is favored by 4.5 points (via DraftKings).
So—how should you bet in this one?
While there are so many signs that point towards Green Bay–take the Seahawks. Why? The answer is simple—Russell Wilson.
The man is magic. He has proven that to be the case on several occasions throughout his career, but especially the last two weeks—ever since his backfield went down with injuries. In the last two games, he figured out how to generate enough offense to win the game (or almost win it against the 49ers).
Green Bay’s defense is not bad, but it is not as good as the last two Seattle faced. Of course, the trick will be the defense stepping up and doing its part. But Russell Wilson will make it happen on the offensive side.
However, taking Seattle to win straight up may be hard for some to do, but taking them and the points would be a smart move.