So are they still playing this game? Listening to all the talking heads it appears the Packers should not have wasted the time to travel to Seattle. Seahawks have won decisively before the opening kickoff.
Although I don’t believe hopes are nearly as dim as they are being portrayed, this is definitely a tough matchup for the Packers. The Seahawks have really come on over the last 7 games and appear back in championship form. While there is no doubt that Seattle is playing excellent football, especially on defense, there are some reasons to believe they might not be as unbeatable as portrayed in the media. Looking at their level of competition, especially the offenses they have faced over the last 7 games, some might question just how much their defense has been challenged. They have faced the Cardinals (twice), 49ers (twice) and the Rams. None of these teams were offensive juggernauts this year. The Packers offense, lead by the league’s MVP, will definitely be a big step up in level of competition – this alone should give Packer fans reason for hope.
I believe for the Packers to win they will have to do the following:
- Aaron Rodgers will need to play the whole game looking like the player he was during the 2nd half against the Cowboys. If he starts this game as immobile as he looked in last week’s 1st half, he might not make it to the second half against the Seahawks aggressive front 7.
- The Packers defense will have to tackle MUCH better than they did during the week 1 matchup against the Seahawks. In that game it is probably not much of a stretch to estimate that the Packers missed more tackles in a single drive that the Seahawks did in the whole game! The Packers cannot win with this type of an effort.
- Eddie Lacy and the offensive line will have to offset the production of Lynch and the Seahawks. This will be important to ensure the Packers don’t suffer another loss where the opponent sets playoff records in rushing yards. Any defense can wear down so the offense must stay on the field to give the defense a chance.
- Stay healthy. In week 1, Bulaga was injured in the first half resulting in Derrick Sherrod playing the entire second half. One year ago, in the playoff loss against the 49ers, the Packers were down to playing Datone Jones at outside linebacker in the second half. The Packers injury luck needs to change.
If the Packers can do the above they definitely have a chance in this game. As a fan that is what you hope for when the season kicks off, having your team competing for a conference championship and a Super Bowl berth. The Packers have done that this year and regardless of the outcome of the game this season must be viewed as a success.
So what will happen? A lot needs to go right for the Packers to come out with a win. I may be picking this one with my heart instead of my head, but I think this game is will come down to the final drive and could go either way. Prediction: Packer 24-23
Season Record: 15-2
I do not usually suffer from over-confidence when it comes to the Packers, but I don’t understand why they are being so disrespected going into this game. The plain and simple truth is the Packers are a much better team than the Cowboys. The Packers are better than the Lions and Dallas needed such favorable, and unprecedented, calls to beat the Lions that people are calling the NFL fixed. If even half of the favorable calls went the other way, we would have been playing Carolina and the Cowboys would be sitting on the couch watching.
Not only do I think the Packers will win, I think they will win handily. The only WAY the Cowboys have a chance to win is if Rodgers is knocked out of the game. True that could happen, but I think it is just as likely that Rodgers is sitting on the bench in the 4th quarter watching Matt Flynn in the victory formation following a mop up role. Speaking of injured QBs it is also just as likely that Romo with his bad back, facing a much better defense, ends up being the one pulled off the field.
Now saying all that, while I knock on wood, Packers win 34-17
Season Record: 14-2
Is it just me, or does it seem like it has been a LONG time since the Packers last game in Tampa. It feels like we have been talking about this game (the Lions losing streak in Wisconsin, Rodgers calf injury) forever. The main reason it might seem so long is that most everyone expected this game to be for the NFC north title early in the season.
I expect the Packers to win for a few reasons.
- While the Packers have been steadily improving throughout the second half of the season (the lone exception was the loss in Buffalo) the Lions have been treading water. They have only beaten teams you would expect and not any of them in a convincing manner.
- The Packers have been simply dominant at home and I see them building on their home success as they enter the playoffs.
- Aaron Rodgers is the best player in the NFL and he will be looking to demonstrate that heading into the playoffs.
Prediction: Packers 42-26
Season Record: 13-2
Well now that the Packers and Aaron Rodgers have “that” out of their system they need to switch into playoff mode in Tampa. The amazing thing about the Bills game was that in spite of a horrific performance the Packers still had a chance to win vs. a good team on the road. I don’t anticipate a repeat performance like that anytime soon.
Prediction: Packers 37-16
Season Record: 12-2
Really surprised how much negativity the Packers have gathered entering this game against the Buffalo Bills. The Bills are only 4-4.5 underdogs against the Packers, since the common view is a home team gets 3 points this means that the “money” thinks the 10-3 Packers are only a 1-1.5 point better team than the 7-6 Bills. To me, this just seems crazy. I’m not a betting man, but if I was, I would put my money on the Packers.
Why this negativity? I think it comes down to 3 things:
- Kyle Orton – Based on his win when QB of the Chiefs over the Packers in 2011, spoiling the Packers perfect regular season, he seems to be viewed as a Packers killer.
- Bills Defensive Line – The Bills defense leads the league in sacks and gets a ton of pressure rushing only 4 linemen. Being able to pressure Rodgers with 4 and dedicate 7 to coverage is supposed to shutdown the MVP favorite.
- Packers road record – There seems to be a lot of agreement that the Packers are a different team at home than on the road. Their 3-3 road record seems to justify this position.
Will the Packers struggle in Buffalo? They probably will to some extent, I doubt it will be an easy game. But the Packers are clearly the better team and more often than not the better team will win after 60 minutes.
For this prediction I see a competitive game, but just too much Rodger, Nelson, Cobb and Lacy, Starks and company for the Bills to handle. I also expect a much better effort from the Packers defense than they showed against the Falcons. Prediction: Packers 31-20
Season Record: 12-1
I expect the Packers are well aware of what happened this weekend. The Seahawks look like they are regaining their Super Bowl form and the Lions are right on the Packers heals in the NFC North. The Packers must realize that their odds of getting past the Seahawks and into the Super Bowl are greatly improved if any playoff meeting occurs in Lambeau Field. With this much on the line I don’t expect the Packers will take the 5-7 Falcons lightly. Prediction: Packers 37-24
Season Record: 11-1
Is this game a Super Bowl preview? Who knows? Both of these teams were marked for dead at points during the season and a lot can still happen in the last 5 games of the season.
While the Packers are still marginal favorites (2.5 – 3.0 points) they have not been getting a lot of credit by national pundits. Watching the CBS pregame, all 4 “experts” predicted a Patriots win. One even predicted they would blow out the Packers, because the Patriots had been “blowing people out” lately. I guess he had not bothered to watch any of the Packers home games this year.
I don’t expect a blow out in this game, but if there was one, I would expect the home team would be the one delivering it. I expect a close game that will go down to the wire. It really is a toss-up type game. With how well the Packers have played at home this season I just can’t pick against them. Prediction: Packers 34-31
Season Record: 10-1