A pair of playoff hopeful NFC teams will meet in the Pacific Northwest for a showdown on Thursday Night Football. The 4-5 Seattle Seahawks will host the 4-4-1 Green Bay Packers in a likely elimination game for both teams. The loser of this game will fall well behind the pack in the NFC playoff picture, while the winner could vault into a Wild Card spot by the end of the weekend.
Green Bay is coming off of a 31-12 victory over the Miami Dolphins, but the Packers had lost two straight games before that. The Packers are trailing both the Chicago Bears and Minnesota Vikings in the NFC North, and every win is critical. Seattle has lost two straight games to the Chargers and Rams, and sit in 9th place in the playoff race in the NFC. The Seattle Seahawks are a 2.5 point favorite over the Packers on Thursday night.
Rodgers Will Need to Shine
If the Green Bay Packers are going to win this game, quarterback Aaron Rodgers will need to carry the offense. Rodgers has thrown for over 2,700 yards so far this season, and has throw 17 touchdowns to just one interception. Green Bay is still looking for a running game to make this a balanced offense, and Aaron Jones just might be that guy. Jones is averaging 6.8 yards per carry this season, and has scored four rushing touchdowns for the Packers.
The Green Bay defense has been average so far this season, but they will likely be without two starters for this game. Linebacker Nick Perry and cornerback Kevin King did not travel with the team to Seattle and will likely miss the game. The Packers are giving up 24 points per game this season, but they can put pressure on the quarterback. Kyler Fackrell and Kenny Clark each have five of the team’s 31 sacks so far this season.
Seahawks Defense Needs To Rebound
Gone are the days of the “Legion of Boom,” but the Seahawks were still playing great defense until recently. The Seahawks have given up just 21.3 points per game this season, but have given up a combined 61 in their two previous games. Frank Clark and Jarran Reed have combined for 13 sacks this season, and they will need to get pressure on Rodgers on Thursday. Seattle needs to play much better on defense if they want any chance of winning.
Running backs Chris Carson and Rashaad Penny combine to give the Seahawks a solid 1-2 punch at that position. Carson has racked up 497 yards and two touchdowns this season, and Rashaad Penny is coming off of a 108 yard performance against the Rams. The running game should give quarterback Russell Wilson extra time to operate in this game. Wilson has thrown 21 touchdowns already this season, but is averaging just 195 passing yards per game.
Packers Win on the Road
Playing in Seattle is always a difficult task, but Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers has won everywhere. The Seahawks looked to be figuring things out a few weeks ago, but have struggled the last two weeks. This is about the time of the year when the Packers go on a big run to make the playoffs, and it will start with a big win on Thursday night over the Seahawks. Bet the Green Bay Packers +2.5 over Seattle in this game.