Sunday, October 12, 2008

Packers - Seahawks preview

So, we have a 2-3 team going on the road against a 1-3 team which is either a 1 or 2 point favorite, depending upon which spread you pay attention to.

Who needs a win more? Both the Packers and Seahawks are getting desperate. And both are also riddled with injuries. In fact, the Packers placed another player -- rookie RB Kregg Lumpkin -- on injured reserve with a hamstring injury yesterday. More on that below. As for the Seahawks, their receiving corps is basically down to old-timer Bobby Engram as their primary threat. It's also uncertain as to who exactly will be throwing the ball for Seattle today. Both starter Matt Hasselbeck and backup Seneca Wallace are listed as questionable. That means third-stringer Charlie Frye could play today. The primary running back for Seattle is Dallas cast-off Julius Jones.

Of course, the Packers have a starting QB who again didn't practice to any extent this past week -- although judging by his performance against Atlanta, Aaron Rodgers can do just fine without it. The running game showed signs of life last week for the first time this season. But the defense has no pass rush, nor can it seem to stop the run. And of course penalties on both sides of the ball are rampant.

So, perhaps today it's not a matter of which team is more desperate as much as which team is able to somehow overcome their own problems. Last week's loss to Atlanta was one of those games I mentioned in my preseason overview as a game which the Pack should win but would lose. Looking at the Seattle game then -- and now -- I see this as a game which the Pack should win. Of course, that was before all the injuries and problems manifested themselves.

Still, I'm sticking with the Pack today. If the Pack can get any semblance of a running game going, Rodgers and the receivers could then also enjoy a big day. Seattle is in worse shape than the Packers on a number of levels. And if the Pack doesn't do themselves in, this is a game which should go in the "W" column. I'm taking the Pack 27-21.

Lumpkin on IR
As noted above, the Pack placed rookie RB Kregg Lumpkin on injured reserve Saturday. The Packers were so excited about the undrafted Lumpkin at final cut time that they kept him and released veterans Noah Herron and Vernand Morency. Lumpkin has been plagued with a nagging hamstring injury since the Dallas game, though, and despite seemingly making progress through this week was shelved for the season. In his place, the Pack signed running back DeShawn Wynn from the practice squad. Wynn will be the third back, behind Ryan Grant and Brandon Jackson. It's not certain yet whether he'll be active for today's game or not.