Monday, September 24, 2012

Packers vs. Seahawks Week 3 Preview

We're just a little more than two hours away from kickoff in Seattle for the Green Bay Packers vs. the Seahawks. Monday Night Football!

There's an interesting stat which hit the Twittersphere today: Packers' QB Aaron Rodgers is winless on the road on Monday nights: 0-4. Yikes! He's 3-0 in the friendly confines of Lambeau Field on Monday nights. Hmmm. So, what can we look at in order to figure out a possible outcome tonight?

First of all, after two weeks of replacement NFL referees, we can count on the not-ready-for-primetime-refs to throw off the Packers' offensive rhythm. The Pack likes to get to the line with no huddle and catch the defense with incorrect personnel for certain plays. The refs will be certain to mess that up as they try to figure out where to place the ball, or where to find Waldo. That's one that eliminates the Packers advantage in that category. The overall offensive advantage, however, goes to the Pack given the aerial weapons which they'll bring to bear. Plus, if they can get RB Cedric Benson enough carries and get enough push from the offensive line it can really open things up for the offense. This will be a big challenge on both fronts, though, as the Seattle defense is tough against the run through the first two games.

Secondly, there's the infamous Seattle 12th Man syndrome which makes the venue one of the loudest in the league. Again, advantage Seattle.

Third, instead of starting veteran QB and former Packers backup Matt Flynn, Seattle has gone with rookie and former Wisconsin (Go Badgers!) QB Russell Wilson. Seattle has the last-ranked passing offense in the NFL through the first two weeks. Still, Wilson has a strong arm, is smart, and can run or throw outside the pocket. He's the type of quarterback that in the past has given the Packers' defense fits. Keeping him in the pocket will be to the Packers advantage. Whether or not they can do so remains to be seen. Which defense will show up tonight for the Pack is the question: the one that looked like a sieve against the 49ers or the one that smacked Da Bearz around? Keep in mind also that the 'hawks have a powerful running back in the form of Marshawn Lynch who can take over a game if you let him; the Packers have to hold him in check or it could be a long and disappointing night.

I realize that I could and probably should be giving a lot more stats about this and that. But you can really find that info just about anywhere, right?

So let's just cut right to the chase, shall we? This is a game which the Packers should win even if they haven't totally gotten into the groove on offense yet or found their identity on defense...although Clay Matthews is certainly doing his part to help on that front! The Pack is favored by 3 or 3-1/2 points depending upon who are listening to, with the over-under pegged at 45-1/2 points.

I think the Packers will beat the spread and I'd take the under if I was a betting man...which I am not, by the way.

I'm calling it 23-17 Packers.

Go Pack Go!!!