Tonight, on the short turnaround of a Thursday evening performance made even shorter by having to play on the West Coast after a late Sunday afternoon game, the Packers take on the Seattle Seahawks on the road.
The road. Where the Packers haven't one a game yet this season. Seattle. Where the Packers haven't won in nearly a decade. Head coach Mike McCarthy is just 1-3 there. The losses, we don't need to remind Packers fans, have been extremely gut-wrenching. The horror...the horror... Weird things happen in Seattle. They just do. And usually not in the Packers favor.
But Seattle's famed Legion of Boom defense is no more. QB Russell Wilson is still dangerous outside of the pocket but not quite like he used to be. While there is a new offensive coordinator, the Seahawks have a very good running game and if the Packers aren't ready for that Seattle could rack up some big numbers there.
|Packers RB Aaron Jones gets off to a fast start last Sunday against|
the Dolphins on a 67-yard run. He'll need similar heroics tonight in Seattle
to help keep the Packers in the game.
(Photo: Dan Powers, Dan Powers/USA TODAY NETWORK-Wis)
Conversely, the Packers have a good running game themselves emerging behind second-year RB Aaron Jones. McCarthy finally gave him the ball more than a handful of times against Miami and it resulted in an outstanding performance by Jones. Because the 'hawks secondary isn't quite what it used to be, McCarthy's penchant for the passing game may take him out of a more balanced approach. But the Pack needs to run the ball, run it well, and run it often to help take the crowd and the opponent down a notch or two. If you let Seattle take control or stick around, the crowd noise will also turn into an opponent, as has usually been the case in Seattle. And we know how that has typically worked out. Not well.
PredictionThe Packers are 2-1/2-point underdogs at the time of this writing, with the home field advantage being the difference between the 4-5 Seahawks and the 4-4-1 Packers. The Packers will be missing some key personnel this evening, with WR Randall Cobb out yet again, OLB Nick Perry out, S Kentrell Brice and CB Kevin King also out and apparently not even making the trip to Seattle. OG Lucas Patrick is doubtful with a concussion, with LB Blake Martinez and CB Bashaud Breeland listed as questionable. The Pack could definitely benefit from the play of the latter two. Seattle will likely be missing one if its better linebackers, K.J. Wright (listed as doubtful), as well as some secondary defenders who are listed as questionable.
But it seems as if the Packers' passing game is getting healthier along with QB Aaron Rodgers' left knee. He's got some good young receivers who are starting to make a mark and with whom he's developing a connection. With Jones in the backfield, Rodgers doesn't have to do it alone. If the Packers have a balanced game plan tonight, despite the travel and short turnaround time since Sunday, the Pack can come away with a win. They need it. While playoff hopes wouldn't be gone with a loss tonight, the window of opportunity definitely narrows. The Packers need to get this game in the win column.
We're calling it Packers 27 - Seahawks 24.
Go Pack Go!!!