Game time is almost here, and it’s time to finally announce my empirically based prediction for this week’s Seahawks game. Last week I picked against the Seahawks, and they won big. Not that that is anything knew. Looking back to last season, I get my predictions wrong for ‘Hawk’s games about 75% of the time. This week, I’m hoping for a repeat performance.
When Seattle Has The Ball
Overall, the Seahawks -20.8 rating on offense is once of the worst in the league still, but the Packers defense isn’t exactly great with a -3.6 of it’s own. It should also be noted that Rookie RG JR Sweezy has a -9.4, which is almost half of the Seahawks negative rating on offense this season, and isn’t likely to play much in this game.
The matchup here actually favors the Seahawks slightly, since the Seahawks are definitely a run first team, and the Packers have a -11.6 rating against the run. The Seahawks should be able to grind out first down with some regularity on the ground in this game.
Where the Packers have a definite advantage is when the Seahawks are in passing situations. The Packers have positive ratings in pass rush (5.6) and in coverage (2.0). If the Seahawks are forced into too many obvious passing situations, the Packers will be able to exploit this mismatch and really give the Seahawks trouble.
When Green Bay Has The Ball
Green Bay’s offense has a surprisingly low 4.6 after two games because it hasn’t “clicked” yet, and because it they have played two tough defenses. The Seahawks defense has a league best 44.2 rating, which suggests that the Seahawks will have a huge advantage here. This really is a strength against strength matchup, but the VOA stat here suggests that the Seahawks will have the advantage.
The Seahawks biggest advantage here in when the Packers try and run the football. The strength of the Seahawks defense is it’s run defense, and the Packers aren’t much of a rushing team. Expect the Packers to quickly become a one-dimensional passing team very quickly unless they jump out to a big lead.
On special teams, the teams are very equal. The Packers have a slight advantage, but again a big piece of that advantage was that JR Sweezy allowed a FG to be blocked in the first game, and he is’t likely to play much in this game. This game is one in where special teams isn’t likely to play a major roll in determining the outcome.
The data here suggests a lower scoring game than most pundits will predict. The Seahawks should be able to run the ball well, and keep aaron Rogers on the sidelines. Ultimately, this game will be decided by the weather or not the Seahawks pass rushers can get to Aaron Rogers. If they can, the Seahawks will have a chance to win this game, if they cannot, then it’s going to be a long game for the home team. The Seahawks pass rush has been too inconsistent for me to pick them to pull off the upset.
Seahawks 20 – 24 Packers