The Seahawks and Packers are both needing help to make the playoffs. But here the reasons why Seattle will beat Green Bay.
Let’s be honest. The Seahawks have exceed expectations a bit. Seattle’s season could have gone either way, good or bad. Currently, the team is mediocre. But after losing Earl Thomas to injury and starting off 0-2, the fact that Seattle is even thinking about the playoffs is amazing.
That said, if Russell Wilson and company want to accomplish even more they need some help. But they can also help themselves. A win over Green Bay on Thursday night would definitely be a benefit.
The Packers are a team that is also hoping to make the postseason. Green Bay, though, hasn’t won away from home. The Seahawks certainly don’t want to allow the Packers to earn their first away victory on Thursday.
And Green Bay is one of the teams that Seattle might be battling with to earn the final playoff spot in the NFC in 2018. A head-to-head win would be excellent. But Seattle has some work to do to defeat Green Bay. More on that in just a minute.
But think about how good these teams were just a few years ago. Every season it seemed as if Green Bay or Seattle could make the Super Bowl. But the last two seasons both teams have fallen short of expectations. And that is even with Green Bay having Aaron Rodgers and the Seahawks having Russell Wilson.
So how does Seattle make a jump over the Packers on Thursday? Here are the ways how.
Run, Carson, Run!
Don’t blame me for stating the obvious, but the Seahawks need to run the ball. It’s not rocket science. I understand someone is going to read this article and then comment on social media that I am being obvious, and guess what? One obvious way Seattle can win is to run Chris Carson a lot versus the Packers.
Green Bay is 22nd against the run in 2018. Seattle is first in the NFL in rushing yards per game. The team is ninth in yards-per-carry average. And Carson was held out on Sunday against the Rams so he could be ready for the Packers. Seattle still doesn’t block that well and relies on Carson to make yards after contact. (Notice the Seahawks are not on the list below.)
Sure, Mike Davis and Rashaad Penny both have 100-yard rushing games this season, but Carson should and will get the bulk of the carries. The Seahawks need to run Carson effectively to win. That may be obvious, but it is also the truth.
Protect Russell Wilson
Again, this one seems obvious but read me out. Seattle still stinks at pass protection; They are much better at run blocking. And Russell Wilson does hold on to the ball too long sometimes. He is partly to blame for the Seahawks allowing 29 sacks so far in 2018. This ranks 24th in the NFL.
The scary part is that while Green Bay gives up yards on the ground, they rank first in sacks with 31. Plus, they rank first in sack percentage on dropbacks sacking the quarterback nearly 10 percent of the time.
This means Seattle should not get into obvious passing downs on third down with awful play-calling on second down. And if it is third-and-long, Brian Schottenheimer needs to call plays that get the ball out of Wilson’s hands faster. Otherwise, Green Bay is going to pile up the sacks on Thursday.
Seahawks need to get a lead going into the 4th quarter
Both Wilson and Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers know a few things about getting their team to come back late in games. But Seattle simply doesn’t win close games anymore, losing all five are their games in 2018 by 8 points or less.
Ideally, Seattle will run well enough and eat clock to have a touchdown or more lead going into the fourth quarter on Thursday. Because, surprisingly enough, Seattle’s defense has been good at getting the opposing team on the field late in games.
If the Seahawks can carry a lead and stop Rodgers and the Packers enough, they should win this game by 10 points. Of course, that said, this is Rodgers we are talking about and anything can happen.
So really all the Seahawks have to do is run well, protect Russell Wilson and stop Aaron Rodgers. Sounds easy enough, right? It’s so obvious. Now Seattle just needs to execute.