Seahawks have to overcome a lot of history at Green Bay

GREEN BAY, WI - SEPTEMBER 20: Quarterbacks Aaron Rodgers #12 of the Green Bay Packers and Russell Wilson #3 of the Seattle Seahawks. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
GREEN BAY, WI - SEPTEMBER 20: Quarterbacks Aaron Rodgers #12 of the Green Bay Packers and Russell Wilson #3 of the Seattle Seahawks. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /

The Seahawks face two challenges Sunday versus the Packers. Aaron Rodgers and history make a pair of formidable opponents, but the Hawks can get it done.

Sunday’s playoff game between the Seattle Seahawks and the Green Bay Packers has a surfeit of challenges for our heroes. The biggest could be a matter of history. Seattle hasn’t won at Lambeau Field in a while. And by “a while”, I mean in this century. And no, I’m not kidding. John Kitna outdueled Brett Favre in the Hawks 27-7 win on Monday Night Football. Since that night, the Seahawks have lost eight straight games in the realm of the cheeseheads by an aggregate score of 263-123. That’s an average score of 33-15. That’s an odd score and a very ugly one at that.

But a lot of that is ancient history. Pete Carroll has only taken his team into Lambeau three times in his tenure as the coach of the Seahawks. The picture improves, but not by much. Carroll’s squads are 0-3 in Green Bay, losing by a combined score of 82-36. That equates to 27-12, and it’s still ugly. A 38-10 blowout three seasons ago skews the numbers a bit, but the fact remains that Seattle’s offense badly underperformed in each of those games.

The same challenge faces the Hawks this Sunday. The Packers have a pretty solid defense, as they rank ninth in points allowed. They may not be in the realm of the old school Legion of Boom, but let’s face it,  neither are the 2019 edition of the Seahawks. The good news for Seattle is that Green Bay’s defense isn’ t particularly stout at home. They’ve surrendered 156 points at Lambeau compared to 157 on the road. No home advantage for the defense there.

Seahawks must beat Rodgers, not just history

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When it comes to offense, the Packers have been a surprise this season, and not in a good way. They’ve been adequate, but you expect a team led by one of the NFL’s best quarterbacks ever to rank higher than 15th in scoring. To be fair, Aaron Rodgers hasn’t had much of a supporting cast this year. He’s still a legitimate Pro Bowler, though, and still throws a more terrifying Hail Mary than anyone in the league.

The Pack has definitely enjoyed the home cooking on offense this year, scoring 205 of their 376 points. That’s about 26 points per game, compared to their road average of 21 points (171 total). It may not be a huge difference, but it’s significant. As for Rodgers, over his career, his passer rating at home is nearly a full ten points higher in home games, 107.3 to 97.8. That advantage was much bigger in 2019. At home, the Packers signal-caller showed a passer rating of 101.6. On the road, he was a pedestrian 89.6. Basically, that’s the difference between facing Rodgers in his prime and Gardner Minshew. No disrespect to the Jags QB, but I know which one I’d prefer to face.

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So Seattle will not only have to defeat their own history in Green Bay but quite likely the Hall of Fame version of Rodgers. Luckily for the Seahawks, they’re bringing their own future Hall of Famer to the party. Russell Wilson has been terrific this year, even if he tailed off toward the end of the season. He’s had a few tough outings, but he can win even when he’s off his game. At Lambeau, he’ll have to be back on top of his game. I feel it’s Mr. Unlimited time once more.