Seahawks revamped run game can get it done versus the Packers

PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA - JANUARY 05: Marshawn Lynch #24 of the Seattle Seahawks. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA - JANUARY 05: Marshawn Lynch #24 of the Seattle Seahawks. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /

The conventional wisdom says the Seahawks need to run on the Packers to win Sunday. Can their retrofit running back stable get it done at Lambeau?

I’m not entirely convinced that the Seahawks can’t beat the Packers if they can’t run the ball. To eliminate the double negative, I believe Seattle can win even if they can’t run against Green Bay. I’ll agree there’s no doubt that the Seahawks would have a better chance to win at Lambeau for the first time this century if Chris Carson was still available. Then again, if he hadn’t been injured in the game versus the Niners, there’s a very good chance the Vikings would be visiting Seattle.

Regardless, the Packers do present a greater challenge to the Hawks passing game than to the rushing attack. I’m fine with that, as the Seahawks can challenge the Pack’s run defense with their fourth-stringer and a couple of guys that were out of football three weeks ago. Travis Homer had a tough game last week, but he can do an awful lot on a football field. As for Marshawn Lynch, it’s safe to say he’s been a decent addition to Seattle’s roster. And by decent, I mean he’s fantastic.

As for the chances of the Seahawks winning without a solid ground game, we’ll pierce the clouded veil of history. Peer deep into the mists, at last week’s win over the Eagles. The Hawks running backs amassed the astounding total of 19 yards. Yes, Marshawn Lynch made five of those count where it mattered the most, on the scoreboard. And the play-action set up huge gains through the air for the Wilson-Metcalf connection.

I know the Eagles and Packers defenses are practically mirror images of each other. The Eagles are soft versus the pass and stout against the run. The Packers flip that script, which is why everyone stresses that the Hawks have to run the ball Sunday. Speaking of Russell Wilson and his cadre of receivers, the Packers haven’t faced too many teams with the aerial firepower that the Hawks will bring to Lambeau on Sunday. Yes, they handled the Vikings twice, but it took Kirk Cousins about 100 years to get his first playoff win. He’s not even close to DangeRuss.

I have no doubt that Homer and Lynch (and yes, Robert Turbin) will get the job done in Lambeau. Let’s be clear about what that job exactly is. The Seahawks don’t need to roll up 150 yards on the ground to take this contest. The Pack did give up over 150 in two of their three losses, but they’ve also won four games while giving up at least 149 yards. The run game has to do enough to keep the Pack from selling out completely on their pass rush. Lynch and Homer can definitely do that.

Next. Seahawks-Packers: five questions. dark

Pete Carroll has made it clear that Beastmode will get more opportunities Sunday. Considering that he’s supplied two of Seattle’s last five touchdowns, that seems to be a wise choice. As for the Seahawks history at Lambeau, it’s admittedly bad. Seriously, you have to go back to 1999 for the last Hawks win there. For perspective, Russell Wilson turned 11 a few weeks after that victory. He’s had a couple of rough games there, but it’s not like they’re all his fault. He’ll get all the help he needs from the running game to turn the Seahawks fortunes around.