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Preview: Seahawks at Green Bay Packers

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Here are the official rankings (based on yardage) from NFL.com:

Team Run Offense Pass Offense Run Defense Pass Defense
Packers 15 8 2 12
Seahawks 28 14 13 29

A lot has changed since the Green Bay Packers last hosted the Seahawks during the playoffs in January 2008. One thing that might be the same is that the forecast is for snow. The game they played in Seattle last year doesn't tell us much because the Seahawks started QB Charlie Frye instead of a real NFL QB. 

It's hard to keep track of all the things that have gone wrong in Seattle this season. They fired their GM. Jim Mora has been on a hot seat all season has taken his frustration out on his players, throwing his kicker under the bus one week and then his offensive line. Last week was their worst game of the season, at home, against the Buccaneers. Since their last playoff game, they've only won 9 games in two seasons, and only have 3 wins on the road (2 coming against the Rams). Does this team stand any chance in Green Bay?

Packers offense vs. Seahawks defense. While their run defense looks average, it's hard to tell because their opponents have only attempted 357 carries (9th fewest). Maybe teams are taking advantage of the Seahawks' awful pass defense (they've allowed a QB rating of 94.8) and avoiding the decent run defense. Either way, it's hard to imagine the Packers have any trouble moving the ball against them. It's also hard to forget that RB Ryan Grant had 201 yards and 3 TDs in that January 2008 playoff game. 

Seahawks run offense vs. Packers run defense. NT Ryan Pickett may miss another game with his hamstring injury, but the Seahawks haven't run the ball well all season except when playing against the Rams or the Cardinals. And they were awful running in both games against the 49ers, and they play a similar, dominant 3-4 run defense.

Seahawks pass offense vs. Packers pass defense. The Packers' pass defense took a big step back after the Steelers went for over 500 passing yards against them last week. I discussed it earlier this week that the Steelers game was the first one in which they really missed CB Al Harris. Bottom Line: since the Steelers have four good receivers to cover (Ward, Holmes, Wallace, and Miller) they could expose the lack of depth in the Packers' secondary, and the weaknesses of CB Jarrett Bush, CB Josh Bell, and LB A.J. Hawk. The Seahawks just can't attack the Packers' pass defense in the same way. WR Nate Burleson has arguably been their best receiver, but he didn't practice this week and he didn't sound optimistic that he could return. QB Matt Hasselbeck is nearing the end of the line and the Field Gulls writers (here and here) are already hoping that this is his last season. 

Hidden yards. Once again, the Packers are playing an opponent that is much better at avoiding penalties and on special teams. The Packers formerly porous offensive line has been much better in recent weeks, and the Seahawks have only managed 27 sacks this season. Seattle has an advantage in this area, but not enough to turn the game in their favor. 

Seahawks 7, Packers 27.