The Green Bay Packers got a bit of a surprise this weekend, as the heavy underdog Minnesota Vikings beat the New Orleans Saints in the first game of Wild Card Sunday. As a result, that sent the winner of the late game between the Seahawks and Eagles to Green Bay next week, and Seattle did enough to claim a win on the road and earn that road trip.
For the first time in what seems like forever, the Packers and Seahawks did not play in the regular season this year. Indeed, the teams had played in each of the previous five regular seasons, with 2013 being the last year in which they did not face each other.
This year’s Seahawks team is a difficult squad to figure out. In a way, they are much like the Packers — they have found a way to win numerous close games, with an even more striking record in one-score games (11-2 now after Sunday’s win) than the Packers’ 8-1 mark. However, the Packers have had a handful of blowout wins, and they finished with a point differential of +63 in the regular season, while the Seahawks had a paltry +7.
Meanwhile, the Seahawks have a rookie wideout who has been coming into his own down the stretch. D.K. Metcalf was a bit of a joke around APC after the combine, as his agility times were abysmal despite exceptional speed and explosiveness numbers. However, he seems to have landed in a great spot in Seattle, where he can use that speed as a deep threat. The Packers’ secondary will need to be alert and keep tight coverage on Metcalf for the Packers to contain this Seahawks passing attack.
Take a look here at some of the notable Packers-related news stories from this weekend.
Divisional-round schedule, bracket preview, Super Bowl chances for every team | ESPN.com
The Packers don't need a transcendent performance from Aaron Rodgers to beat the Seahawks on Sunday, contrary to what Kevin Seifert says; they can win with the defense and the running game if those units are clicking.
Packers: From injury-prone to injury-free with more than a knock on wood | ESPN.com
Is there luck involved with the Packers' healthy streak? You bet. But shortening up practices a bit and monitoring nutrition and hydration just a bit more tightly may be contributing as well.
Green Bay Packers coach Matt LaFleur succeeds by setting tone for young staff, team | Packersnews.com
LaFleur's individual success as a playcaller can be debated -- though he seemed to call a great game in Detroit -- but one thing that cannot be questioned is the way he has driven this team from his hiring until now. LaFleur preaches communication and consistency, and it has led the Packers to their current position as the NFC's number 2 seed.
In Jared Veldheer, Packers know they have a veteran safety net at offensive tackle if needed – The Athletic (subscription)
Veldheer may end up being one of Brian Gutekunst's best in-season acquisition, particularly if Bryan Bulaga's concussion makes him unavailable for this week's game.
Packers RB Aaron Jones led all NFL players in broken tackles in 2019 | Packers Wire
According to Pro Football Reference, Jones broke a total of 42 tackles this year, more than any other back in the NFL. The only other player with more than 35 was Cleveland's Nick Chubb.
NFL stats and records, wild-card Sunday: Beast Mode is back - NFL.com
The Packers are going to have to figure out how to contain Seahawks wideout D.K. Metcalf on Sunday, as the rookie from Ole Miss broke out for 160 receiving yards in Philadelphia.
MT5: Back in the playoffs: #ThePackIsBack | Packers.com
Mark Murphy's monthly Q&A comes with a playoff bent, as he discusses the team's successes this season and looks for more to come in January and February.
CES 2020: Restaurant cat robot meows at dining customers - BBC News
CES is here, which means weird electronic and robotic gadgets are going to be in the news this week. After all, who doesn't need a robot cat waiter?