Rodgers’ Calf Key to Win in Emerald City
The darlings of the NFC over the last for few years meet up with a trip to Super Bowl XLIX on the line.
Green Bay Packers at Seattle Seahawks (-7.5 / 46)
If not for an injury to Aaron Rodgers at the end of the 2013 regular season, this could have been a playoff rematch, but the rematch everyone wants to point to is the matchup from week one of 2014 season, when Seattle smashed an underperforming Packers squad 36-16.
Yet again this season, a Rodgers injury provides adds a storyline to a game already filled with intrigue as the Packers try to reach the Super Bowl for the second time in five seasons, and the Seahawks looking to return for the second consecutive season. Should the Seahawks win Sunday, they will become the first team to make back-to-back Super Bowl trips since the 2003-04 New England Patriots.
Everyone points to the red-hot Seahawks defense as being a key to their success. After starting 3-3, Seattle won eleven of their next twelve, but this Packers offense is clearly the best unit the Legion of Boom will have faced in almost three months. Seattle faced Cam Newton (twice), rookie Derek Carr, a massively underwhelming Eli Manning, Alex Smith, Drew Stanton, Mark Sanchez, Colin Kaepernick (twice), the brutal Ryan Lindley, and Shaun Hill. Not exactly murderers row of opposing quarterbacks.
Perhaps Rodgers torn calf muscle is a great equalizer, but AR-12 at 75% is better than most of the QBs Seattle faced in this run. Perhaps the Seahawks defense really is that good. After Seattle traded Percy Harvin, they have played championship caliber football behind Russell Wilson and Beastmode himself Marshawn Lynch.
Prediction: If Rodgers can stay healthy it greatly increases Green Bay’s chanced to go into a cranked up CentryLink Field and come away with a win. The Packers offensive line is improved from that Week 1 matchup, but so is the Seattle defense. As teams have proven before, the Seahawks are vulnerable in the middle, if they can find a way to hit their tight end Andrew Quarless in the seams or flood zones with multiple receivers Green Bay CAN win. With the nightmares of that Week 1 performance, and who could forget “The Touchception” game, IF Rodgers can stand the pain, they will win. Packers 31 Seahawks 27