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Seattle Seahawks vs. Green Bay Packers Prediction and Preview

Seattle Seahawks vs. Green Bay Packers Prediction and Preview

Seahawks, Packers set to welcome back their QB1s for this intriguing intra-conference matchup

Russell Wilson and Aaron Rodgers are on track to return this week as the Seattle Seahawks head to Lambeau Field to battle the Green Bay Packers. 

Both teams should be ecstatic to have their franchise quarterbacks back healthy this week. Life without Wilson and Rodgers proved to be challenging for both Seattle and Green Bay. Thus, it will be interesting to see how both front offices handle these two quarterbacks moving forward since both guys have additional leverage against them.

The Seahawks (3-5) were off last week and are coming off a 31-7 win at home over Jacksonville back in Week 8. Geno Smith completed 20 of 24 passes for 195 yards and two touchdowns and did the smart thing by getting the ball out to Tyler Lockett and DK Metcalf and letting them go to work. 

As for the Seattle defense, they put together another sound performance by keeping Trevor Lawrence in check all afternoon long. Lawrence was limited to 238 passing yards on 54 attempts, which worked out to 4.1 yards per pass. That is a number you'll take every week if your head coach Pete Carroll and defensive coordinator Ken Norton Jr. Now, the challenge will be getting that performance against playoff-caliber teams in the second half of the season.

Green Bay (7-2) was lackluster at best in a 13-7 road loss against the Kansas City Chiefs. Jordan Love got his first start as Rodgers was out after testing positive for COVID-19 and he was 19-of-34 for 190 yards, one touchdown, and one interception in his debut performance. The turnover battle was the difference in this game, as the Packers turned the ball over twice, and the defense did not force Patrick Mahomes into giving them a couple of interceptions himself. Another issue was the lack of a dominant running game as the Chiefs did keep Aaron Jones in check as they held him to 53 rushing yards on 12 carries.

The Packers (and Seahawks) won't know Rodgers' availability for Sunday's game until at least Saturday, when Rodgers reaches the end of the 10-day quarantine window for unvaccinated players. At that point, Packers team doctors will be able to clear him.

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Seattle (3-5) at Green Bay (7-2)

Kickoff: Sunday, Nov. 14 at 4:25 p.m. ET
Spread: Packers -3

Three Things to Watch

1. Seahawks' offense
Russell Wilson is ready to get back on the field as his intense recovery from his finger injury has shown the football world. Without Wilson, it was clear that this offense was nowhere near the same and that he is the engine that makes everything work. However, the bigger question is, with a 3-5 record can Wilson jumpstart this offense? Wilson will flourish if offensive coordinator Shane Waldron focuses on the pass to set up the run by getting the ball in space to the playmakers. 

The need to evolve to a pass-first mentality is important because you can't guarantee that Chris Carson will stay healthy. He was cleared to return to practice this week but he'll miss a fifth straight game because of a neck injury. Alex Collins is a solid running back who plays hard, but he doesn't strike fear into the Packers' defense or anyone else. Tight end Gerald Everett is another guy to watch this week as he always seems to play hard and brings extra energy to this offense when he gets some touches in the passing game.

2. How will the Packers attack the Seattle defense?
Assuming Rodgers gets cleared to play, I would expect to see a lot of mid-range type of passing routes. Then, after softening up the Seahawks defense, you would see the game turn over towards the offensive line to lean on the defensive front with the running game. Jones and AJ Dillon will need to churn out around 120 yards between them to set Green Bay up for a comfortable win. 

Seattle is allowing 401.5 yards per game on defense but has shown improvement in recent weeks as they appear to be on the same page a bit more at all three levels of the defense. So, this will be a fascinating matchup because if the offensive line can protect Rodgers, the offense could score 30-plus points. As for the Seahawks, they need to get Rodgers uncomfortable in the pocket and force him to get rid of the ball sooner than he would like.

3. Packers defense
The most underrated key to success for Green Bay in 2021 has been its play on defense. The Packers have not allowed any team to score over 24 points since Week 3 when they beat the 49ers 30-28. Overall, they rank fifth in total defense as they are allowing 321.2 yards per game. 

Their challenge this week will be the individual battles in the secondary, as they must find a way to contain Lockett and Metcalf. If they dare Wilson to dink and dunk his way down the field, it should put this defense in good shape this week. The odds of Wilson consistently driving this offense 80 yards over four quarters is low. The offensive line would need to prove they can avoid unnecessary penalties on long drives, which is easier said than done. Limiting explosive plays for Green Bay must happen this week because they can ill afford to let Wilson burn them with the deep ball. A good goal for the Packers' defense is to limit the Seahawks to fewer than five explosive plays on Sunday.

Final Analysis

Traveling to Lambeau Field has caused all sorts of headaches for the Seahawks, as they have not won there since 1999. Seattle will see a bump from getting Wilson back, which explains why the smart people in Vegas have lowered the point spread in this game. If Rodgers gets to play, it will put the Packers in the driver's seat to win. In the end, expect Wilson and Rodgers to put on a pretty good show and keep the audience on CBS locked in deep into the second half. Look for Green Bay to pull out a victory, but it will be a battle for them. For the Seahawks, it will set up a crucial must-win game next week at home against Arizona. If they can beat the Cardinals, the road to 9-8 and a possible berth becomes more of a reality.

Prediction: Packers 24, Seahawks 20