Green Bay – Thursday Night Preview

Over the last 9 years, the Packers and the Seahawks have developed a bit of a rivalry. It may not feel that way on the field with the players but with the fans in the stands, it is palpable. Having attended five of the last seven meetings it is very clear to me.

There have been some wild finishes and instant classics. Unfortunately for Green Bay, the classics have not been in their favor. An overtime playoff loss in Seattle after holding a substantial lead and losing the final game featuring replacement refs, the Packers have seen some tough times in the Emerald City. In fact, the last time the Packers won at Century Link, the stadium was actually called Quest, the year was 2008, and Charlie Frye was the quarterback, in place of injured Matt Hasselbeck.

Each meeting between the teams has written a chapter in a story with twists and turns at every stop. The last seven meetings have been won by the home team, so is Thursday night any different?

The Packers come in at 4-4-1 with every remaining game being a must win. The way Chicago is playing, it is likely that Green Bay’s only playoff hope is with a wild-card berth. Seattle fares no better. With the Rams being a runaway in the division, the Seahawks at 4-5 must also fight tooth and nail for a wildcard bid.

Century Link has been a notoriously tough place to play for opponents. One big advantage has been the “Legion of Boom” defense that defended home field spectacularly. Seattle, though now without those defensive stars that donned the name, has still continued to stymie offenses.

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On the season, the Seattle defense ranks 7th in passing yards-allowed-per-game. This could spell trouble for Aaron Rodgers who is not playing like the league superstar week in, week out. Historically, Seattle has been a tough location for Rodgers to excel. He averages just under 199.5 yards-per-game, throwing four touchdowns and three interceptions in four trips to the northwest.

Perhaps he still is the answer in this game … rather, he has the answer to the game: Aaron Jones.

Rodgers was quoted after the Miami contest, “He’s a great player. We just need to continue to give him more opportunities”.

Jones torched Miami for 145 yards and two touchdowns in Sunday’s win. His performance may be a revelation for the coaching staff. Jones leads the league in yards-per-attempt with 6.8. He has 494 yards on 73 attempts this season.

While it may not be in the Packers best interest to lean on him as heavily as the Rams lean on Gurley (198 attempts), suppose Jones had received the 11th most attempts with Alvin Kamara and Christian McCaffrey at 123. Those two have put up 546 and 579 rushing yards respectively. With Jones’s YPA, he would be at a staggering 836 yards, good for 2nd in the league.

The Seahawks are in the bottom half of the league in rushing defense and are coming off back to back losses in which the opponent’s running back had great success. Both Todd Gurley and Melvin Gordon feasted for over one hundred yards on the ground and a touchdown in wins for their respective teams. Aaron Jones may not have the resume of the aforementioned backs, but he’s playing like one of the elite right now.

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Projections:

The Packers buck the trend and win a close one in Seattle. A late fourth-quarter drive capped by a Mason Crosby field goal gives Green Bay a 21-20 win. Jones will hand the Seahawks defense its third straight game of one hundred yards on the ground and Rodgers will find Davante Adams for his tenth touchdown of the year.

Until next time, Soosh out.

Riley May

Riley May

MLS Table Writer at Sports Talk Line
Intern Writer for @SportsTalkLine Network. Fandom includes the Green Bay Packers, Boston Red Sox, Seattle Sounders, Manchester United, and Washington State Cougar Football. Find me on twitter @TheBigSushi
Riley May
Riley May

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