Rankings~ Redemption? Not really. Winning this game will not make up for the epic choke job in the 2014 NFC title game, however, it could be part of the healing process if this turns to back-to-back Super Bowl titles.
Let’s take a look at the rankings and how these teams match-up.
|Seattle O||236.9 (14)||137.5 (4)||374.4 (8)||25.3 (9)|
|Green Bay D||232.6 (14)||120.1 (23)||352.6 (18)||19.6 (9)|
|Green Bay O||233.3 (17)||112.2 (15)||345.5 (18)||23.5 (15)|
|Seattle D||263.9 (27)||117.7 (22)||381.6 (26)||24.9 (22)|
Match-up~ I’ve highlighted the advantages for each team in their matchups, with the rankings in parenthesis. As you can see, Seattle has the advantage on offense in the run game, which translates to total offense, in yards. However, there’s more to it than that—the Seahawks are now featuring their 4th, 5th, and 6th string running backs: Marshawn Lynch (#24); Travis Homer (#25); Robert Turbin (#34). So the Packers technically have the upper-hand there now.
The Packers’ Offense seemingly has the advantage in every category vs. Seattle. The Seahawks are also giving up more points/game than the Packers averaged this season, which bodes well as the postseason is typically lower-scoring so points are harder to come by.
The other rankings, which are very important, are Turnovers and Point Differential. Combine all of these rankings and it gives you a great idea as to true strength of a team. Each of these teams finished the season +12 in turnovers (T-3rd), however the odd thing was Seattle only scored 7 more points than they gave up this season, which is difficult to do when you finish 11-5. Meaning when they lose, they got had—and when they win, it’s typically close.
QB Match-up~ while Russell Wilson has been in the conversation for MVP this season, deservedly so, a QB’s job is to win. Hence why they’re judged on Super Bowl wins (as they should be), and Wilson has done a decent job, but the dynamic of Seattle has switched from a suffocating defense to a solid QB with a bunch of weapons at the skill positions. The Packers have focused on their defense, and while it may seem they’ve neglected the offense, they did spend (terribly overspent) $ on Jimmy Graham, and brought in RG Billy Turner (#77), with all the money allocated to Rodgers, put it on him to make everyone else better. Which he’s done for most of the season, hence 13-3. Rodgers, at home, is a tough out, and while only 3-2 in Lambeau in the playoffs, the advantage MUST side with him and the Packers here.
Rodgers vs. Wilson: 3-4. With each W coming by the home team. This makes complete sense as the Packers outplayed the Seahawks in 2 of those game in Seattle (9/24/2012- Fail Mary & 1/18/2015- NFC Title Game).
All of these rankings, turnovers, point differential, QB matchup…who wins? I began the week somewhat nervous and skeptical—however, all I could think about is the absolute worst-case scenario of hosting the Vikings in an NFC Title game and losing…that’d be the worst! Am I thinking ahead? Yep, as we all should!