The quest for a competitive Thursday night game continues this week as the Seattle Seahawks host the Green Bay Packers. Seattle is a slim 2.5-point favorite at home in what is practically a must-win game for both teams.
The Packers are coming off an impressive victory over the Dolphins last week to get themselves to 4-4-1 on the season. However, Green Bay still has a gap to close with the Bears and Vikings at the top of the NFC North. The Pack has also failed to win on the road this year, going 0-4 thus far. That doesn’t bode well for them with a road trip to Minnesota following this week’s trip to Seattle.
The Seahawks, meanwhile, have dropped back-to-back games to fall to 4-5 on the season. In their defense, those losses have come against the Chargers and Rams. However, they close out November with this week’s game against the Packers and a long trip to Carolina next week. Seattle may need to win both of those games if they want to stay in the wild-card race long enough to take advantage of a manageable schedule in December.
Most people may not realize it, but the Seahawks are now the top running team in the NFL, averaging over 150 yards per game. Chris Carson is currently banged up after missing last week’s game. But Mike Davis and Rashaad Penny filled in nicely against a stout Rams defensive line. At this point, it doesn’t matter who’s running the ball; the Seahawks are going to have success on the ground no matter what.
As long as the Seahawks run the ball, Russell Wilson is happy. It keeps him protected in the pocket, sets up play-action, and allows him to take deep shots to the speedy Tyler Lockett. On a related note, the Packers have had some trouble stopping the run this season. They are also a little banged up in the secondary right now. That could make it difficult for the Green Bay defense to keep Wilson and the Seattle offense under wraps.
Help From His Friends
It seems like Aaron Rodgers is finally getting some support around him. Aaron Jones went for 145 yards and two touchdowns last week against Miami. He’s now gotten 14-plus touches in three straight weeks, which is good news for the Green Bay offense. We’ve also seen rookie receiver Marquez Valdes-Scantling start to emerge over the past month, making it tough for opposing defenses to focus too much on Davante Adams.
Of course, the Seahawks are no slouches on defense. They may not be the Legion of Boom, but the Seattle defense is giving up less than 18 points per game when they’ve played teams other than the Rams. Obviously, Rodgers presents a great challenge, especially on a short week, but the Seahawks should have the pieces to handle him.
Let the Bad Times Roll
We can hope for a competitive Thursday night game, but we may not get one. Look for the Seahawks to punch the Packers in the mouth early with their running game and a couple of deep shots. That’ll put too much pressure on Rodgers against a tough Seattle defense, enabling the Seahawks to win comfortably. Bet on the Seahawks to win and cover the 2.5-point spread on Thursday night.