Poppen Off on the NFC Championship
The Seattle Seahawks enter Sunday’s NFC Championship game as the heavy favorites playing at home against a banged up Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers.
I would not be so quick to dismiss the Packers as having less than a puncher’s chance in this one, as I feel it will be closer than many think. Below you will find my keys for the Seahawks to do what everyone thinks they will–win this football game and advance to a second-consecutive Super Bowl.
For Once It’s OK To Blitz
Normally I would say no way in hell do you blitz a quarterback who completes 66 percent of his passes, but Rodgers is banged up and this secondary can handle the single coverage. With names like Earl Thomas, Richard Sherman and Kam Chancellor this is the best secondary in football, and no other team can come close to claiming that. Seattle is one of the few teams in the league that can afford to take the risk of sending extra guys at Rodgers without having to worry about losing contain in coverage.
It was obvious early last week against Dallas that Rodgers was having some issues with that injured calf; expect the Seahawks to apply pressure early and often as they test out the mobility of Rodgers in the pocket.
Stop Eddie Lacy
The one thing that got Green Bay going early last week was the ability to run the football right at the Cowboys defense. This front seven in Seattle is an entirely different animal, but right now I don’t think any offensive line is run-blocking better than the Green Bay Packers. These guys are firing off the football like I have not seen all season long, so expect a dog fight in the trenches.
When these two teams met in the first game of the season Lacy was clearly not himself, and left that game with a concussion. This is not the same Lacy, or Packers line the Seahawks faced months ago. Stopping Lacy this time around will prove to be more a daunting task, but it is something Seattle must do to keep the Packers one dimensional and predictable of third down situations.
More Beast Mode
The Seahawks need more Beast Mode the way Christopher Walken needs more cowbell (If you don’t get that reference I just feel bad for you). In all seriousness, the best way to beat Aaron Rodgers is to keep him on the sidelines, and Seattle can do just that by running the football.
Marshawn Lynch is one of those runners who gets better as the game moves along, and I expect him to have little issue finding running lanes against a Packer defense that ranked 23rd against the run this season. Establishing the run early will also put pressure on the Packers to commit an extra man into the box, which will leave this secondary exposed to a big play via the play action pass. Russell Wilson is one of the better quarterbacks in the game coming off the run fake, and I expect to see him take about four of five deep shots down the field in this one.
In closing I would just like to say that it is a shame we are not getting a fully healthy Aaron Rodgers in this game. He was clearly not himself last week, and I do not think that will change much this week. This may very well have been an entirely different preview if Rodgers was able to move around in the pocket, but that is just simply not the case.
I have the Seahawks winning this game, and if all things go according to plan this one won’t even be close.