NFL expert Tom Selwyn (@Tom_Selwyn) shares his expert opinion on Sunday night's play-off fixture in Green Bay.
Seattle Seahawks @ Green Bay Packers | Sunday 12th January 2020, 23:40 | Sky Sports
For the final game in this year’s Divisional round we get two teams, in the Seahawks and the Packers, that I’m honestly not sure how good they actually are. They finished the season with records of 11 – 5 and 13 – 3 respectively, but both teams had so many unconvincing performances and / or wins by one score that it’s tricky to get a handle on whether either of them are up there with the dominant teams in the league.
However, regardless as to how they won their games, win them they did and that’s all that matters in the end. Fans of either team will be content with a win in this game no matter how they do it, but I’d really like to see one of them step up and put together a statement win in preparation for Championship Sunday next week. Will we see that? I’m not so sure.
There’s no doubt that this season Seattle QB Russell Wilson has been the better of the two starting QBs in this game and it’s not often that you can say that bout Aaron Rodgers, but he’s been well below his normal standards this year.
Rodgers absolutely still has the talent to put in a monster performance, especially in freezing weather as it’s predicted to be in Green Bay on Sunday night, but for whatever reason it just hasn’t come together for them. As such, I’ll be taking the Packers to score Under 26 Points (10/11 Ladbrokes) in this one.
The Packers sit a couple points under that total for the season (23.5) and have only gone over 26 points once – against one of the league’s worst defences in the Giants – in their last eight games. A lot of their struggles seem to stem from trying to create the perfect play down the field and not taking what’s in front of them.
Now, Seattle doesn’t boast the fearsome defence they once had (former CB Richard Sherman has just got himself an INT as I type this) and sit 22nd in the league in terms of points, but it’s still (just!) less than Green Bay would need to score at 24.9 a game and are coming off one of their best games of the season that included seven sacks of the Eagles QBs.
Also, stopping the big play is what Seattle coach Pete Carroll’s defence pride themselves on and I think that they’ll be more than happy if Rodgers continues to try and beat them down the field.
This game has a lot of intrigue to it and I could quite easily make cases for both of these teams to progress to the NFC Championship, but if it’s to be Green Bay I think it will be their defence (especially the Smith’s, Zadarious and Preston) that will win the day for them.
Seattle Seahawks @ Green Bay Packers – Green Bay Packers to score Under 26 Points (10/11 Ladbrokes)