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Savage: We're at the time of year where we're seeing some matchups that are de facto playoff games, and this is one of them. Both teams are in the thick of the NFC wild card race and the Packers still alive in the NFC north. The loser here becomes a longshot for the wildcard. Green Bay wouldn't be dead in the NFC north at 4-5-1 but would likely need to run the table. Maybe the question for this game is, which one of these fading contenders do you believe in more in 2018? The fact that the line is only 2.5 would suggest that Vegas either still believes in the Packers or knows they'll get a lot of public money on the underdog.
Katz: This is a very difficult game for me to pick. All things being equal, Seattle should win this game easily. If Russell Wilson is allowed to Russell Wilson, then the Packers have no hope of stopping him. After all, they STILL haven't found Colin Kaepernick. Russ rushed for 92 yards last week, a season high. More of that please. But things aren't equal. We have two of the worst coaches in recent memory. Pete Carroll single handedly cost the Seahawks a road win over the Rams last week by his refusal to let Russ go. Carroll just ran and ran and ran, forcing Russ into unfavorable third and longs until he had no choice and Russ did what he always does - brought them back. It was just too little too late. If you told me Russ was gonna throw the ball 40 times this week, I'd take Seattle without question. I still lean Seattle here though because I don't think the Packers will be able to generate enough of a lead to stop the inevitable fourth quarter Russ comeback.
RC: As a betting fan of the Bears in 2018...I want Seattle to win. I'd like Green Bay removed from the equation because Aaron Rodgers can pull miracles. Betting this game...I never would. This, to me, might be the single worst game to ever bet.
Both have elite QBs who can pull miracles. Both want to ignore their elite QB and run with weak starting RBs. Both head coaches DESPERATELY want to win 17-14 in a smash-mouth offense + defensive struggle. This is two pretty similarly OK/good teams that win/lose this game by the bounce of a ball their way or not.
Which one of the worst coached, from a missed opportunity standpoint for years of mediocrity when they should be Super Bowl favorites, teams do you think wins here? I'll take the team with the better defense (sneaky emerging top defense), better miracle working QB...getting points...Green Bay. Most importantly, I take the team most like to abandon the run first...and that's usually McCarthy/GB. I can't see the likelihood that Seattle gets up and pulls away...but I can see Green Bay getting up and pulling away.
I think Seattle is OK, but I don't see one edge here at any spot that they have over GB. 'Home' is their biggest edge, but they're 2-2 at home this year and 'at Seattle' hasn't been a scary thing for a couple of years. Neither team winning would surprise me, but Green Bay seems to have all the slight edges plus I get points.
Skol: I’m rolling with GB with similar thoughts. Since the bye the Packers are a couple of fumbles away from beating the Rams and Patriots on the road...now they step way down in class. The Packers defense is not good but neither is Seattle’s. I’m not putting much stock in home field since the team is so bad. Even though both coaches love them some running, I’m looking at the over. If it starts slow then I think we could see some fireworks once either team gets down by 10. I disagree with the idea that a lot of running means the game will go under...if both teams are running the ball for 7 yards a play that means over to me with a total in the high 40’s.
Savage: Yeah, as much as McCarthy deserves criticism for taking the ball out of his QB's hands too often, he's nowhere near as bad as Pete Carroll in that department. The Packers are always around 60%-65% pass plays year to year. This year's Seattle team is running the ball 54% of the time, which is unbelievable in today's NFL. I think the problem with McCarthy isn't necessarily his love of the run game, its his love of slow RB's that run to contact and rarely deliver explosive plays. With Aaron Jones finally getting the bulk of the carries, a run call is no longer the zero upside play it was with Jamaal Williams.
I think you can handicap this game by simply asking, will the Packers score more than 20 points tonight? Seattle has won every game where they hold the opponent under 20 and lost every game where the opponent goes over 20. It makes sense, given their philosophy. The Packers offense has been down a bit this year, but I still think they'll put up some points tonight and most likely gets the outright win.
RC: The more I think of Rodgers-Wilson, how talented they are...ahead of their times in some senses. It's amazing to see KC and the Rams totally give in to the passing game as a major weapon, and more so KC just totally letting Mahomes do his thing...and letting that raise everyone's games. Then to watch GB and Seattle have excellent QBs and try to put them in a box while KC and LAR try to figure out new ways to push-push unique passing attacks...what a detriment/disservice to Rodgers and Wilson...especially Rodgers. You have one of the greatest, if not the greatest passing skill of all time...and you try to build offense behind Eddie Lacy and Aaron Jones (or Jamaal Williams).
In 2018, not 2013, the falling behind the times is why KC-LAR game this week features two 1 loss teams that everyone can't wait to watch...and this GB-SEA game features two non-winning record essentially in a playoff game to 'stay alive' in Week 11. It shouldn't be...but it is.
Get ready to watch two dinosaur teams tonight fight it out to stay alive for the playoffs neither will make. Watching this will be like how GB-NE was an embarrassment after watching NO-LAR hours prior...watching this then KC-LAR in a few days.