Saturday, January 12, 2008

NFL Division Round Preview, Seahawks vs Packers

Since I don't even want to talk about the bomb that Texas Tech is dropping against Okie Lite at the moment...I decided to appease the masses with a preview of the NFL games being played this weekend.  I'll come back later (or tmrw morning) with additional previews.  

Seattle (11-6) +7.5 (-105) @ Green Bay (13-3)

First off...the weather shouldn't be much of a factor.  Temperatures will drop into the mid-20's with about 1" of snow expected to fall.  Winds shouldn't get over 10mph or so.  

How Seattle wins: First off...they're going to have to discover a running game to have a chance in this one.  They're averaging 3.8 yds/carry and Sean Alexander giving you 41 ypg isn't going to get it done.  We all know that Hasselbeck can lead the team through the air but without the balance from the rushing game, it could be a long day.  The Seahawks defense is very opportunistic and will have to be so again today  if they're to slow down Green Bay.  
Three keys:
 - Rushing game can provide 20 carries and 80+ yards (4 ypg average)
 - Hasselbeck stays UNDER 36 attempts.  The Seahawks are 2-4 when he throws the ball more than 35 passes.
 - A positive turnover differential.  Seattle is 0-5 in games this year when they had a negative TO differential.

How Green Bay wins:  I forget what the exact number is for how Green Bay does when the temperature gets under 40...but it's a scary good number.  I believe that other than the Falcons win a few years back, the Pack hasn't lost a playoff game in "the Frozen Tundra."
Three keys:
- Brett Favre plays a controlled game.  If Favre gets wild throwing the ball, the INT's can pile up...quickly!!!
- Ryan Grant keeps doing what he's been doing.  This undrafted back out of Notre Dame is the league's 2nd leading rusher over the past 10 weeks. 
- Aaron Kampan and KGB can create consistent pressure from the edge.  Keep the running game between the tackles and allow Hawk and Barnett to make plays.  Likewise in the passing game as it takes pressure of Harris and Woodson.

Prediction: Favre throws for 220 and 2TD's and Ryan Grant breaks 100 yds again.  Sean Alexander never gets out of the starting block and Hasselbeck can only keep his team in the game for so long.  The Seahawks cover (barely) but can't the Pack moves on to the NFC Championship game.

Green Bay Packers 31
Seattle Seahawks 24

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