GREEN BAY, Wis. – Matt LaFleur didn’t just get the Green Bay Packers back to the playoffs. He helped restore the team’s home-field advantage.
The Packers went 4-4 at home in 2017 and 5-2-1 in 2018. This season, Green Bay finished 7-1. That’s a big reason why the Packers will be home for Sunday’s NFC Divisional playoff game against the Seattle Seahawks.
Seattle won’t be fazed about coming to Lambeau Field, though. Including Sunday’s Wild Card victory over Philadelphia, the Seahawks are a league-best 8-1 on the road this season.
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“They’re tough to beat when they’re away from their home stadium, which is kind of an outlier in this league, especially when you look at the home-field advantage they have with their fans and stadium,” LaFleur said on Monday. “Hopefully, we get our fans nice and loud this weekend and we’ll have quite a home-field advantage here.”
Seattle has lost its last eight games at Lambeau, its last win coming in 1999 when it intercepted Brett Favre four times.
“There’s not tougher place to play than going to Green Bay,” Seattle coach Pete Carroll said.
Carroll’s Seahawks returned home with losses in 2015, 2016 and 2017 by a combined 46 points.
“I don’t think you can connect a fan base with your team any tighter than you can do it there,” Carroll said. “They do a great job of knowing how to be a factor. Then there’s conditions, too, that go along with it. Early in the year. it’s not a big deal but, late in the year, the conditions can be a factor that you can’t copy. You just have to adjust when you’re there. Any of those things can become distractions if you let them. The fans can do it, whether it’s snowing or whatever it feels like, all of those things are issues that you’ve got to deal with. I think any issues make it easier for the home team. It’s like playing here. We have our problems that we present them with here. I think it’s a classic place. It’s all closed in too. The crowd noise is special there, too.”
The weather might not be a big factor for the 5:40 p.m. kickoff. After an inch of snow during the day on Sunday, the low for Sunday night is supposed to be 23 with southeast winds at 5 mph.