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GREEN BAY, Wis. – In the playoffs, every inch of field position can be important. That’s why special teams could be so important for Sunday’s NFC Divisional playoff game between the Green Bay Packers and Seattle Seahawks.

There’s a potential big advantage here for the Packers, at least according to our five-category special-teams rankings. Over the final five weeks, Green Bay zoomed up from 26th to 18th. Seattle is trending the right way, too, though not quite as dramatically, going from 31st to 27th. Only Tennessee was worse among this year’s playoff teams.

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The Seahawks’ three weaknesses could be taken advantage of by the Packers. First, Seattle ranked 25th in starting field position following a kickoff return. While Lockett has two career kickoff-return touchdowns, he averaged just 19.9 yards this season. Green Bay’s kickoff coverage has been tremendous during the second half of the season. 

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Second, Seattle finished 25th in opponent starting field position following a kickoff. Tyler Ervin has given Green Bay’s kickoff return a boost. On a chilly night at Lambeau Field, it will be difficult for kicker Jason Myers to blast the ball into the end zone for touchbacks. 

Third, Seattle wound up 22nd in opponent net punting. That stat shows the lack of impact from the Seahawks’ punt-return unit. Lockett and David Moore combined to average 6.1 yards per return. The weakness of Green Bay’s special teams has been the punting unit led by JK Scott. Scott’s had a net average of 40-plus yards just twice in his final 10 games, though his 4.46 seconds of hang time and return percentage of 33.8 percent both rank sixth, according to Pro Football Focus.

“Obviously, we’re going to try to have great direction and as much hang time as we can with kickoffs and on the punts,” Packers special teams coordinator Shawn Mennenga said on Friday. “We’ll be prepared to cover. The guys know that mentally going in that the ball’s not going to travel out of the back of the end zone and those kind of things and they’ll be bringing them out.”

Myers is 23-of-27 on field goals. He’s perfect from inside of 40 yards but 4-of-7 from 40 to 49 yards and 2-of-4 from 50-plus. Punter Michael Dickson is a weapon with a 45.1-yard average and an arsenal of kicks in his toolbox. His fair-catch percentage ranks 25th in the league, so he does allow some return opportunities. Seattle gave up a 53-yard touchdown on a punt return and a 74-yard return on a kickoff. The Seahawks did block three kicks, with two by Rasheem Green.

For his career, Packers kicker Mason Crosby is 46-of-60 (76.7 percent) when it's 32 degrees or colder.