GREEN BAY, Wis. – The Green Bay Packers will host the Seattle Seahawks in an NFC Divisional playoff game at Lambeau Field on Sunday. Here is our weekly pick-six breakdown.
Seattle Seahawks (12-5) at Green Bay Packers (13-3)
The vitals: 5:40 p.m. Sunday at Lambeau Field.
TV: Fox (Joe Buck, Troy Aikman, Erin Andrews, Chris Myers)
Series: The Packers lead the all-time series 13-9, a record that includes two wins in three playoff games.
The last time: Seattle beat Green Bay 27-24 on Nov. 15, 2018. Aaron Rodgers threw for 332 yards and two touchdowns and running back Aaron Jones scored touchdowns rushing and receiving. Russell Wilson threw for 225 yards and two touchdowns, including a 15-yard touchdown to Ed Dickson for the go-ahead score with 5 minutes to go. On third down on the ensuing series, Rodgers had Marquez Valdes-Scantling open for the first down. Instead, the ball bounced off the turf. “The ball just stuck to my hand and went in the dirt,” Rodgers said. “It’s frustrating I could attempt that 100 more times and probably not do that again.” Seattle ran out the final 4 minutes.
The last time in the playoffs: You probably remember this game.
If not for Baltimore’s Lamar Jackson, Wilson might be the leading candidate to win MVP honors. Wilson, who trails only Rodgers in career passer rating, finished fifth this season with a mark of 106.3. He threw for 4,110 yards with 31 touchdowns and five interceptions. Since Wilson took over as the quarterback in 2012, he leads the NFL in completions, yards and touchdowns on passes thrown 20-plus yards downfield, according to Pro Football Focus. With no running game to speak of, he accounted for 95.0 percent of Seattle’s offensive output against the Eagles.
This season, he tied Tom Brady as the winningest quarterback in a player’s first eight seasons in NFL history with 86, and he tied Brett Favre as the winningest quarterback at home. He became the first quarterback in NFL history to post a winning record in each of his first eight seasons. In road games, his career passer rating of 99.2 ranks No. 1 in NFL history.
His top weapon
While veteran Tyler Lockett caught 82 passes for 1,057 yards and eight touchdowns this season, rookie D.K. Metcalf might be the bigger challenge – literally. At 6-foot-4 and 229 pounds and with 4.32 speed in the 40, he is an obvious matchup nightmare. The final pick of the second round of this year’s draft and the ninth of 27 receivers selected, Metcalf caught 58 passes for 900 yards and seven touchdowns. He burst onto the national scene in last week’s playoff win at Philadelphia with seven catches for 160 yards and one touchdown. He caught four passes of at least 24 yards, including a 53-yard touchdown. The yardage total was the most in NFL playoff history by a rookie. According to PFF, he’s caught 13-of-29 passes thrown 20-plus yards downfield for 475 yards and five touchdowns.
"Got the smaller receivers, got the bigger receivers and obviously they’ve got D.K. Metcalf," defensive back Tramon Williams said. "He’s done an excellent job all year long of progressing as a receiver throughout the year and you’ve still got the other guys, Tyler Lockett, and guys who can make plays for Russell and more. Those guys have been doing a great job for those guys all year long, making plays for Russell. Russell trusts those guys, so we’ve got to hold up our end of the bargain on the back end."
While linebacker Bobby Wagner is a tackling machine, defensive lineman Jadeveon Clowney is the one Seattle defender capable of wrecking a game. While he had just three sacks, he easily led the team with 54 quarterback pressures. Not unlike Green Bay’s Za’Darius Smith, Clowney moves up and down the line of scrimmage in search of a matchup. His snaps were divided almost evenly between left and right side, so he’ll see plenty of offensive tackles David Bakhtiari and Bryan Bulaga and even some of the interior blockers. Over the past four seasons, he’s fourth in the league with 60 tackles for losses.
4: The teams played four common opponents. Seattle went 5-1 against Philadelphia (2-0), Carolina (1-0), Minnesota (1-0) and San Francisco (1-1). Green Bay went 3-2 against Minnesota (2-0), Carolina (1-1), Philadelphia (0-1) and Seattle (0-1).
7: Regular-season home wins for Green Bay and regular-season road wins for Seattle. Also, Seattle recorded a franchise playoff-record seven sacks vs. Philadelphia.
12: Both team’s positive turnovers differentials. Seattle is third with 32nd takeaways but tied for 13th with 20 giveaways. Green Bay is tied for seventh with 25 takeaways and second with 13 giveaways.