Jim Moore Predicts: Seahawks-Packers could decide playoff spot, and Hawks don’t look playoff-bound
Most of the numbers favor the Seahawks over the Packers Thursday night. Under Pete Carroll, the Seahawks under 14-2 in prime-time games since 2010, including 7-1 on Thursday night, while the Packers are 0-4 on the road this year. The Seahawks are 2 1/2-point favorites, meaning that if this game were played on a neutral field, it would be a pretty even matchup, befitting of two teams with 4-5 and 4-4-1 records.
I’m guessing fans in Green Bay are doing the same thing 12s are doing – trying to figure out how good their team is. With each team, depending on the game, you feel like they’re going to make the playoffs or you feel like it’s just not going to happen this year. Both teams are somewhere in the middle right now, and we’ll have a better idea of which team is a playoff team and which isn’t after the outcome in this one.
The Seahawks should be able to run against the Packers for many reasons. They’re rushed for more than 150 yards in the last six games and are coming off a 273-yard ground-chomping performance against the Rams. The Packers have the 22nd-rated rush defense, and when you throw in the likelihood of Chris Carson and D.J. Fluker returning from injuries that kept them out of the Rams’ game, the Seahawks should have a big night on the ground.
Surprisingly, you might say the same thing about the Packers. Those who don’t follow the Packers on a weekly basis would assume it’s all Aaron Rodgers all of the time with the Packers’ offense. But Aaron Jones ran for 145 yards and two touchdowns against Miami last Sunday, and the Packers are tied for first in the league with 5.2 yards per carry. They should find plenty of room to run against a Seahawks rush defense that has not shined this season, allowing 5 yards a carry, 28th in the NFL.
Though the Packers are 4-4-1, they should be 5-4. They were tied by the Vikings after Clay Matthews was called for roughing the passer late in the fourth quarter, keeping Minnesota’s game-tying drive alive. It was fourth down. Matthews simply landed on Kirk Cousins, but the way they’re calling roughing the passer this year, he drew a flag.
And although the Packers are 0-4 on the road, their last two losses were both games they could have won – they lost 29-27 at the Rams after Ty Montgomery fumbled on a kickoff return, preventing Rodgers from getting one last drive and a chance for a field goal and a 30-29 victory. The next week the Packers were tied 17-17 with the Patriots in the fourth quarter and had the ball before losing 31-17.
I don’t have a strong feeling one way or the other with this one. The Seahawks have not fared well at home, going 1-2 this year and 1-4 over their last five at CenturyLink Field, negating the perceived edge over a winless Packers’ team on the road.
All in all, as much as the Seahawks have flashed promise, this still looks like an 8-8 team at the end of the season, and 8-8 teams don’t make the playoffs – 9-6-1 teams like the Packers do.
Prediction: Packers 28, Seahawks 21