Green Bay Packers

Social media reacts: Seattle’s postseason ends in Green Bay

Social media reacts: Seattle’s postseason ends in Green Bay

1999. That was the last time the Seattle Seahawks beat the Packers in Green Bay. They’ve since lost eight-straight in the Frozen Tundra and have a record of 1-9 at Lambeau Field.

While the “road warrior” Seahawks have had much success on the road this season, that all changed in the Divisional Round of the playoffs Sunday. Seattle struggled to get their run game going early on and Russell Wilson was the team’s leading rusher.

Green Bay added three touchdowns and Seattle missed a field goal attempt to make it 21-3 at halftime, but the Seahawks came alive in the third quarter. There's no quit in Russell Wilson, who found his groove and connected with Marshawn Lynch and Tyler Lockett for touchdowns in the remaining two quarters. Unfortunately, the Seahawks second-half comeback fell short and their postseason ended in Green Bay, falling 28-23. 

Here’s a look at how fans and media reacted to the highs and lows of the game on Twitter: 

Trailing 7-3 in the first half, Jason Myers kicked a 45-yard field goal to give Seattle its first points of the night. 

His next kick, a 50-yard field goal attempt, wasn't quite as successful. 

https://twitter.com/JohnPGilbertNFL/status/1216522228994596866?s=20

Then, in the second half, Seattle unleashed the beast and Marshawn Lynch ran for his third touchdown in three games. 

Trailing by 18, Russell Wilson took charge, leading a 12-play, 84-yard touchdown drive that ended in a 7-yard pass to Tyler Lockett in the endzone. Twitter celebrated accordingly. 

Beast mode was still fighting in the fourth quarter and scored this touchdown to get Seattle within five. With 8:45 left on the clock, Seattle trailed 28-23. 

Remembering the 2015 NFC Championship Game: Seahawks vs. Packers

Remembering the 2015 NFC Championship Game: Seahawks vs. Packers

Ahead of the divisional round playoff matchup between the Seattle Seahawks and the Green Bay Packers, it's hard not to think about the last time the two teams faced off in the postseason: The 2015 NFC Championship Game.

The defending champion Seahawks came back from down 16 points to win the game in overtime and head to their second consecutive Super Bowl. 

Let's take a trip down memory lane.

Paul Allen raises the 12 Flag

When you first turn on this classic game, you'll notice the late Seahawks owner Paul Allen raising the 12th man flag before kickoff. Considering how badly Allen is missed at CenturyLink Field it's a welcome sight and brings back a lot of nostalgia, and even some tears.

Jon Ryan's fake field goal

The beginning of the game is something you want to forget and thankfully given the ending we can. Down 16 points in the third quarter and in need of a spark, head coach Pete Caroll calls for a fake field goal after punter Jon Ryan asks for it: a play that wasn't put into the playbook until that week.

What results is one of the most iconic plays (and photos) in franchise history: a 19-yard touchdown pass to Garry Gilliam. Ryan became the first punter in NFL postseason history to throw a touchdown pass. 

Seattle gets within a possession 

Fast forward to near the end of the fourth quarter: The Packers have gotten a field goal to take a 19-7 lead. The Seahawks have the ball third-and-goal from the one-yard line with 2:15 remaining. Quarterback Russell Wilson keeps the ball on the zone read to get into the endzone untouched, pulling Seattle within 19-14.

The onside kick

The Seahawks needed to recover an onside kick to have a chance to win the game. Miraculously, Brandon Bostick, a tight end on onside recovery to block only, tried to catch the ball and dropped it allowing Seattle's Chris Matthews to gain possession of the ball.

https://twitter.com/ClevFartin/status/1214974568118525952

Beast Mode takes the lead, Wilson follows it up with magic

Four plays later, Marshawn Lynch breaks a 24-yard run to take Seattle's first lead of the day. Then on the two-point conversion, Russell Wilson scrambled long enough to throw across the field to Luke Wilson to gain a three-point lead. With 1:25 remaining, the Seahawks have the lead.

That 1:25 was too much time, however. Aaron Rodgers took Green Bay down the field and tied the game at 22 to force overtime.

Tavaris Jackson wins the coin toss

For the overtime coin toss, the Packers brought out multiple team captains including Aaron Rodgers. The Seahawks sent out... backup quarterback Tarvaris Jackson who won the toss.

Russell Wilson calls game....and conference

After Tarvaris Jackson did his job, it was Russell Wilson's turn. The Seahawks score and they're the champions due to the NFL overtime rules. He did just that when he connected with Jermaine Kearse on a 35-yard touchdown pass to win the game and the conference.

For those that want to relive the entire game, here it is.

Russell Wilson finally comes up big, keeps Seahawks relevant

Russell Wilson finally comes up big, keeps Seahawks relevant

SEATTLE - Now that's the Russell Wilson Seattle Seahawks fans know and love. The one who refers to himself as dangerous in his Twitter handle had been anything but this season with games on the line. Not the case Thursday night when @DangeRussWilson arrived just in time to throw a game-winning touchdown pass in the fourth quarter to defeat Green Bay 27-24 and save Seattle's season. Well, to at least to keep the season alive for the time being. 

A sense of desperation filled the air at CenturyLink Field Thursday night. The Seahawks (5-5), losers of several close games this year, had run out of time for any further near misses. They had to win this game. So did Green Bay (4-5-1). The intense contest that transpired reflected the sense of urgency of the moment. The Seahawks and the Packers went back and forth, the latter being led by one of the greatest quarterbacks ever. 

Little evidence existed to suggest that a Seahawks' victory would come easily. That meant that at some point, Wilson would have to come up big in areas where he hadn't been so successful this season in order to match the play of his counterpart, Aaron Rodgers. 

Sure enough, the fourth quarter arrived and Seattle trailed 24-20, but with plenty of time to work with (8 minutes and 23 seconds) but 75 yards to cover. Three times this season Wilson had failed in similar moments, often times disastrously so. 

But on this night, Wilson rediscovered that clutch trait that has defined his career to date, if not this season. He orchestrated a seven-play, 75-yard scoring drive that ended with a 15-yard touchdown pass down the middle to tight end Ed Dickson to take a 27-24 lead with 5:08 remaining in the game. The defense held. The offense grinded clock. Seattle won. Now it's off to Carolina to face the Panthers (6-3) in 10 days. 

Where had that level of play from Wilson been all season? Will it return again this season? If so, Seattle has a chance to slip into the playoffs. If not, Thursday night's victory only delayed the inevitable. 

Wilson promised all season that this relatively young team would find itself at some point. Yet, Wilson had been the one missing in big moments all season. Let's recap: 

  • At Chicago in Week 2 with Seattle trailing 17-10 in the fourth quarter, Wilson threw an interception that cornerback Prince Amukamara returned 49 yards for a touchdown to give the Bears a 24-10 lead with 6:37 remaining. Seattle lost 24-17.
  • Two weeks ago at home against the Los Angeles Chargers with Seattle down 19-10 in the fourth quarter, Wilson had a pass picked off by defensive back Desmond King and returned 42 yards for a touchdown that gave the Chargers a 25-10 lead with 6:44 remaining in the game. Seattle lost 25-17
  • Last week at the Los Angeles Rams with Seattle down 36-31, Wilson led a drive in the final two minutes that came up short at the 35 yard line after he overthrow a wide-open Tyler Lockett on fourth down when the wide receiver had first-down yardage near the sideline.

 

Thursday's performance more closely resembled the man who still has not lost three consecutive games as a professional after Seattle snapped its two-game losing streak on Thursday night. 

Wilson was spotty at times, including in the first quarter when he badly overthrew a wide open Doug Baldwin in the end zone.

"I missed a couple here and there but we stayed the course and had a great night," said Wilson, who completed 21 of 31 passes for 225 yards and two touchdowns with zero interceptions.  

He was off just enough to prompt coach Pete Carroll to chat him up to make sure he was okay.

"He said, 'I'm going to be all right. I'm going to be all right," Carroll explained regarding the brief conversation with his quarterback. "And he was exactly right. 'Shut up, coach' is what he could have really said, but he didn't."

That's all well and good as long as the quarterback in that situation makes amends when it matters most. Wilson did so, and he believes this is just the beginning for Seattle. 

Wilson has likened this young team to the 2012 Seahawks who began to blossom into what would be a Super Bowl champion the following season. He's also compared this squad to the 2015 version that overcame early adversity to reach the playoffs. In fact, Wilson said Thursday night that he had recently watched some of the games from that season and that doing so reinforced his belief that this year's team is similar. Seattle began 2015 with a 2-4 record and sat at 4-5 entering game ten, just as the Seahawks did tonight. Seattle in 2015 then went on to win six of seven to close the season at 10-6 and land in the postseason. 

Could this team do the same? Maybe, but only if the Wilson of tonight continues to resurface in the fourth quarter when needed.  

On that final play to Dickson, Wilson knew his tight end would be open. So did Dickson. The Packers' coverage dictated so. It was simply a matter of execution. Both men delivered.

"One of the things that we talked about this week, and I kind of brought up to the guys is that we've got to think big, we've got to believe big," Wilson said. "We've got to believe that great things are going to happen. We've been through the fire this season...We're a young team but a team that has great faith in what we're doing. We were completely together in what we were trying to do. We just stayed the course. We were able to be clutch at the end of the game."

Most importantly, @DangeRussWilson came up clutch and Seattle needs him to remain as such. 

Rapid Reaction: 3 Takeaways from Seattle's win over Green Bay

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Rapid Reaction: 3 Takeaways from Seattle's win over Green Bay

Thursday Night Football between the visiting Green Bay Packers and the Seattle Seahawks did not disappoint. Two elite quarterbacks, a NFC rivalry, and a whole lot of cheese, these two teams put on a show in front of football fans everywhere. Even with quarterback Aaron Rodgers doing Aaron Rodgers things by passing for 332 yards, this is Russell Wilson territory. Wilson finally led his team to a fourth quarter touchdown drive and displayed excellent clock management to help improve Seattle’s record to 5-5 with a 27-24 over the Packers. 

Here are some quick thoughts from our reporters on the scene...

Final Box Score: Packers 24 - Seahawks 27

Aaron Fentress, Seahawks’ Insider: Seattle's defense struggled in the first half with QB Aaron Rodgers and the Packers' offense (245 yards) but just like the unit did in the second half agains the Chargers, it played much better in the second half to give the team a chance to win. Unlike in that game, the offense also delivered.

Aaron Fentress, Seahawks’ Insider: QB Russell Wilson, who failed in the clutch in losses to at Chicago, vs. the Los Angeles Chargers and at the L.A. Rams, came up big in this game with the late TD drive to win it. Seattle will need more of that in the coming weeks to have a shot at making the playoffs.

Ashley Young, Football Coordinator: The Seattle defensive line had to have a big game against one of the best in the game, and that they did. Racking up five total sacks on Green Bay QB Aaron Rodgers was crucial to not giving Rodgers all day in the pocket to pick apart the defense. 

NEXT UP: The Seahawks (5-5) hit the road to take on Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers (6-3) at 10 AM (PT) next Sunday.

A Russell Wilson streak will be on the line Thursday against the Packers

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USA Today

A Russell Wilson streak will be on the line Thursday against the Packers

In his the seven -year NFL career Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson has never lost three consecutive games.

Wilson is 6-0 in games following a two-game losing streak, including once earlier this season (see chart below). His career avoidance of losing three in a row will be put on the line Thursday night when the Seahawks (4-5) host Green Bay (4-4-1) in what could be called the desperation bowl. The winner will be very much in the NFC wild card race that only has one team with six wins. The loser would need to get red hot in its final six games in order to get into the postseason after having demonstrated no ability to perform at that level.

Seattle, coming off of losses to the Los Angeles Rams (9-1) and the Los Angeles Chargers (7-2), has had trouble this season with high-end quarterbacks and the Packers' Aaron Rodgers is as high-end as they come. Wilson said Rodgers' ability to perform with games on the line is one of his greatest traits. 

“I think what makes Aaron so great is he’s clutch," Wilson said. "I think that he obviously has great arm talent. He understands the game. He works at it. He knows how to make plays. There’s only a few guys in the world, at every position, when you think about guys making plays in tough moments, like how did he do that – he’s one of those guys for sure. It’s always fun watching him.”

Wilson, during his career, has also been known for his ability to perform in key moments. Who will ever forget his heroics during a comeback win over Green Bay in the 2015 NFC Championship game won in overtime by the Seahawks, 28-22? However, this season, Wilson has been anything but clutch. 

At Chicago in Week 2, Wilson threw an interception for a touchdown while down 17-10 in the fourth quarter. Two weeks ago against the Chargers, he made the same mistake while down 19-10 in the fourth quarter. At the Rams, Wilson had a chance to steal a win with a final drive while down 36-31 but failed to finish the drive after reaching the Los Angeles' 35-yard line. 

Given the level of competition that remains on Seattle's schedule (Carolina, Minnesota, Kansas City), Wilson is likely going to have to play very well in the fourth quarter for his team to win enough games to get in.

Wilson said he believes that Seattle has the ability to get to the postseason. 

“No doubt," he said. "I think this team is a championship-caliber football team. I think we’ve shown that in terms of who we’ve played and how we’ve played our games, we’ve just got to finish the right way. We have no fear on this team. We’re completely together. We just have to remain steadfast and remain focused on what we’re trying to do. We’re going to make every attempt to make a championship run and that’s our focus right now. We’re looking forward to the opportunity.”

Time is running out on Seattle to make good on that potential and it's going to be up to Wilson to perform well late in games Seattle is going to have a chance at avoiding starting a two-year streak of missing the playoffs and recording the first losing season of Wilson's career. 

[RELATED: Seahawks: It's time for more action, less talk of potential]

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SEATTLE'S TWO-GAME LOSING STREAKS WITH RUSSELL WILSON AT QUARTERBACK

2018: Seattle began the season with losses at Denver and Chicago before defeating Dallas at home. 

2017: Seattle got blown out at home by the Los Angeles Rams and then lost at Jacksonville to fall to 1-3. The Seahawks ended the drought at home the following week against Philadelphia. 

2016: Seattle never lost two games in a row. 

2015: Late in the season, the Seahawks to Carolina and then in overtime at Cincinnati to move to 8-4. Seattle bounced back with a 13-10 win at home over Detroit. Seattle ended the season with losses at Green Bay and at St. Louis, but the Seahawks on their wild card playoff game at Minnesota to end the streak.

2014: The Seahawks lost at the St. Louis Rams to fall to 9-2 and then lost at home to Dallas. The streak ended with a win at Washington.  

2013: Seahawks went 13-3 and never lost to games in a row on their way to winning the franchise's first Super Bowl championship.

2012: Lost at Detroit and San Francisco before returning home to defeat New England, 24-23 in the famous game that included Richard Sherman running smack at Patriots' quarterback Tom Brady. 

Seattle Seahawks make a trade to fill backup QB role

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USATI

Seattle Seahawks make a trade to fill backup QB role

The Seattle Seahawks strengthened the quarterback room by acquiring Brett Hundley in a trade with the Green Bay Packers.  

According to ESPN, Seattle sent a sixth-round draft pick in 2019 Green Bay for Hundley, selected by the Packers in the fifth round of the 2015 NFL Draft. The move makes DeShone Kizer the Packers' backup to Aaron Rodgers. 

Seattle acquiring Hundley leaves backups, veteran Austin Davis and rookie Alex McGough in limbo with 53-man roster cuts coming.

Hundley is a more dynamic option than Davis and is certainly a better overall option at this point than McGough, a seventh-round pick out of Florida International.

Hundley made nine starts last season after Rodgers went down with a broken collarbone. In 11 total appearances in 2017, Hundley completed 60.8 percent of his passes for 1,836 yards and nine touchdowns with 12 interceptions.

Hundley is mobile and has the ability to make big plays with his arm. However, like most young quarterbacks, he has a penchant for making silly mistakes and has yet not develop a level of efficiency that would project him to become a starter.

That said, the 6-foot-3 Hundley is just 25 and at the very least could still develop into a strong option as a backup. He went 3-6 for Green Bay last season and had two three-touchdown pass games with zero interceptions. However, that means that in his other appearances Hundley threw for just three touchdowns with 12 interceptions.  

Seattle plays its final preseason game this Thursday at home against Oakland. 

You can check out Aaron Fentress' full 53-man roster projections here. 

Marcus Mariota tosses TD pass in Titans' preseason opener

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Marcus Mariota tosses TD pass in Titans' preseason opener

Former Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota, who had a down statistical season last year, got off to a strong start in Tennessee's first preseason game Thursday night at Green Bay.

Mariota completed 2 of 3 passes for 41 yards and a four-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Darius Jennings and then promptly called it a night. Green Bay won, 31-17. Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers did not play. 

The Titans' scoring drive covered 71 yards in nine plays. Mariota got sacked early in the drive before completing a 38-yard pass to wide receiver Nick Williams to the Green Bay 30. Two plays later, Mariota scrambled for seven yards to the Packers' 15.

Mariota threw a career low 13 touchdown passes last season with a career high 15 interceptions. 

 

Enough of NFL kneeling -- around fallen players knocked cold by big hits

Enough of NFL kneeling -- around fallen players knocked cold by big hits

I tuned away from a National Football League game last night because I was tired of seeing football players kneeling.

No, NOT during the National Anthem.

I'm talking about the all-too-frequent kind of kneeling that should be causing alarm bells throughout football at all levels. It isn't that pregame stuff. It's the kneeling during games -- meaning players gathered in a circle around a fallen teammate who has just taken a vicious hit on the field and is motionless on the ground.

I'm disgusted by it. I've had enough of it. Somebody is going to get killed someday -- and I mean killed. Dead.

So while people will spend the day arguing over whether the hit by Chicago's Danny Trevathan on Green Bay's Davante Adams was intentional, let me suggest that the intent part of this issue shouldn't matter any longer.

If you stick a guy like that -- helmet to helmet at high speed -- you should be in your locker room two minutes later, booted out of the game. Suspended and fined, too. Take the intent out of it -- you just can't tolerate dangerous situations like that. The players are too big and too fast, leading to a new level of violence that's better left to video games.

Football has lost its way, distracted by a love for "hitting" rather than "tackling." Nobody really tackles these days. Not if they can crush someone with a collision along the lines of a train wreck. The old days of wrapping people up with arm tackles is long gone. It's all about the sound and fury of a big knock now and what's needed isn't just a rule change, but a culture change.

And for me, this is getting hard to watch. There is no reason for the pros, the colleges or the high schools to put up with ANY hits directly to the head -- premeditated or not. Hit people on the shoulder pads or lower -- or find yourself looking for another sport. And that goes for offensive players, too. Ball carriers leading with the crown of their helmet should be penalized, too, if they cause similar collisions.

End the hits to the head and neck before it's too late. Don't make a tragic death the reason for a culture change.

Breaking Vegas with Garrett Thornton – Wild Card Round

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USA Today

Breaking Vegas with Garrett Thornton – Wild Card Round

BY 

Last year I was better than 53% in my Breaking Vegas picks and I aimed for 60% this year. As the regular season comes to a close I finish slightly over 50%.

While this might not be the best way to “Break Vegas”, I look to the Playoffs to keep up my late-season momentum.

I will pick all 11 games of the Playoffs and also have prop bet picks before the Super Bowl.

This Wild Card Round is completely bi-polar. The games are either must-watch television or they are matchups that fans of the teams don’t even have interest in.

Let’s see who I pick this week…

Oakland Raiders +4 @ Houston Texans

Let me start with one of the most lackluster Playoff matchups in NFL history. If you polled the 100+ players on these two teams, I doubt 50 of them would even watch this game if they weren’t in it.

The Texans are a bad team that won the worst division in the AFC. Even though they won the division, I would much rather watch Andrew Luck and the Colts or Marcus Mariota and the Titans. This Texans team has underwhelmed all year but is hosting a game in the Wild Card Round. The worst investment in the NFL was the contract given to Brock Osweiler. He can earn some of that contract with a home Playoff win.

On the other hand, the Raiders were one of the feel-good stories of the NFL season. A late-season injury to Derek Carr brought that to a screeching halt. Carr is one of the good guys of the NFL and was really developing into the franchise quarterback that the Raiders so desperately needed for so long. All of that is in the past and not the Raiders are starting fourth round pick Conner Cook under center. It will be the first time ever that a rookie quarterback made his first start in a Playoff game. Not a lot of precedence here, but let me give you a hint, it won’t go well.

Neither team can score enough points to run away with it, but the Texans find a way to win.

Texans 16 – Raiders 14

Detroit Lions +8 @ Seattle Seahawks

Seattle is one of the toughest places to play in the NFL. That only gets intensified entering the Playoffs. Home field advantage is absolutely crucial for the Seahawks this year because this is not the team that people are accustomed to. Without Earl Thomas, this defense is missing their captain. The passing game has been hot and cold. The offensive line and running game have been abysmal at points. If the Seahawks want to make a run, they need major efforts from Russell Wilson and Jimmy Graham.

The Lions are a sleeper in my opinion. If Matthew Stafford can adjust to his finger injury on his throwing hand, this team has the offensive firepower to play with anybody. The last two weeks of the regular season the Lions lost to the Cowboys and the Packers. Those two teams just so happen to be two of the best teams in the league. There isn’t a lot of belief in this Detroit team right now and that has driven this line. Bet the Lions in this one.

Seahawks 24 – Lions 20

Miami Dolphins @ Pittsburgh Steelers -10

This is the line that I have the least faith in. This is also the first time that the Steelers will play a Playoff game with Ben Roethlisberger, Antonio Brown, and LeVeon Bell on the field at the same time. That will be the difference.

Pittsburgh can score 50 any given night. In the Playoffs, with a little bit more motivation, I expect their best performance of the year.

Steelers 38 – Dolphins 27

New York Giants @ Green Bay Packers -4.5

I fully admit that I am a Cowboys fan and I am hoping they can go to and win the Super Bowl this year. If I take my biased lenses off, I don’t know that there is a hotter team in the NFL than the Green Bay Packers.

Despite several flaws, the Packers have won 7 games in a row and have a healthy Aaron Rodgers. Rodgers is, arguably, the most talented quarterback to play the game. He is playing at the top of his abilities and has the team around him believing in him. He is the rare quarterback and leader that has every other person on that team bought in. This is a dangerous Packers team heading into January.

Although the Giants have some very quality victories this season, and have a track record of success in the Playoffs, I just don’t see this team a legitimate contender. This team is not a great offensive team, despite having Eli Manning and Odell Beckham Jr. The Giants only scored 310 points this season, good for only 26th in the NFL. The other NFC Playoff teams…

Atlanta Falcons scored 540 (1st)

Green Bay Packers scored 432 (4th)

Dallas Cowboys scored 421 (5th)

Seattle Seahawks scored 354 (18th)

Detroit Lions scored 346 (20th)

While you can make the case that defense wins championships, you still have to score points to win games. This Giants team just hasn’t scored enough points for anyone to have much faith in them. The stakes get bigger and the opponents tighten down their defenses come January. Giants just won’t have enough to make a dent in the NFC Playoffs.

Packers 28 – Giants 21

  Wins Losses Push Percentage
Week One 1 3 1 30%
Week Two 1 4 0 20%
Week Three 2 3 0 40%
Week Four 2 3 0 40%
Week Five 3 2 0 60%
Week Six 2 2 1 50%
Week Seven 3 2 0 60%
Week Eight 2 3 0 40%
Week Nine 3 1 1 70%
Week Ten 3 2 0 60%
Week Eleven 3 2 0 60%
Week Twelve 2 2 1 50%
Week Thirteen 1 4 0 20%
Week Fourteen 3 2 0 60%
Week Fifteen 4 1 0 80%
Week Sixteen 3 2 0 60%
Week Seventeen 3 2 0 60%
OVERALL 41 40 4 50.6%

*All betting lines provided by Bovada.LV on the Thursday preceding particular NFL week.

A frozen showdown between Russell Wilson and Aaron Rodgers

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USA Today

A frozen showdown between Russell Wilson and Aaron Rodgers

BY 

This Sunday, Russell Wilson will return to the home of his college football glory days, and the game will mark just the second time Wilson has appeared in a football uniform in the state of Wisconsin since November of 2011. Between seven home games in his senior year in college and one game played at Lambeau Field in his fourth NFL season, Wilson holds a 7-1 lifetime record in football games played in the state of Wisconsin, with an .875 winning percentage. Wilson’s rival this Sunday, Packers QB Aaron Rodgers, has notched 70 professional football games in the state of Wisconsin, and holds a 54-16 record in games he has started, with a .771 winning percentage. 

Today, it would be difficult to find two better NFL QB’s, but just as recently as five years ago, a Wilson-Rodgers duel wouldn’t have sounded like much. Back then, Wilson was the green third round rookie QB who was still learning the speed of the pro game, but he was clearly better than most first year players, and limited his mistakes by leaning on a strong running game and only releasing the ball in high percentage passing situations. It wasn’t always exciting, but it was key in getting him to where he is today. 

By 2012 Rodgers was already a veteran by NFL standards, with a Super Bowl ring, Super Bowl MVP, and regular season MVP in his trophy case. Like Wilson, Rodgers puts a premium on limiting his mistakes, and holds the active record for career passer rating and lowest interception percentage. Number two on both of those lists – Mr. Russell Wilson. Rodgers and Wilson are the only active players with career passer ratings over 100, and if they stay where they are or better, both will retire as the only players in NFL history with a career rating at 100 or higher.

Wilson and Rodgers have faced off four times since 2012, and WIlson won their initial meeting by way of a controversial game-ending touchdown, and the rivalry officially began. Since the opening chapter in their rivalry, Wilson and Rodgers have faced each other three times, with Wilson winning twice, and Rodgers winning the most recent meeting.

In four career games against Wilson, Rodgers has completed 66% of his passes for 839 yards, four touchdowns, and 3 interceptions. Over the same span, Wilson has completed 65% of his passes for 736 yards, seven touchdowns and five interceptions. Rodgers has attempted at least 33 passes in all four contests, while Wilson has thrown 29 or fewer passes in three of the four matchups. Both passers are hovering around 200 yards per game in the rivalry, and while Wilson has thrown at least one touchdown in all four games including two without a turnover, while Rodgers has avoided turning the ball over in two of the games, but failed to throw a touchdown pass in their first meeting, and has at least one touchdown pass in the three meetings since. 

The home team has won all four matchups in this heated rivalry, with Seattle hosting and winning the first three contests, and Green Bay hosting and winning last season’s matchup. Over the series, Seattle has averaged 24 points per game, and Green Bay has averaged 19.  Two games have been decided by one score, and two games have been decided by at least two scores, making it difficult to gauge reasonable expectations.

The most intense meeting between the two teams came in the 2014 NFC Championship game, where Green Bay led 16-0 at halftime, held a 19-7 lead in the fourth quarter,  failed to close the game out on an onside kick return with the game winding down, and after kicking a field goal to force overtime, gave up a long touchdown pass on Seattle’s opening possession of overtime to end the game. Green Bay won the turnover battle including forcing Russell Wilson into four interceptions, but despite serious injuries that limited Earl Thomas and Richard Sherman late in the game, Mike McCarthy opted for conservative play calls down the stretch, and Seattle’s bold playmakers took advantage and took the victory. 

Green Bay won the meeting last year to make the series a little less lopsided, but Seattle still owns the Packers since drafting Wilson. This year, both sides are missing key players that won’t be back in time for Sunday but that won’t excuse the losing side this weekend.

Despite their gap in records, both teams still really need this win, but for different reasons. Green Bay sits at 6-6, and in third place in the NFC North. In order to keep pace in a very crowded wild card race, the Packers need to win out, or deal with watching the postseason from the couch. Seattle stands at 8-3-1 and currently holds the lead in the NFC West and the #2 seed in the NFC. As long as they stay ahead of the Falcons, Lions, and Giants, they should earn a much needed first round bye as well as host any game not against Dallas.

This matchup will feature a mixed bag of offense and defense, as the Seahawks come in with the league’s 20th best scoring offense at 22 points per game, the 14th ranked passing attack with 256.4 yards per game, and the 20th ranked offense with 101.5 yards per game. They will be facing the Packers 23rd ranked scoring defense allowing 25.2 points, the 16th ranked passing defense allowing 254.2 yards, and the 9th ranked rushing defense allowing 92.9 yards per game.

On the flip side, Green Bay has the 11th ranked scoring offense at 24.6 points per game, the 10th ranked passing attack at 261.2 yards, and the 24th ranked ground attack with 99.1 yards per game. Seattle’s scoring defense is ranked 1st at 16.2 points allowed per game, the 23rd ranked passing defense at 231 yards allowed, and the 14th ranked rush defense at 99.2 yards per game.

For Seattle, with a win they could knock Green Bay out of playoff contention, and put a bigger gap between them and the teams fighting for the top seeds in the NFC playoffs. WIth just three games to go after this week, a losing record will be too much for the Packers to overcome in the NFC playoff hunt, and it should give Seattle the distance it needs to keep the Falcons, Giants, and Lions fighting for the third seed and keep the second seed for themselves.

The gametime temperature this Sunday is expected to be below freezing, leaving Seattle the perfect opportunity to do something cold to the host Packers – end their season. Green Bay could save their season with a win over the Seahawks, but the odds are stacked against them even on their home field.

Seattle reignited their much needed second half surge with a blowout win over Carolina last week, and could make a bigger statement with a win in Green Bay followed by a favorable schedule over the final three weeks against teams with losing records. Can the Seahawks string a pair of wins together and put a stop to their see-saw season? We’ll find out this Sunday.