It. Is. Time.
What is your prediction? Of course, being Packers fans, we are all hoping for a Green Bay win, but if you skim across the Internet, you will find that probably about 80 percent of others’ predictions are saying the Seahawks win.
But that’s why they play the game.
That said, here are the predictions for today’s game by our own Lombardiave staffers.
Some of them think the Seahawks will win – for a variety of reasons – but it isn’t unanimous.
Check these out and then leave your own prediction below, or visit us on our social media sites to leave predictions and comment … you can find them here:
Patrick Hughes: One thing the Seattle Seahawks are not lacking is confidence. But in addition to that swagger they have a plethora of talent.
Their defense is stacked and their offense keeps opposing defenses on their heals. I am sure coach McCarthy and his staff have lost more than a couple of hours of sleep scheming to clip the wings of these birds. Not to mention the in-house worries of the health of MVP-to-be Aaron Rodgers or the crowd noise at CenturyLink Field.
That said, the Packers are not the only 13-4 team taking the field in Seattle on Sunday. The Packers offense is not an also-ran kind of operation. I would be off base if I made a one-to-one comparison when matching the two on defense. But the Packers defensive unit can certainly play with Seattle’s offense.
I see these two teams as being evenly matched. A slight nod to the Seahawks because their defense is so good and their home field advantage.
That said the challenge is not an insurmountable one. Green Bay will need to be aggressive, precise and attacking. Taking the lead early would be a big plus as would maintaining control of the tempo of the game.
Sure I’m a homer, but I have a good feeling about this one. I feel that this Packers team is a tight knit squad that can hang together in a game as challenging as I expect this one to be. A dog fight. But I’m not going to lose any sleep, because my only concerns are what temperature to chill the celebratory champaign.
Packers 28, Seahwawks 24
Kenn Korb: Seattle is strong all around; it’s going to take a Herculean effort to overcome them Sunday. While I have the utmost confidence in players such as Aaron Rodgers, Jordy Nelson, etc., the odds are really stacked against them here.
For them to win this game, there is going to have to be an entirely different look to the game than there was in Week 1. Green Bay needs to have Eddie Lacy stay healthy and be relatively effective on the ground to hold off the pass rush.
The offensive line needs to play the game of their collective lives in both run and pass blocking. The receivers need to all extend plays and leech YAC out of the Seattle defense once they catch the ball. The defense must slow down Beast Mode and contain Russell Wilson in the pocket. Aaron Rodgers must work through his calf injury without reaggravating it again.
That list could go on forever, really; Seattle is unquestionably that good, and they have everything lined up in their favor. But still, I see this being a much different contest than the first meeting.
Now, Eddie Lacy shouldn’t miss a majority of the game with a concussion.
Now, the offensive line is healthy and has a whole host of players at the top of their games, instead of needing to insert an injury-prone and ineffective backup take over at tackle for a good portion of the matchup.
Now, the receiving corps goes beyond just Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb, with Davante Adams stepping up as the #3 receiver and a Quarless/Richard Rodgers combination at tight end working well to beat coverages.
Now, the defense has improved in scheme and playmaking against the run over the second half of the year, so they may stand a chance against Lynch.
The one new area that may work against Green Bay more negatively than before is with Rodgers’ lack of mobility, but he’s a crafty guy and should be able to make something happen no matter how hurt he is.
But still, even with all of those areas working in Green Bay’s relative favor, the rationalist in me sees them probably losing here.
I think Lacy will have a decent game, which will help with keeping possessions and keeping the score close. I see the line playing strong to keep Rodgers upright and Lacy churning, but that Seattle back-7 will most likely cut out what I see as most important to a win: Yards After Catch.
Their ability to pursue will most likely prevent Nelson/Cobb/Adams from busting big plays after receptions, and that will help turn many attempted drives into punts.
Combine that with the simple fact that Marshawn Lynch is assuredly not going to get slowed that much by the faux-improved Green Bay run defense, and a win is probably out of reach.
Still, anything can happen. I’ll be watching and hoping for the upset with all the fervor of a man expecting to win, even with the odds standing high against it. These are the best times to be a fan guys; enjoy it. I know I will.
Seahawks 27 Green Bay 23
Josh McPeak is this season’s expert pick winner at lombardiave.com
Josh McPeak: The number 1 rushing team, number 1 team versus the pass, number 3 team versus the run, the 12th Man and the other team’s best player is playing on a torn calf.
Sounds like a recipe for a guaranteed victory. Earlier in the week I wrote an article stating that 30 points should be the Packers’ goal. Both times the Seahawks gave up 30 points this season, they lost. I don’t think Green Bay will put 30 on the scoreboard, however.
I don’t think they will need to. These Packers have shed the “soft” tag quicker than Jay Cutler shed the hopes of Chicago fans that they had a franchise quarterback.
This team has transitioned into a gritty unit that can get it done in every aspect, including the trenches. T.J. Lang and company must continue to do what they have been doing, which is to be the best offensive line in all of football. Eddie Lacy will also need to get the tough yards on this team and keep the clock rolling.
On the defensive side of the ball the Packers must practice containment and stay at home against the mobile Russell Wilson. Clay Matthews has to have a big game from the inside out to slow down the “Beast” that is, Marshawn Lynch. Aaron Rodgers could cement himself as a legend in the Green Bay Packers history books with a win this week.
I am convinced he will.
Packers 23 Seahawks 20
Super Bowl 49 here comes the Packers!
Luke Hanish: Twenty weeks from when it all began we find ourselves with an opportunity to once again play for the trophy that belongs with us in the first place.
At Seattle is by no means an easy feat for any team let alone with half a quarterback. A few trends over the past few weeks have become more and more prevalent to at least give the Packers Nation a reason to remotely believe.
Yes by now we all know Rodgers won’t be 100 percent. Much improved offensive line play will make it tougher than the Seattle defensive line thinks it will be to get home.
Play from this group over recent weeks hasn’t gotten nearly the credit they’ve deserved.
Second, if this game is going to be won, it will be won by the defense. Believe it or not the Packers defense has played better overall than the Seahawks over the past 4 games. Expect to see much more of Clay Matthews inside as his instinct and sideline-to-sideline quickness will be vital in containing Russell Wilson and stopping Marshawn Lynch.
Third, this is far from a game the Packers have any business winning. Can they win? Sure. Are they supposed to win? Absolutely not.
For whatever reason this team seems to play much better with their backs against the wall (see 2010).
All in all as I wrote earlier in the week it simply boils down to either making plays or not. We’ll make our share, I just don’t think enough of them.
Seahawks 33 Packers 27
Darryl Krejci: All the way from Disney World, I am totally out of the loop.
So in doing a quick search as to what is happening in the real world and being a realist, this is what I think.
Aaron Rodgers’ calf injury is not healed enough to make him the versatile threat he needs to be to beat the Seahawks’ defense. The Packers’ defense has not shown me enough to lead me to believe they can contain the Seahawks.
In the end the Seahawks will prove to be too much for a Packers team that is limping into the NFC Championship game.
Though I hope I am wrong, I see this as a Seattle win. The power of the tutu can’t heal injuries.
Seahawks 37 Packers 21
Kevin Gibson: Wouldn’t it be nice to go into Seattle with all the current momentum AND a fully healthy Aaron Rodgers?
Sadly, we’ll never know what that game might look like.
But I think what we’ll see will be closer than we may even think at this point.
It all boils down to the trenches – will the always-consistent be able to give Rodgers time to throw effectively from the pocket? Will it open enough holes for Eddie Lacy to consistently move the chains?
Big chances downfield will be few against the dominant Seattle Seahawks defense, so the Packers will have to rely on a chain-moving, deliberate attack.
I think, much like last week’s win over Dallas, the Packers again will be fighting for a win in the fourth quarter. Last team with the ball wins.
Seahawks 26 Packers 24
Dan VerDuin: If Rodgers were healthy, I would be more confident in the Packers, but combine his immobility and the Seahawks speed rushers on the outside, I don’t see this being a good day for the Packers offense.
With Clay Matthews moved to the inside in most sub-packages, and Capers going with stacking the box to stop the run, I predict a better run defense to stop Marshawn Lynch. I do not, however, believe we will be able to stop both Lynch and a scrambling Russell Wilson due to our lack of speed and pursuing ability by our inside line backing corp.
I don’t see the Packers avoiding Sherman the way they did week 1, and I see Davante Adams getting very involved in the game along with Cobb and Nelson.
I think Rodgers will have 2 interceptions in the game that won’t necessarily be his fault; they will be due to the physicality of the Seattle defense and their ability to jam receivers at the line.
The way to beat Seattle is to get on the board early and make them throw the ball to catch up, but I don’t see it happening this week. It will be a low scoring game with the edge going to Seattle.
Seahawks 24 Packers 21
Mike King: Here is what I know … Dallas O-line, WRs and TE are better than Seattle. QB and RB are a draw. Packer D did well last week and I expect even better from them this week.
Rodgers’ first half last week he was off and learning to play with his hurt calf. This week he is more comfy with it and we all know how he plays with a chip on his shoulder.
I am sure he is tired of hearing all week about Sherman.
Packers 27 Seahawks 17
Kevin Dickens: Forget about week 1.
As Mike McCarthy loves to say, the past is the past. This is a completely different ball club than the one that trotted out with their tail between their legs week 1. Derek Sherrod had another nightmarish day after Bulaga went down that surrendered two costly mistakes for the Packers.
A.J. Hawk and Brad Jones are no longer manning the middle. Corey Linsley has a playoff game under his belt along with an entire season. Most importantly Julius Peppers is very comfortable and making major plays at every opportunity!
Enter the new Packers. A group equipped to do battle with the defending World Champions. A lot of talk, of course, has been made about the significance of the calf injury suffered by Aaron Rodgers.
That talk can cease. The Packers have to be reveling at the opportunity in front of them. No one is really giving them a shot to win this game.
Most don’t expect them to even really be in it. That diss will add to the chip on A-Rodge’s shoulder. Randall Cobb has been excellent the last few games and was excellent week 1.
We should expect Jordy Nelson to play better this time around. I think the real difference-makers on offense will be Eddie Lacy, Andrew Quarless, and Richard Rodgers. Lacy will need to be “The Hulk” that he has been known as to get a Seattle front four from pinning their ears back and coming at Aaron.
But I think the added trust and physicality of the tight ends will help dramatically. Their additional solid play will open up play calling for Mike to counter a pressing Seattle attack.
Aaron will use all of the field and all of his weapons will be at his disposal. He will play lights out and have complete command of an offense capable of gutting it out against a superb Seahawks defense.
On the other side of the ball I like the Packers’ chances against the Seahawks offense. Not a lot is being made of the loss of Paul Richardson for the Seahawks.
Richardson was the deep threat that helped to take the top off of opposing defenses that was sorely lacking after losing Percy Harvin. Doug Baldwin has essentially been a possession receiver for Russell Wilson. Jermaine Kearse has remained wildly inconsistent as well as Ricardo Lockette.
The Packers will remain focused on stopping the read-option. They should be able to play eight in the box with essentially man-to-man on the outside with Shields and Williams. If they can win and the tandem of Sam Barrington and Clay Matthews hold shop against Marshawn Lynch and Russell Wilson the Packers have a great chance to win.
The real key to the game will be special teams. Pete Carroll is a guru about special teams. The Packers have had less than a stellar year in that department but they will need to be sharp against Carroll.
Field position and great special teams play will be crucial for both ball clubs. Whoever can win here decisively will have an advantage for either a prolific offense or dominant defense.
I have heard the talk all week about The 12th Man and the intimidation factor.
The Seahawks have played far worse quarterback play over the last eight or nine games than Aaron Rodgers. Expect his decision-making and edge to be the difference along with the Packers intercepting Russell Wilson late finally.
Packers to the SUPER BOWL!!!
Packers 26 Seahawks 21
Coalter Hansen: The Packers have a great chance this weekend to prove a whole lot of people wrong, myself included … but I don’t think they will be able to do so.
There is a reason the Packers struggled against the Seahawks week 1 and I think much of those problems still exist. I don’t think the defense will hold against the run and I don’t think our offense will be able to put up big enough numbers to win the game.
To make matters worse, Rodgers has a bad wheel and against the caliber defense he is going to face, that just stacks the deck even higher.
I’ve been teetering on a blow out all week but the fan in me just can’t do it.
Seahawks 28 Packers 16
Ray Rivard: OK, full disclosure … I’m a homer. But I’m sure you already knew that.
That said, I’ve been undecided on my pick for today’s Packers vs. Seahawks game.
My head says this is a completely different Packers team headed into CenturyLink Field, but my heart knows this team has plenty of cracks.
My head says that the Seahawks have the huge home field advantage and the 12th Man. My heart says the Packers have Aaron Rodgers … even if he is playing on a single leg.
My head says the Seahawks have a defense for the ages, but my heart thinks the Packers improved offensive line is up to the task of slowing that unit.
My head says the Seahawks ball-hawking defense nearly always comes up with the big play, but my heart says Aaron Rodgers doesn’t turn the ball over, nor do the Packers.
My head knows this is the NFC Championship, the game that decides who represents the conference in the Super Bowl, but my heart says it can only be the Packers.
This internal battle comes down to the intangibles … probably special teams.
I can see a Micah Hyde punt return for a touchdown or a recovered fumble on a kick … heck, this is the type of game that Mike McCarthy pulls out one of his unsuspecting onside kicks or even a fake field goal to help turn the tide.
I’ve been waiting for him to use Randall Cobb on an option pass for three years … maybe today’s the day.
Though a trick play isn’t likely to win today’s game, it could come down to a Mason Crosby 52-yard field goal at the end.
Am I dreaming? Maybe.
But this is the NFL, where anything and everything is bound to happen.
Today I’m going with my heart. Championship games only come around once in a while. It’s a special day … and the Packers are due.
Packers 27 Seahawks 24