By Keegan Ohta
Let’s take a look back to one of the most memorable moments of the past decade.
The NFC Championship game on January 18, 2015 had everything: excitement, drama and a game-winning touchdown caught by Jermaine Kearse to send Seattle to Super Bowl XLIX.
Let’s be real, though, Packers fans. There is no way you can blame Mason Crosby for that loss because he kicked five field goals and scored 16 of the Packers’ 22 points that day. He also put you in overtime after the Pack allowed Marshawn Lynch go 24 yards for the go-ahead score, and then let Russell Wilson complete a two-point conversion, putting the Seahawks up by three.
Well, there’s also that pass at the one-yard line that got intercepted to give Tom Brady and the Patriots another ring. (Sorry, Seahawks fans!)
Enough with me taking shots at both teams. Let’s go ahead and preview Sunday’s game.
Four years after their last crazy game, Seattle and Green Bay will meet for their fourth postseason matchup and the second time in an NFC Divisional Game.
This matchup has a total of 22 prior meetings, with Green Bay leading 13-9. But in history, you’ll notice some similarities.
Similarity No. 1: Seattle is great on the road, going 7-1. Six of their road wins were by one possession. On the other hand, Green Bay is great at home, also going 7-1. Five of their home wins were by one possession
Another match in numbers is the number of Super Bowls won by the starting quarterbacks. Aaron Rodgers and Russell Wilson both have one Super Bowl ring to boas,t about just three years apart.
But there’s one more similarity in this matchup that makes this game interesting.
Both Wilson and Rodgers had a great 2019 season.
Both quarterbacks had an impressive year in passing, eclipsing 4,000 yards. Wilson had only five interceptions on the year and Rodgers only had four.
There are just two differences between the quarterbacks: Wilson is one of only four quarterbacks to have over 30 touchdowns this season, and he can back it up with a running game.
Wilson rushed 75 times for 342 yards. He had 29 more rushing attempts than Rodgers did this season and still beat Rodgers for more yardage and touchdowns in the passing game.
Now, things get a little more interesting in the defensive game.
The Green Bay Packers play calling involves 162 more pass attempts than rush attempts, so the passing game is imminent.
Seattle, while giving up the fifth least amount of passing touchdowns (19), also gave up 4,223 passing yards, which is sixth most in the league.
Meanwhile, the Seattle play calling involves only 36 more pass attempts than rushes. While the play calling is more balanced, Green Bay’s defense is balanced as well, giving up the 10th most rushing yards and the 14th most passing yards.
Unfortunately for Seattle, they’re not the only ones that do well on defending passing touchdowns. Green Bay is tied with Seattle for the fifth least amount of passing touchdowns given up in the league.
The line favors Green Bay and even ESPN gives the Packers a 66.3 percent chance of winning.
But let’s not forget, Green Bay and Seattle like to win close, so this game can be won or lost on a hail (or fail) Mary.
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