We’re down to two teams in the NFC Championship, the Seattle Seahawks and Green Bay Packers. How this contest plays out is anyone’s guess but since I’m paid to guess:
The Green Bay Packers are at a serious disadvantage going into Seattle, as is any NFL team. CenturyLink is simply the toughest place in the NFL to visit. Overwhelming crowd noise, enough to trigger seismic sensors, presents a tremendous problem for opposing quarterbacks in making adjustments. You can’t do it with your voice, hand signals are essential. Given that Aaron Rodgers is one of the better quarterbacks in the NFL, the Packers have to have a plan to keep the 12th Man at bay. the easiest way to do that is to get ahead and stay ahead, harder to do than say by a long shot.
What Green Bay does have is Rodgers and a bevy of receivers that can challenge even the Seahawks top tier secondary. Rodgers should be able to do damage not just with Jordy Nelson and Randal Cobb, but perhaps even more importantly with Richard Rogers and Davante Adams, a pair of young guys who have come on in the playoffs. If the Packers get the kids going it opens things up for the bigger name guys. Then there’s Eddie Lacy, who may be the best way to keep Russell Wilson and Marshawn Lynch off the field.
Seattle will bring a devastatingly good defense back for another shot at a Super Bowl. This is a unit that has been at the top of it’s game for six weeks now, creating turnovers and keeping some good quarterbacks in check. They’ll be helped by the injury to Rodgers, a calf injury that keeps his mobility to a minimum. On the other side of the ball is Russell Wilson, who has improved his pocket passing without sacrificing his uncanny ability to create plays with his legs. And, if Marshawn Lynch is allowed to get up a head of steam, the Packers are in trouble.
I’m an upset guy and as good as the Packers are, it would be an upset for them to beat Seattle in CenturyLink. So, I’m calling it. Packers take the Seahawks 27-24 and go to a Super Bowl.