3 Keys to Seahawks Upsetting the Packers to Advance to NFC Championship

Max Staley
DK Metcalf had seven catches for 160 receiving yards and a TD in the Wild Card Game.
DK Metcalf had seven catches for 160 receiving yards and a TD in the Wild Card Game. / Steven Ryan/Getty Images
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The Seattle Seahawks earned a hard-fought victory over the Philadelphia Eagles this weekend in the Wild Card Round this past weekend, and they'll now take on the Green Bay Packers with a trip to the NFC Championship on the line.

While Green Bay enters this one as a 4-point favorite, according to FanDuel Sportsbook, the Seahawks do pose some matchup problems for the Packers. With that in mind, here are three keys to victory for Seattle over Green Bay.

1. Exploit Green Bay's Secondary

Russell Wilson threw for 325 yards against the Philadelphia Eagles in the Wild Card Game.
Russell Wilson threw for 325 yards against the Philadelphia Eagles in the Wild Card Game. / Patrick Smith/Getty Images

The Packers can generate significant pressure on opposing passers, as they're tied at No. 12 in sack percentage. However, when that fails, Green Bay's secondary has really struggled against explosive passing games. Green Bay allows 12.3 yards per completion, which is the sixth-highest mark in the league. That could be a problem against Russell Wilson, who ranks tied for No. 6 in the NFL in that category. With DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett on the outside, Seattle's downfield passing game needs to find exploit a vulnerable Green Bay secondary.

2. Slow Down Aaron Jones

Aaron Jones had 254 rushing yards across his last two games of the season.
Aaron Jones had 254 rushing yards across his last two games of the season. / Rey Del Rio/Getty Images

The Packers are a perfect 7-0 when Aaron Jones rushes for at least 65 yards. Stats like that can be a bit misleading, as running backs tend to get more carries when playing with a lead, but it does feel like this offense goes as Jones does. He was held below 40 rushing yards in all three of Green Bay's losses, averaging 29.7 per game in such contests. Seattle only has the No. 26 rush defense by Football Outsiders' DVOA metric, so this unit will have to step up for the Seahawks to slow down the Packers' attack.

3. Get to Aaron Rodgers

Aaron Rodgers throws a pass against the Detroit Lions.
Aaron Rodgers throws a pass against the Detroit Lions. / Rey Del Rio/Getty Images

Green Bay had an impressive season, finishing 13-3, but they've been significantly less effective when Rodgers is pressured. Green Bay is 4-2 when Rodgers has been sacked three or more times. Only one of those wins came by more than one score, and the Packers had one-score games against the 8-8 Chicago Bears, the Patrick Mahomes-less Kansas City Chiefs, and 3-13 Washington Redskins when Rodgers was under duress. Pressuring Rodgers is no easy task, as the Packers were No. 1 in pass blocking win rate, but this offense is considerably less dynamic when he's under fire. If Seattle wants to compete with Green Bay, Jadeveon Clowney and the Seahawks will need to pressure Rodgers.


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Max Staley is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Max Staley also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username mstaley1212. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.

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