Seahawks Packers Sunday Night Preview
IT'S AN NFC CHAMPIONSHIP REMATCH...IS IT ALSO AN NFC CHAMPIONSHIP PREVIEW FOR JANUARY OF '16?!
The two teams that EVERYONE has been talking about in the NFC entering the new season are the Seattle Seahawks and the Green Bay Packers. Seattle is the two-time defending conference champions. Are they about to fall off the mountaintop? Or, do Pete Carroll and company have another championship run in them? Green Bay is the obvious choice to replace Seattle. The Packers should have been in the Super Bowl last year! The top two NFC powers in the Futures markets square off Sunday night in a game you'll be watching on NBC.
These teams know each other very well already. Let's quickly review how each performed last week.
Won-Lost Records (Strength of Schedule)
Seattle: 0-1 (lost in overtime as a road favorite at St. Louis)
Green Bay: 1-0 (won and covered as a road favorite at Green Bay)
Green Bay already has a head start for home field advantage in the playoffs. A win here would put them in GREAT shape with a two-game advantage and a tie-breaker in hand. Should Seattle win...both teams would have the same record but the Seahawks would own the tie-breaker. Yes....that's how obvious it is these teams will be in the championship hunt. We're already talking about January tie-breakers in mid-September!
Seattle: 4.3 on offense, 6.4 on defense
Green Bay: 6.1 on offense, 5.7 on defense
Seattle was actually very lucky to reach overtime last week in St. Louis. They were outplayed badly at the point of attack. Two non-offensive touchdowns kept them in the game. The offensive line in particular has had problems since the Preseason began. The defense is missing a key hitter...and may be losing its swagger after two full seasons of super-aggression. Green Bay just missed an overtime scenario in Chicago. The Bears had a long drive end with a failed fourth down conversion. Frankly, it's possible that neither of these teams is as good as their summer hype. For now...those YPP numbers are a big red flag for Seattle fans.
Green Bay: +1
Both of these teams know the importance of the risk/reward challenge. Seattle may have some issues this year if their offensive line can't protect the quarterback. We wouldn't be surprised at all if this category determines who covers the Vegas spread Sunday night. For the whole season...Seattle must maintain it's sharpness while Russell Wilson tries to justify his new contract while playing behind a porous line.
Seattle: 0-1 ATS
Green Bay: 1-0 ATS
The market caught up to Seattle some time last season. They've either been overrated or properly rated since then. The yards-per-play stats from last week suggest their price of -4 at St. Louis was way too high. Green Bay gets so much respect from oddsmakers these days that they could legitimately be the best team in the NFC while still being overrated. Last week's cover was by a point...and wasn't born out with stat superiority. Yes...Green Bay was the better of the two teams with Chicago...but they didn't play like a 7-point favorite. A somewhat fortunate cover.
Current Line: Green Bay by 3.5, total of 49
The fact that most stores are showing Green Bay laying more than the typical value of home field advantage tells who is perceived as the superior team right now. If Green Bay is laying -3.5 at home...they'd be slightly above pick-em at a neutral site. As we speak...the most respected influences in the market think Green Bay is better than Seattle and will express that under the Sunday night spotlight.
JIM HURLEY has been studying this game since the schedules came out months ago. There was no secret that this was going to be HUGE. His full team of experts have been covering the matchup from all angles. Scouts watched every Preseason game with an eye toward this showdown. Scouts dissected every drive last week as they were happening thinking about this week. This is a game JIM HURLEY WANTS TO WIN!
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Back with you tomorrow to preview the NY Jets/Indianapolis Colts game on ESPN. Then our midweek report will get you ready for Washington/NY Giants in the Thursday nighter.
Monday: NFL TV Preview...NY Jets at Indianapolis
Midweek: NFL TV Preview...Washington at NY Giants
Friday-Saturday: College Football TV Preview...to be determined
Sunday: NFL TV Preview...Denver at Detroit
Our focus will be on the big prime time TV games for the forseeable future here in the NOTEBOOK. JIM HURLEY'S key indicator stats will always help you visualize best expectations. Then JIM HURLEY'S BIG, JUICY WINNERS will make sure you GET ALL THE MONEY!
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