Let’s cut to the chase:
Either the Green Bay Packers win today and keep their slim playoff aspirations alive. Or they lose and call it a season.
Yes, it’s do-or-die time for the Packers when they host the Seattle Seahawks at snowy Lambeau Field. The Packers seemingly have their act together with Aaron Rodgers, aka The Franchise, on fire. Rodgers have thrown for seven touchdowns in the last three games while not having any picked off.
Yet, the team Rodgers & Co. face today is unlike any other they’ve faced this season. The Seahawks are arguably the best team in the NFL and they are indisputably the best defensive team in the NFL, having allowed a league-low 194 points.
As the Denver Broncos vividly illustrated last season, you can go a long way, like to the Super Bowl, by having a dynamic defense.
Even without Earl Thomas, the Seahawks’ great safety who suffered a season-ending broken tibia last week, Rodgers and his receiving corps will still have a tough time as the Seahawks’ secondary still has a pair of big-time players in Kam Chancellor and Richard Sherman.
The incomparable Tom Brady and the New England Patriots saw that a few weeks ago when, in the waning seconds of a game against Seattle, Brady threw a pass into the end zone for all-world tight end Rob Gronkowski.
Chancellor was literally all over Gronkowski and could have easily been called for pass interference. But it wasn’t and the Seahawks escaped with a 31-24 victory.
“There’s always a lot of contact with that team,’’ Brady said afterward of the Seahawks. “Sometimes you get the calls, sometimes you don’t.’’
Indeed, the Seahawks are relentlessly aggressive on defense. If the zebras call a tight game today, Jordy Nelson, Davante Adams and Randall Cobb could come up big for the Packers.
But if the zebras call a loose game, the Seahawks can look forward to the playoffs and the Packers can look ahead to next season.
Prediction: Seahawks 24, Packers 20