If the Seattle Seahawks somehow manage to upset the Green Bay Packers today, Pete Carroll should immediately be accorded NFL Coach of the Year honors.
That’s because the team Carroll has brought to Green Bay for today’s NFC divisional playoff game vaguely resembles the outfit that looked so potent for most of the regular season. Following their season opener, Seattle racked up 27 or more points in nine of its next 11 games.
But the Seahawks have struggled mightily since then. They barely beat Philadelphia 17-9 in a wild-card playoff game last week and, prior to that game, had lost three of four games.
That wasn’t surprising, though: The Seahawks have been hurting and they’re still hurting — in a big way. As presently constituted, the Eagles resemble a MASH unit. Their offensive unit is in shambles.
Not only is talented veteran left guard Mike Iupati doubtful for today’s encounter, but starting left offensive tackle Duane Brown and his backup George Fant are questionable.
The Seahawks’ backfield is an even bigger mess. They lost their top three RBs – Rashaad Penny, Chris Carson and C.J. Prosise — during the regular season and were in such dire straits that they had to bring back Marshawn Lynch as a backup to Travis Homer who, by the way, amassed a whopping 12 yards – on 11 carries – against the Eagles.
Oh, and the Seahawks have injury concerns on defense as well. Their two fine veteran ends –Jadeveon Clowney (sports hernia) and Ziggy Ansah (neck) – aren’t close to 100 percent. Ansah, in fact, is listed as questionable.
So, if the Packers keep their mistakes to a minimum and Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson doesn’t perform exceptionally well, the Packers will be packing their bags for a trip to the West Coast to play San Francisco for the NFC Championship.
Prediction: Packers 27, Seahawks 17.