The Green Bay Packers were nursing a 12-point lead over the Seattle Seahawks in the latter stages of the NFC Championship Game last season before the bottom fell out in horrific fashion. Eight months after the onside kick went awry and the Seahawks won in overtime, the Packers will look to exact a measure of revenge when the teams meet at Lambeau Field on Sunday night.
Aaron Rodgers tossed three touchdown passes – two to reacquired wideout James Jones – in Green Bay’s 31-23 season-opening victory over Chicago on Sunday. While the reigning NFL MVP dismissed ideas of getting even with their opponent, Seattle would like to level its record after suffering a 34-31 overtime loss in St. Louis last week. Marshawn Lynch was stuffed on a fourth-and-1 rushing play against the Rams after famously being bypassed on Russell Wilson’s pivotal interception in a 28-24 loss to New England in Super Bowl XLIX. Lynch gashed the Packers, however, for 110 yards and two touchdowns in a 36-16 triumph in Week 1 last season before amassing 157 yards in the NFC title game.
TV: 8:30 p.m. ET, NBC.
LINE HISTORY: Books opened Green Bay -3 but that is now -3.5. The total has held at 49.
INJURY REPORT: Seahawks – S Kam Chancellor (Holdout), CB Tharold Simon (Questionable, toe), LB Mike Morgan (Out, hamstring). Packers – S Morgan Burnett (Probable, calf), DE Datone Jones (Probable, suspension), T Bryan Bulaga (Out, knee).
WEATHER: Temperatures in the high-50s with wind blowing toward the north end zone at around five mils per hour.
COVERS POWER RANKINGS: Seahawks (-3.5) + Packers (-5) + home field (-3.0) = Packers -4.5
WHAT CAPPERS SAY: “Yea, yea, we all know about how good Aaron Rodgers is, even minus his favorite target. But the Packers D allowed Chicago to convert 11-17 on 3rd downs, and nearly blew the game late. The Seahawks finished +2 in turnovers. They had a punt return touchdown and a defensive touchdown. Yet they lost the game outright as road favorites, a very troubling sign.” Covers Expert Teddy Covers.
WHAT BOOKS SAY: “The marquee matchup of the week has resulted in interesting action. The majority of wagers, around 65 percent, have been on Green Bay but we’ve moved down a half point because we have a greater amount of the handle on Seattle. I predict this will move back past the key number by kickoff with everyone recognizing the Packers’ revenge factor. The over has been popular with both sides of the betting spectrum.” John Lester, BookMaker.eu.
The Packers don’t have cheerleaders, so here’s a couple from the Seahawks’ squad:
ABOUT THE SEAHAWKS (0-1 SU, 0-1 ATS, 1-0 O/U): Coach Pete Carroll reiterated that he is “disappointed” in the situation that has led safety Kam Chancellor to remove himself from the team, but is prepared to go without him on Sunday. “Nothing has changed. It really has never been a negotiation. It’s been conversations. Nothing’s changed though,” Carroll told reporters. “…I’m just disappointed like I know he is and everybody is that it hasn’t found a way to get him here. That’s all.” Defensive back Dion Bailey, who made his NFL debut and started in Chancellor’s place against the Rams, gave up the game-tying touchdown to Lance Kendricks in the waning moments of regulation.
ABOUT THE PACKERS (1-0 SU, 1-0 ATS, 1-0 O/U): Green Bay may receive a much-needed boost to its defense as safety Morgan Burnett (strained calf) is in line to make his season debut after watching the team get shredded for 189 yards rushing by the Bears. “To be honest with you, one guy doesn’t make a difference,” Burnett told ESPN of the expectations of the defense. “It’s a collective effort, a collective group, and we make each other look good, we make each other better. Honestly, one guy doesn’t make a difference to me.” With respect to Burnett, the season-ending foot injury to linebacker Sam Barrington could be a difference-maker as his replacement, Nate Palmer, is still dealing with a left hand injury.
* Over is 5-1-1 in the last seven meetings.
* Seahawks are 1-3-1 ATS in their last five meetings in Green Bay.
* Seahawks are 2-6 ATS in their last eight games in Week 2.
* Over is 8-1 in Packers’ last nine games in September.
COVERS CONSENSUS: Sixty percent of Covers users are backing the Packers.