Two NFC powerhouses face off this week, as the Green Bay Packers host the Seattle Seahawks. Since 2003, the Packers rank first in the NFC with 184 regular season wins while the Seahawks are second with 175. Green Bay and Seattle have met four times in the postseason since 2003, which ranks second for most playoff meetings between two teams during that timeframe.
The headline of their meeting this week is that both teams are expected to get their starting quarterbacks back. The unvaccinated Aaron Rodgers tested positive for COVID-19 last week, and won’t be able to return to the fold until Saturday. He still has to test negative to play, so there’s a very small chance it’s Jordan Love under center again. As for Russell Wilson, he has been cleared to play after fracturing the middle finger in his throwing hand in Week 5.
Wilson has some work to do to get Seattle out of this 3-5 hole, while Rodgers is probably excited to return to football after the couple of weeks he’s had and continue to push the Packers further ahead in the division race. Before we get into this matchup, here’s how you can watch on Sunday.
All NFL odds are via Caesars Sportsbook.
How to watch
Date: Sunday, Nov. 14 | Time: 4:25 p.m. ET
Location: Lambeau Field (Green Bay, WI)
TV: CBS | Stream: Paramount+ (click here)
Follow: CBS Sports App
Odds: Packers -3.5, O/U 49.5
What to watch forThe quarterbacks
The expectation is that both Rodgers and Wilson will suit up, although Rodgers’ status is still technically up in the air. The reigning NFL MVP received national backlash for his interview on The Pat McAfee Show a week ago, in which he defended his decision to not get vaccinated and also claimed the NFL’s protocols were not always rooted in science. He publicly admitted to ignoring mask protocols as an unvaccinated player as well, which reportedly led to a $300,000 fine for the Packers and a $14,650 fine for himself. Less than a week after the initial interview, Rodgers essentially apologized for potentially “misleading” others and said he’s ready to move on. It will be interesting to see how a dramatic week for Rodgers off the field could affect the Packers on the field. Could there be a disconnect in the locker room, or will Rodgers come out firing?
As for Wilson, he’s been hellbent on returning to the starting lineup. He has gone through his pregame on-field routine each week and even took the overtime coin toss against the Pittsburgh Steelers despite being inactive. The veteran signal-caller had a pin removed from his middle finger over a week ago and has already been throwing the football. Still, a game situation is going to feel different. Is he going to be accurate and can he keep his jersey clean? The Seahawks have allowed the fifth-most sacks, and have a sack rate and pressure rate that rank second-worst in the league, according to TruMedia.
Seahawks defense vs. Packers running backs
Wilson returning to form is certainly key for a Seahawks victory, but the defense is going to have to hold as well. Rodgers is tough to stop, of course, but Green Bay’s running backs have been impressive as well. Aaron Jones and A.J. Dillon accounted for 188 yards and a touchdown in the Packers’ win over the previously undefeated Arizona Cardinals, as they carried Green Bay to the win column without Davante Adams, Allen Lazard and Marquez Valdes-Scantling. Last week without Rodgers in the lineup, Jones and Dillon accounted for almost half of the Packers’ total yards against the Kansas City Chiefs, as Green Bay lost by just six points. The Seahawks have the second-worst defense in the NFL and the eighth-worst run defense in the league. Being able to contain what’s becoming an impressive two-back system will be important for Seattle.
Green Bay Packers
Even with Rodgers being sick a week ago, I’ll take the Packers here. Green Bay has won nine straight home meetings, including postseason, against Seattle. That nine-game losing streak to the Packers on the road is the longest road losing streak in Seahawks history vs. a single opponent.
The Packers are one of the best teams in the NFL because of their quarterback and some of the weapons he has at his disposal, but the defense is what really has been impressive as of late. They held Patrick Mahomes and Co. to just 237 yards of total offense last week, and come into Sunday boasting the No. 5 defense in the league when it comes to average yards of total offense allowed per game. Wilson’s return is going to be great for the Seahawks, but I think the Packers are just better at this point.
Pick: Packers 28-21 over Seahawks