NFL Championship Weekend Predictions: Patriots, Seahawks Advance

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Sep 4, 2014; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch (24) during the game against the Green Bay Packers at CenturyLink Field. Seattle defeated Green Bay 36-16. Mandatory Credit: Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports

Seahawks 24 Packers 20

(Disclaimer: I spent all week analyzing Pats-Colts so I apologize if there is some vagueness in this breakdown.)

I picked Seattle and the Pats to advance before the year began, so I’m going to stick with it. I will be rooting like hell for the Packers, but at home, I don’t see the Seahawks losing to this team. Their defense is too good, they can run the ball, and they have one of the best young quarterbacks in the game.

Make no mistake about it, Rodgers is going to get his. There is no way Seattle shuts his offense down like they did back in week one, even though he is dealing with a significant calf injury. The emergence of Davante Adams is going to be big for Green Bay, because with secondaries like New England’s and Seattle’s, you are going to have to find a way to win with your third and fourth options. But all of that pales in comparison to how important it is for the Packers to get Eddie Lacy going on the ground. If you are one-dimensional against this defense, and they are allowed to tee off at the quarterback, you might as well go home. Lacy needs to get into a rhythm early for Green Bay to have a shot.

I have criticized Russell Wilson a great deal ever since he came into the league, and while I still don’t think he is a surefire top five quarterback like some claim, he certainly has become a hell of a player. He doesn’t turn the ball over, he can make every throw on the field, his escape-ability is unreal, and he has come up clutch for this team time and time again. Of course he is doing all of that with one of the best rushing attacks in the league, and the best defense in the league, but that shouldn’t completely take away from what kind of a player he is.

The Packers will try to key in on Marshawn Lynch, and while I don’t think they will completely shut him down, I believe they will force Wilson to make a few key throws late to win the game. If Wilson can convert a few big third downs, and be efficient in the red zone, Seattle will advance. Look for the Seahawks to put together one of those crushing, 8:00 drives late on the ground to put this one away.