2014 NFL Playoffs - NFC Championship - Packers vs. Seahawks Betting Odds Preview

Line: Seahawks -7

The Green Bay Packers travel to Seattle to face the Seahawks in the NFC Championship game on Sunday afternoon. The Seahawks had a first round bye and then played the Carolina Panthers in the divisional round. The Panthers, who finished the regular season 7-8-1 caught a break when then played a depleted Cardinal team in the Wild Card round but caught no such break last week as the Seahawks used their trademark speed and pressure en route to a 14-10 halftime lead and then a 17 point 4th quarter to give themselves a 31-17 win and a spot in the NFC title game. Quarterback Russell Wilson is usually a game manager who makes plays with his legs and directs the teams overall rushing attack but in this game he was more of a traditional quarterback, he went 15/22 passing for 268 yards and 3 touchdowns. Running back Marshawn Lynch had 14 carries for 59 yards. Wide receiver Jermaine Kearse has emerged as a go to go for Wilson, he has 3 catches for 129 yards and a touchdown. The star of the game was safety Kam Chancellor who blocked two field goal attempts that were called back for penalties as well as returned an interception for a touchdown.

The Packers are a strong all around team but as last year showed they can only go as far as Aaron Rogers takes them. Rogers is currently suffering from a calf injury that had him take virtually no practice reps which is exactly what happened last week when then faced the Dallas Cowboys. The Cowboys found themselves with a 14-10 halftime lead and Rogers looked very limited in his mobility. He fought trough the pain and was able to lead the team to 16 second half points in their 26-21 victory. They were helped out tremendously by a booth review on what appeared to be a long touchdown catch by Cowboys star receiver Dez Bryant. It was first ruled a catch and a touchdown but was overturned and ruled an incomplete pass. The decision of the officials aided Rogers (20/35 for 316 yards and 3 touchdowns with zero interceptions) and they advanced to this weeks Conference championship game.

The season started with the Seahawks blowing out the Packers in week 1 and will be looking to do the same. The Seahawks have an eight game home playoff-winning streak. The Packers have won 12 of their last 14 overall as both teams appear to be at the top of their games headed into this weekend. The key will obviously be the health of Rogers vs. the aggressive Seahawk defense. It remains to be seen whether or not he can move around well enough in the pocket to buy time for his receivers. Lynch had a big day in the week 1 matchup and the Packers will likely focus on shutting down the run for both him and Wilson. Their best bet may be to force Wilson to be a pocket passer. Regardless there will be a lot of excitement in the building for this 12-noon start local time. It will be the first time they have had a noon start at home, although that is unlikely to have an effect

Pick: Packers +7

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