The Seattle Seahawks are headed to football's most hallowed ground, Lambeau Field, for a Divisional Round matchup against the Green Bay Packers on Sunday. The winner will travel to Santa Clara, Calif., to play the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC Championship Game.
Snow is expected to fall overnight in Green Bay, but it should be finished by kickoff. That said, it's Wisconsin weather in January so who knows how it might change. We know for sure that it'll be cold, maybe even into the teens as the game wears on.
1. Jarran Reed
You'll notice a defensive theme here. That's because I think we know what to expect from the Seahawks offense. Seattle's defense feels like much more of a wildcard. Aaron Rodgers appears to have regressed this season, but he's still playing a home playoff game and has the potential to be as dangerous as any QB in the league.
It'll take a standout performance from the Seahawks defensive line if Seattle is to get a win on Sunday. Jarran Reed has been awfully quiet this year with just two sacks in the regular season after posting 10.5 in 2018. However, he was incredibly active against the Eagles and was credited with five total pressures by Pro Football Focus. Reed missed on a few near-sacks, and Pete Carroll said he "airballed" one. Reed getting home against Rodgers would be huge for the Seahawks.
2. Jadeveon Clowney
Same story here. Seattle needs Clowney to be as disruptive as he was against the Eagles in the Wild Card Round. Clowney had two tackles for loss, a sack, five total tackles and six total pressures in Round 1. Carroll indicated that Clowney's core injury is somehow improving, which would be a playoff miracle for the Seahawks if it's true. He'll play a huge role on Sunday.
3. Ugo Amadi
Amadi was Seattle's highest-graded Seahawks player against the Eaglers, per Pro Football Focus (90.1). Amadi earned a 90.1 coverage grade on 13 coverage snaps as he's taken over nickel responsibilities for the Seahawks. The rookie out of Oregon plays fast and confident. He's a clear upgrade over Akeem King, and Carroll even said he wishes he turned to Amadi sooner. Still, expect Rodgers to challenge the first-year defensive back on Sunday. Cody Barton was my x-factor pick in the Wild Card Round. He followed through with his first-career sack. Amadi is my x-factor pick in this one.
4. Tre Flowers
Flowers had two long pass interference penalties against the Eagles. Each led to a Philadelphia field goal. Carroll shared that the second-year corner was in great position to make a play on both occasions, he just panicked with his technique as the ball arrived. Rodgers, no doubt, saw both penalties on film. Expect to see the future Hall of Fame QB take a few downfield shots Flowers' way as a result.
5. Whoever starts at left tackle
We won't find out who starts at left tackle for the Seahawks until 90 minutes prior to kickoff when inactives are announced. Seattle is desperate for Duane Brown (knee) or George Fant (groin) to be active. Having both in the lineup would be a bonus. What would be grim is having recently-promoted Chad Wheeler start at left tackle against Preston Smith and Za'Darius Smith. The Packers standout pass rushing duo posted 25.5 regular season sacks, more than any other pair of teammates in 2019.
Divisional preview: 5 Seahawks players to watch vs. the Packers originally appeared on NBC Sports Northwest