SERIES HISTORY: 17th regular-season meeting. Packers lead series, 9-7. Green Bay won last meeting, 27-17, last year. The home team has won the last four regular-season meetings and all three postseason matchups. Seattle beat the Packers 28-22 in overtime in the 2014 NFC Championship Game.
KEYS TO THE GAME:
Now that they're back to .500, the Packers must pass a stringent late-season test to climb all of the way back to the plus side for their record and remain in contention for the NFC North title and a playoff berth. The momentum of two straight wins on the heels of a four-game losing streak will be challenged by the NFC West-leading Seahawks and possibly Mother Nature, with a second straight Sunday of snow showers in Green Bay forecasted.
Points were going to be at a premium anyhow under stellar playing conditions. After all, Seattle has long been the stingiest on the scoreboard, leading the league again this season by allowing an average of only 16.2 points per game.
The Packers' lack of a quality rushing attack could mean Aaron Rodgers will have to try to keep the chains moving against Seattle's talented secondary if he's given time to get the football out in the face of a potent pass rush. The notable loss of All-Pro safety Earl Thomas to a broken leg should leave some soft spots in the middle of Seattle's defense for Rodgers to attack with his receivers and tight ends.
Green Bay's banged-up defense, on the other hand, will be keyed on containing the Seahawks' resurgent rushing attack. Seattle piled up a season-high 240 yards on the ground in its blowout win over the Carolina Panthers last Sunday and is averaging a robust 173 rushing yards the last three outings. Explosive second-year halfback Thomas Rawls is back healthy, and the Seahawks aren't bashful about getting fleet-footed receiver Tyler Lockett the football in the backfield. Then throw in the option reads of quarterback Russell Wilson, who will look to lure Green Bay's defense close to the line of scrimmage to create open passing lanes. The Packers must be disciplined and aggressive with their pass rush against a suspect offensive line.
MATCHUPS TO WATCH:
--Seahawks WR Tyler Lockett vs. Packers CB Quinten Rollins. Lockett had his most productive game of the season last week against the Panthers and will face a Green Bay defense that has struggled against opposing passing attacks the second half of the season.
--Seahawks DE Cliff Avril vs. Packers RT Bryan Bulaga. Bulaga has struggled in past games against Seattle' left end. Whether Chris Clemons, Bruce Irvin or Avril, Bulaga has allowed several sacks and pressures on Aaron Rodgers and could be a battle Seattle can win again.
FRIDAY INJURY REPORT:
--Out: LB Brock Coyle (foot), DE Damontre Moore (foot), RB C.J. Prosise (shoulder), RB Will Tukuafu (concussion)
--Questionable: LB Michael Morgan (hip)
GREEN BAY PACKERS
--Out: LB Kyler Fackrell (hamstring), LB Nick Perry (hand)
FS Steven Terrell. In facing Rodgers and the Packers' passing attack, Terrell will be under the spotlight as he steps into a starting role following the season-ending injury to All-Pro safety Earl Thomas. With games against Los Angeles, Arizona and San Francisco remaining, Terrell may face his toughest test before the playoffs this Sunday.
Seahawks QB Russell Wilson has six TD passes and one interception in three career meetings.
Seahawks WR Doug Baldwin caught seven passes for 92 yards and a score in the last meeting. Since 2015, Baldwin ranks second in the NFC with 19 receiving touchdowns.
Seahawks DE Michael Bennett has four sacks and a forced fumble in four meetings.
Packers QB Aaron Rodgers has averaged 291 passing yards per game, with seven touchdowns and no interceptions, in the past three games. He has 486 passing yards, three TDs and no interceptions in two home meetings.
Packers WR Randall Cobb has caught a TD pass in four straight home games. He caught eight passes for 116 yards in the last meeting.
This is the proving game for the Packers, who face a much more explosive offense than the two they have beaten the past two weeks. But the Russell Wilson and the Seahawks have owned December (17-3).
OUR PICK: Seahawks, 30-25.