Revenge! Retaliation! Retribution! Oh, the (out)rage, such there was. And all that.
Somebody please turn the sound down.
Heaven knows how many times this week such hyperbolic syllables of slaughter will have been propagated. And all we care about is not going 0-2.
It's fair to say that the Seahawks will enter something of a maelstrom on Sunday, and probably long before kickoff, not that the players might hear much in the bowels of the stadium. Then again, perhaps they will.
Much will have been made of the angst of all those numbers of poor Wisconsin souls over the course of this offseason, hearts bleeding in unison at the injustice of what occurred quite horribly (the sheer horror of it!), after 19-7 and what might have been in Arizona. What might have been? Get over yourselves. Try being a Seahawk since February-the-whatever-date-it-was. You ain't got nuthin' on us.
Green Bay knew they faced Seattle at home this season, ever since THAT MNF encounter in 2012, due to a quite lovely, cyclical rotating of the NFL schedule (being sincere) so the fact that the 2014 NFC Championship fell as it did had the Packers and their flock rabid for this one. They would've wanted Seattle early on. Looks like you ain't gotta be careful what you wish for after all.
Look, let's give Green Bay this Sunday night. They do feel slighted at the ‘Fail Mary' and of course the sheer lunacy that took place in the NFCCG. And so they should. I'm sure we would. I know I would. Cool Seattle heads will need to prevail. And the Seahawks do have the mental fortitude as it's not like they're not used to a little bit of national television exposure.
If I'm honest, I'm dreading it (but I would) and am fully expecting to rue the decision to watch it as it'll finish around 04:30 GMT, which leaves me an hour in bed before getting up for work. (Go on, go to overtime.) Er, excuse me, but you may keep those violins going. I am going to crash out in a stupor a few hours before the game, but it's a no brainer. It does mean missing the slate of games beforehand, but that's too bad. I ain't missin' this one. Like I'd miss any of them.
Just a couple of thoughts on last week, glossing over, of course, that I finished up by touting the Vikings -2.5 at San Francisco. You don't want to listen to me.
Being a Brit, what last Sunday's events brought home to me was that if the NFL is serious about cultivating the game on this side of the pond (which it is), then you need only to stream the 2015 incarnation of Seahawks at Rams into classrooms and kids would be hooked, as the high school market must surely be the target audience. Anyhow, you don't care about that.
Not that the Rams defensive front is quick or anything, but if Cliff Avril went up against any rotation of their front seven over 40 yards, he'd come in 204th with a 4.52. Explosiveness plus tenacity multiplied by vigour was quite something to behold, if we're honest with ourselves.
Conversely, Bobby Wagner played like the proverbial vet who, once he gets some proper smash in his back pocket, chucks it in. I'm not saying that's his lot, thank you very much, of course I'm not. I'd deserve to be laughed off of here for such tosh. He just played like it last Sunday, that's all. The malaise won't last. It's Bobby Wagner. Only he played like Bobby Fischer...minus the concentration and attention to detail. Heaven knows what it was, but to see him so unusually off the pace was as glaring as it was disconcerting.
The injury bug (my, it sounds so cute) has bitten hard across the NFL already and, to tempt fate, the Seahawks have gotten off very lightly thus far. Not to ever wish any player harm, but the football Gods have perhaps smiled upon Seattle a little this week. I refer to the Packers being without middle linebacker Sam Barrington and right tackle Bryan Bulaga on Sunday. Sam Barrington. So what, eh? Not so fast as his absence is, potentially, pretty significant.
Dom Capers, Green Bay's defensive coordinator, has been quoted as citing Barrington as the "quarterback of the defense." Lofty praise indeed. As for Barrington himself, in April this year when speaking to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, he came out with "...I'm the veteran inside linebacker. It's my defense." Having accumulated 53 tackles and one sack over the course of the 2014 season. He clearly spends a lot of his time over at rateyourself.com, but confidence is the key to life after all so fair play to him, I guess. The Packers value this man and rate him extremely highly and he could actually be out for the entire season. Akin to Seattle losing Wagner if we're to look at this comparatively...in an apples and oranges kinda way. There's logic underneath that somewhere.
Will the Seahawks endure the same injury good fortune as they did during the 2013 season? Well, they were missing the mighty acquisition (in trade terms) that was Percy Harvin for most of that year, but, apart from that, Seattle went along their merry little way practically unscathed and even got Harvin back for the Super Bowl. I only mention this as, for every one of us who may have some axe to grind with "Lord have mercy...it's Percy", it's difficult for me to ever forget that, for about 45 seconds of my 43 years, Harvin was the cause of me going uncontrollably, dementedly, ballistically bananas having danced his way 87 yards down a football field.
So, when were the Seahawks last an underdog going into a game? It was actually Super Bowl XLIX (+1.5), but when were they last a true underdog? I'm barely making sense, I know. OK, here's what I think I know I should know. Seattle wasn't a true underdog against New England as they actually opened as a 1.5 point favourite over the Patriots. Many factors contributed to the line swinging a whole three points over the course of two weeks, namely the injuries to the LOB allied to the betting public ultimately having faith in the Brady/Belichick brains trust.
The last time the Seahawks were the underdog from when the line opened right up until kickoff was Week 14 in Philadelphia last season (+2). In fact, the exact same thing happened the week prior to that in Santa Clara; same point spread an' all. Seattle was 2-0 ATS in those two and the only other occasion when they weren't favoured last season was in Kansas City as a 2.5 point ‘dog.
The consensus this week is the Seahawks +3.5, although they can be backed +4 over at BetBright who, I have to say that prior to this season I'd never even noticed before. Anybody with a fancy for the Packers can have them -2.5 over at Boylesports. I can see that being pushed out to at least -3 by Sunday.
To veer away slightly from Seattle playing on the road, but in keeping with being the underdog, the Seahawks have only ever not been favoured at CenturyLink on three occasions in the RWE and that was Russ's first three home games as a Seahawk: +3 vs. the Cowboys, +3.5 vs. the Packers and +3.5 vs. the Patriots. Those three games took place over the space of four calendar weeks, Seattle was 3-0 SU and 3-0 ATS in them and they've never been an underdog at home since (Week 6 of the 2012 season).
On nine occasions (including the playoffs), have the Seahawks entered proceedings with points in their back pocket on the road with Russell Wilson under center. It's a pretty little read, too, for the gambler in you. Here's the breakdown and apologies if it's a little lengthy:
2012, Week 5: (+3 at Panthers) WON 16-12
2012, Week 7: (+7.5 at 49ers) LOST 13-6
2012, Week 8: (+2.5 at Lions) LOST 28-24
2012, Week 13: (+3.5 at Bears) WON 23-17 (OT)
2012, Div. Play: (+3 at Falcons) LOST 30-28
2013, Week 14: (+3 at 49ers) LOST 19-17
2014, Week 11: (+2.5 at Chiefs) LOST 24-20
2014, Week 13: (+2 at 49ers) WON 19-3
2014, Week 14: (+2 at Eagles) WON 24-14
So, 4-5 SU in those encounters, but 7-2 ATS. Yep, three of those were absolute squeakers, but they all count. I could include the two Super Bowls as they were played away from the comforts of home, but I'm not counting those for the purpose of this particular exercise. If you want to though, it's a 1-1 record ATS as Seattle was +2.5 against Denver and +1.5 against New England, as you already know.
I like to sometimes introduce the thoughts of Walter Cherepinsky from walterfootball.com into proceedings, but only normally to highlight his acerbic wit. There's none of that on show this week, but he does have an interesting take on the game. Not only does he take Seattle +4, but he also predicts Seahawks 27-24 Packers. I couldn't agree less with his SU prognostication, unfortunately, but he brings up these nuggets:
Pete Carroll is 6-3 ATS after losing as a favourite
Russell Wilson is 7-3 ATS after a loss as long as he's not favored by -10 or more
Russell Wilson is 10-2 ATS after a loss
More than a little interesting, I think you'll agree, and here's a few more trends, courtesy of oddsshark.com
Seattle is 15-7 ATS in its last 22 games on the road
Seattle is 1-3-1 ATS in its last 5 games on the road against Green Bay
Green Bay is 6-2 ATS in its last 8 games at home
Seattle is 2-4-2 ATS in its last 8 games against Green Bay
Green Bay is 4-2 ATS in its last 6 games against Seattle
Looking at those bottom two stats, it means that the two games played before the last six encounters would've finished in a tie ATS, which is very unusual.
Old news alert, but going up against arguably the best quarterback in the game right now promises to cause Seattle a myriad of problems on Sunday. Heck, even James Jones has been rejuvenated. However, plenty of hope for the Seahawks resides in Barrington's absence. If Matt Forte can gash the Packers last week, then Marshawn Lynch should be licking his chops. Pass protection aside, Seattle's offensive line should be able to create running lanes. And can we please have ourselves some Jimmy Graham before the second half? Please?
Green Bay -2.5 looks too skinny so I'm on.
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