Today's game

Pro Football

January 04, 2004|By Los Angeles Times

NFC wild card

Seattle (10-6) at Green Bay (10-6)

Time: 1 p.m.

TV: Chs. 45, 5.

Line: Packers by 7 1/2 .

Record vs. spread: Seahawks 9-5, Packers 10-6.

Series: Packers lead 5-4.

Last meeting: Packers won, 35-13, on Oct. 5 at Green Bay.

Story line: The Packers have the feel of a team of destiny. From QB Brett Favre's remarkable performance after his father's death to securing a playoff bid thanks to an improbable victory by Arizona, the Packers have momentum. The Seahawks are 2-6 on the road.

When the Seahawks have the ball: QB Matt Hasselbeck had a strong season and played well in last week's victory in San Francisco. To prevent Hasselbeck from getting rattled by the Packers' pass rush, expect Seattle to use more spread formations and to run the ball with RB Shaun Alexander. Young WRs Darrell Jackson and Koren Robinson are very talented but struggle away from home.

When the Packers have the ball: Favre has thrown 32 TD passes, but the key to Green Bay's offense is RB Ahman Green. With 1,883 yards, Green became the franchise's single-season rushing leader, and his 50 catches were second on the team. Tight ends Bubba Franks and Wesley Walls are go-to receivers near the end zone.

Bottom line: The Seahawks are not a good road team, and they will struggle to find their game against Favre and the Packers at Lambeau Field.

Injuries

SEAHAWKS-Out-G Chris Gray (knee). Questionable-DT Rocky Bernard (toe); CB Kris Richard (stinger). Probable-WR Darrell Jackson (ankle); DE Chike Okeafor (ankle); S Reggie Tongue (hamstring).

PACKERS-Doubtful-LB Marcus Wilkins (calf). Questionable-CB Mike McKenzie (toe); DE Chukie Nwokorie (wrist). Probable-DT Gilbert Brown (knee); LB Na'il Diggs (shoulder); WR Donald Driver (ankle); QB Brett Favre (thumb); WR Robert Ferguson (Achilles'); CB Al Harris (knee); WR Javon Walker (knee/hamstring).

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