The Seattle Seahawks opened defense of their Super Bowl championship by thrashing the Green Bay Packers in Week 1. Now, the only thing standing between the Seahawks and a return trip to the Super Bowl is Green Bay, which pays a visit to No. 1 seed Seattle on Sunday in the NFC Championship Game. The Packers, who were limited to only 255 total yards in the 20-point season-opening loss, must find a way to solve the Seahawks’ top-ranked defense with star quarterback Aaron Rodgers dealing with a torn calf.
While a hobbled Rodgers rallied Green Bay past the Dallas Cowboys 26-21 last weekend, Seattle rolled to its seventh consecutive victory win a 31-17 win over the Carolina Panthers. The Seahawks are surrendering an average of eight points during the winning streak and have permitted one fourth-quarter touchdown in that span. “We’re going to have to be efficient against them,” Rodgers said. “They’re a great defense, they’ve got Pro Bowlers all over the place and they’re well-coached.”
Although Luck had his string of three straight 300-yard postseason games halted and tossed a pair of interceptions, but he also had a pair of touchdown passes and spread the ball around as Indianapolis held the ball for 34 minutes. Running back Daniel “Boom” Herron has rushed for a touchdown in each of the two postseason wins while hauling in 18 receptions. T.Y. Hilton was the leading receiver during the regular season with 1,345 yards and has 10 catches in the postseason while tight ends Dwayne Allen and Coby Fleener each had eight touchdown receptions. Indianapolis’ defense limited Manning to 211 yards and has surrendered an average of 11 points in its last three games since a 42-7 blowout loss at Dallas on Dec. 21.
New England set an NFL record for fewest rushing yards (14) in a postseason victory, but the ground game has sparked the past two victories against the Colts. Rookie Jonas Gray rumbled for 201 yards and four touchdowns in Week 11 while LeGarrette Blount steamrolled Indy for 166 yards and four scores in a 43-22 playoff win last season, but Gray was inactive last week and Blount had three carries for one yard. With no running game for which to speak, Brady threw for 367 yards and three TDs while also rushing for a score and tight end Rob Gronkowski had seven catches for 108 yards and a touchdown. Julian Edelman had 92 catches during the regular season and Danny Amendola had a pair of TD catches, but the Patriots’ defense was burned for four scoring passes.
NFL release 01/18/2015
Packers vs Seahawks