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Packers battle Seahawks

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GREEN BAY PACKERS (1-1) at SEATTLE SEAHAWKS (1-1)

Sportsbook.ag Line & Total: Green Bay -3.5 & 46
Opening Line & Total: Packers -3.5 & 47


Seattle looks for a rare win over Green Bay when the teams meet Monday Night at CenturyLink Field.

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Since the turn of the century, the Packers have won six of seven meetings in this series, going 4-1-2 ATS. The Seahawks just dominated the Cowboys in a 27-7 win at home last week, and now they'll have a chance to surprise a Green Bay offense that isn't quite hitting on all cylinders yet. The Pack did get some extra prep time after playing a Thursday night game last week, a win over Chicago behind a great defensive performance. They've faced two top-notch defenses in San Francisco and Chicago, both at home, and their offense has managed as many turnovers as touchdowns (three). Seattle is playing conservatively on offense with rookie QB Russell Wilson under center, but its defense has been excellent through the first two games. The Seahawks have the best Monday Night Football record in the history of the league at 17-8 SU (68%). Green Bay has outscored Seattle by 23.3 PPG in the past three meetings, and this game also has the set-up for a Packers blowout win. Favorites off a win against a division rival, when playing on Monday night, are 53-20 ATS (73%) since 1986.

Packers QB Aaron Rodgers has been pretty good against Seattle in his career, completing 62% of his passes for 445 yards, 3 TD and 0 INT in two starts. He's struggled somewhat to begin the 2012 season with 6.9 YPA, 3 TD and 2 INT, while taking eight sacks. Last year, Rodgers threw for 9.2 YPA, 45 TD and 6 INT. One of the reasons his numbers are down is because top WR Greg Jennings hasn't been healthy. He missed the last game with a groin injury and is questionable to suit up on Monday as well. TE Jermichael Finley has been the team's most-targeted pass catcher, but he has a mere 73 yards on these 17 targets. WR Jordy Nelson (16 targets) leads the team with 148 yards, while Randall Cobb has caught 10 of his 11 targets, but has gained just 97 yards. Green Bay's ground game more than doubled its production from Week 1 against San Francisco (45 yards) to last Thursday versus Chicago (106 yards), but the team also carried the ball twice as much. The Packers forced four Bears turnovers last week, which helped contribute to the paltry 168 total yards they gained on the day. Green Bay has the league's best pass rusher in OLB Clay Matthews Jr. who has tallied an NFL-best six of his team's 11 sacks so far this season.

Wilson showed much better poised last week (112.7 QB rating) than he did in his NFL debut against Arizona (625 QB rating). He completed 15-of-20 passes for 151 yards, 1 TD and 0 INT in the drubbing of Dallas. Wilson knows his offense is not powerful enough to overcome his mistakes, which is why he's more of a game manager than gunslinger. Wilson will also be more comfortable with the likely return of starting LT Russell Okung, who missed last week due to a bruised knee. The Seahawks will continue to pound the football with bruising back Marshawn Lynch. He already has 207 rushing yards this season (3rd-most in league) with an NFC-most 47 carries. He has faced Green Bay just once in his career, posting a pedestrian 64 yards on 17 carries (3.8 YPC) in a 34-7 loss in Week 2 of the 2010 season when Lynch was with Buffalo. With Lynch on offense and a stout front seven on defense, the Seahawks are crushing their opponents on the ground, outgaining them 297 to 92 in the two games. Seattle has forced two turnovers in each of its two contests, but has not been strong in pass defense, surrendering 457 passing yards and 6.0 YPA. That doesn't bode well against the potent Green Bay air attack.

  
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