NFL 2018 Season - Week 16
 

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Little for Big
by Dennis Ranahan

Two teams that have been among the NFL elite for a number of seasons meet tonight in Seattle when the Seahawks entertain the Green Bay Packers to open Week Eleven of the National Football League season. These two squads, both directed by quarterbacks that have Super Bowl victories to their credit, are not among NFL elite teams this season.

The Packers, directed by future Hall of Fame first ballot inductee Aaron Rodgers, have a defense no better than average and an offensive line that puts Rodgers at high risk with each snap. The Packers won last week, at home over the Miami Dolphins to snap a two game losing streak and losses in three of four games. But, if you reviewed the video of that game, like I did, you would know this; the Packers were very fortunate to be playing the Dolphins last week. Given their level of play, had they been playing a better team, their losing streak would have stretched to three.

The Seattle Seahawks are a better team, albeit not in the class even they have been in recent years.

The hallmark of the Seahawks success was twofold, a defense affectionately referred to as the Legion of Doom and quarterback Russell Wilson. Even behind an offensive line that works as well as a screen door blocks wind, Wilson is capable of moving the Seahawks offense with escapability that can end with an accurate pass or scamper for key yards.

On the defensive side of the ball, the talent that made them great is gone while head coach Pete Carroll works to establish the new cast of characters in the Seattle stop unit.

What that leaves us with tonight in Seattle, is two teams down a notch from recent editions of these franchises with quarterbacks that are capable of putting their squads on their backs and leading wins.

The point spread on this game is a clear indicator of how close these teams are talentwise. It opened with the Seahawks favored by three points, a number that pretty much reflects their home field advantage, and that number has drawn near equal action at the window, with Seattle getting 51% of the public action.

Thing is, home field advantage on Thursday night is worth more than it is on a Sunday, particularly when the visitors have a long road trip on a short work week.

Edge Seattle.

Both these teams have lost to the Los Angeles Rams in recent games, while both teams covered the point spread in Los Angeles. The difference, is that the loss to the Rams for the Seahawks happened last week, while the Packers California defeat was three weeks ago. The Packers lost to the New England Patriots following their setback to the Rams two weeks ago and picked up their home win over the Dolphins last Sunday.

What does that mean?

It means the Seahawks prepared for this game off a loss and the Packers off a win.

That matters.

Teams coming off a loss, when preparing for an opponent with comparable talent, are in a better motivational spot when their opposition is coming off a win.

It seems tonight we have a bunch of little edges that all point to the home standing Seahawks. And a lot of little edges equals one big win.

Qoxhi Picks: Seattle Seahawks (-3) over Green Bay Packers