Seattle Seahawks: 10 Stats That Will Allow Them To Host The NFC Championship
Yes, it is possible.
It is possible that a team with a 7-9 record can host the NFC Championship.
Two things have to happen.
Seattle must win in Chicago and Green Bay must win in Atlanta. And I think both will happen this weekend.
Both matchups are replays of earlier meetings where the Seahawks won 23-20 in Week 6 in Chicago and Atlanta beat Green Bay in the dome 20-17 in Week 12.
10. Aaron Rodgers Is Streaking
When the Packers lost in Atlanta earlier this season, Aaron Rodgers was not the reason.
Since coming off the bye in Week 10, Rodgers has a passer rating of 114 or better in five of the past six games he's started including in Atlanta, but excluding the game against Detroit where he was forced out in the second quarter because of a concussion.
In three games indoors against Minnesota, Detroit and Atlanta, Rodgers has posted the following numbers: 55-77 for 691 yards, five touchdowns and just one interception for a combined passer rating of 115.2.
9. Jay Cutler Is Not
Through Week 13, Jay Cutler had thrown just 10 interceptions to his 17 touchdowns. In the final four regular-season games, Cutler threw six interceptions equal to only six touchdowns.
8. Atlanta's Spinning Its Tires On The Ground
Atlanta only rushed for over 100 yards collectively once in their final five games.
The teams that stymied the Falcons? Tampa Bay, Seattle, New Orleans and Carolina, all of whom are in the bottom half of the league in rushing yards allowed.
Okay, New Orleans is ranked 16th, but close enough.
For those interested, Green Bay is ranked 18th but allowed just six rushing touchdowns on the year,five to running backs.
7. Matt Hasselbeck Owns The Bears
Matt Hasselbeck has played against eight different non-NFC West opponents five times or more in his career. Of those eight teams, Hasselbeck has thrown for more yards against the Bears than any other but one.
The only team he's had more success through the air against are the Dallas Cowboys.
He has also beaten the Bears three times in five tries. The only teams he has more victories against are the Detroit Lions and San Diego Chargers.
6. It's Alive! It's Alive!!!
The Packers run game has come alive, as they've rushed for over 100 yards in four of their past six games—a feat they only accomplished three times in their first 11 games.
5. No Offense But The Bears Ain't The Saints
Despite the Bears having four more victories than Seattle in the regular season, the Seahawks actually amassed more total yards.
And that's including the two games and another three quarters Hasselbeck missed due to injury.
4. Battled Tested
Atlanta only played one team with a winning record in their final four games. That one team was New Orleans, and they lost. They also benefited by being part of the NFC South and got to play the NFC West and the AFC North who saw six of the eight teams in those two divisions finish with a losing record.
Green Bay and the NFC North drew the AFC East and the NFC East which had just four of its eight teams fail to reach .500 or better.
Green Bay's last four games including last Sunday against Philadelphia were all against opponents with at least 10 wins during the season. They went 3-1 in that stretch and their only loss was a four-point defeat at Foxborough against the Patriots.
Also, the overall winning percentage of Atlanta's combined opponents was .480. The Packers' opponents, .520.
3. Don't Kick To Hester
Yes, especially when he'll be kicking to Devin Hester. Or he'll be smart and not kick to Devin Hester.
Jon Ryan is having his best year statistically when it comes to percentage of punts downed inside the 20 yard line. And over the past two games, seven of his 11 punts have been downed inside the 20.
Seattle was one of 12 teams that had a punt returned for a touchdown on them... and it was Devin Hester.
BUT, if you take away that one punt return, the average return against Ryan and the Seahawks was just seven yards, good for fifth-best among teams that did not have a punt returned for a score against them.
2. No Falcons In Flight
The Green Bay defense allows a league low passer rating of 67.2 to opposing quarterbacks.
That's almost six points less than the second-place Pittsburgh Steelers, who hold quarterbacks to a 73.1 rating.
The gap between Green Bay and Pittsburgh is also the biggest gap between any two teams in that statistic.
Spread It Around
Six of the last seven games for the Seahawks have seen a different receiver or tight end be the leader in receiving yardage.
All are healthy, and with Chicago's stifling run defense, Matt Hasselbeck will need to carry over his clutch play from last week and bring the Seahawks back to Seattle to host the NFC Championship against the Green Bay Packers.
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