PackerReport.com staff predictions

Pundit panel unanimously picking Packers to advance to NFC Championship Game

Bob Fox, Correspondent
Packers 2007 season prediction record: 13-3
Pre-season prediction on Green Bay's 2007 record: 10-6
Saturday's game: Packers 27, Seahawks 17
Comment: There are certainly a lot of connections and history involved in this matchup. The Packers will be hosting their first home divisional playoff game in 10 years. Mike Holmgren was the head coach of the Packers then as the Packers were poised to make their second straight Super Bowl appearance. Plus, we also had the exciting playoff game between these two teams at Lambeau Field a few years back that went to overtime with former Packer Matt Hasselbeck's famous prediction, "We want the ball. We're going to score!" In this game, the Packers need to keep doing what they been doing with a mixture of run and pass, plus make sure Brett Favre has ample protection vs. the Seahawks very quick front 7. The Packer defense needs to keep the Hawks running game dormant and pressure Hasselbeck into mistakes. Special teams have to play well again, as big plays in this area can be vital to success in a playoff game.

W. Keith Roerdink, Correspondent
Packers 2007 season prediction record: 12-4
Pre-season prediction on Green Bay's 2007 record: 9-7
Saturday's game: Green Bay 28, Seattle 24
Comment: Forget the whole 'Holmgren Returns,' 'We want the ball and we're going to score,' and Al Harris INT storylines. This game is all about the big beefeaters on the Packers offensive line being able to handle the speed of Seahawks DE Patrick Kerney and his mates on the defensive front seven. This will be the fastest, most athletic unit they've faced. If they can give Brett Favre time, he can beat them with Donald Driver, Greg Jennings and tight end Donald Lee slipping behind the linebackers. But it will be close and hard fought and turnovers by either team will prove costly.

Harry Sydney, Correspondent
Packers 2007 season prediction record: 12-4
Pre-season prediction on Green Bay's 2007 record: 7-9
Saturday's game: Packers 24, Seahawks 21
Comment: This has been the closest game for me to call all year long because in so many ways they are the same team. Just like when I was leaning towards the Seahawks because of Holmgren's experience over McCarthy, I went back to both team's athletic ability, which gave the Packers the edge. Because ultimately it always comes down to the players!!!!

Tyler Dunne, Correspondent/Rookie pundit
Packers 2007 season prediction record: 11-5
Pre-season prediction on Green Bay's 2007 record: 9-7
Saturday's game: Packers 24, Seahawks 16
Comment: Brett Favre is facing his former coach. Matt Hasselbeck is facing his former team. Mike Holmgren is facing his former franchise. Lost in the shuffle is another reunion: Green Bay return man Koren Robinson is playing against the team that drafted and eventually gave up on him. Seattle picked Robinson ninth overall in the 2001 NFL Draft, but the N.C. State-alum let the team down on and off the field. As a Packer, Robinson is resurrected and he could be the ace up the Packers' sleeve on Saturday. K-Rob has come awfully close to breaking kickoff return touchdowns this season (his long is 67), and gradually he has become a larger part of the passing game. With Seattle's solid CB tandem of Marcus Trufant and Kelly Jennings locked on Donald Driver and Greg Jennings, Robinson may be asked to shoulder a significant receiving role. But as enticing as 4- and 5-WR sets sound, Mike McCarthy must establish Ryan Grant first. The worst possible scenario is for Favre to throw an over-excited, early interception and give Seattle hope. Pound Grant early and crush the 'Hawks' momentum. Green Bay's decisive edge in overall talent will prevail from there. And you can bet the Lambeau-ites will psyched … they haven't seen this big of a game since the '97 divisional playoffs.

Jay Royle, Publisher
Packers 2007 season prediction record: 11-5
Pre-season prediction on Green Bay's 2007 record: 9-7
Saturday's game: Packers 31, Seahawks 21
Comment: Packers pull away in the fourth quarter and win by 10.

Tom Andrews, Correspondent
Packers 2007 season prediction record: 11-5
Pre-season prediction on Green Bay's 2007 record: 8-8
Saturday's game: Packers 24, Seahawks 20
Comment: You can bet that Mike Holmgren is anxious for some payback for the last playoff meeting between these two teams at Lambeau Field and I believe Holmgren will have his Seahawks ready to play even better than they actually are, 7 wins in their last 9 games, notwithstanding. It's an old cliche, but I think this game will truly boil down to how well the Packers offensive line fares against Patrick Kerney, Seattle's defensive front and linebackers Lofa Tatupu and Julian Peterson. Green Bay needs to win the battle in the trenches and slow down Seattle's pass rush. Weather permitting, both teams will be able to showcase excellent passing attacks and the Seahawks get Deion Branch back in their lineup to go with Bobby Engram, D.J. Hackett and Nate Burleson. Still, I look for Green Bay to continue its balanced offensive attack, with Brett Favre, his receivers and Ryan Grant all having big days, and for their defense to disrupt things just enough to ruin Matt Hasselbeck's day - again.

Doug Ritchay, Correspondent
Packers 2007 season prediction record: 11-5
Pre-season prediction on Green Bay's 2007 record: 7-9
Saturday's game: Packers 27, Seahawks 21
Comment: Of the four playoff games this weekend, the visitor in this one has the best chance to win. Seattle knows the Packers and has been in Lambeau before in the playoffs. Still, that doesn't mean the Seahawks win. This game comes down to the quarterbacks. Whoever plays better, his team wins. Favre vs. Hasselbeck? This season, each threw 28 TDs and Favre threw 15 INTs to Hasselbeck's 12. Like the stats suggest, this will be close, but Favre has better weapons, which allows him to make one more play, sending the Packers to the NFL title game at home against the New York Giants. Yes, you did read that correctly.

Todd Korth, Managing Editor
Packers 2007 season prediction record: 10-6
Pre-season prediction on Green Bay's 2007 record will be 8-8
Saturday's game: Packers 27, Seahawks 17
Comment: With home-field advantage, a bye-week in their rearview mirror, and a pep rally that is expected to attract more than 15,000 fans to Lambeau Field on Friday night, the Packers will enter this game pumped up and ready to go.

Steve Lawrence, Correspondent
Packers 2007 season prediction record: 10-6
Pre-season prediction on Green Bay's 2007 record: 8-8
Saturday's game: Packers 27, Seahawks 17
Comment: Pro Bowl Seahawks cornerback Marcus Trufant can't cover everybody, and the Packers quick passing game will neutralize Seattle's powerful pass rush. On the other side of the ball, the Packers will be fine as long as they don't allow Shaun Alexander to turn into his 2005 MVP form.

Matt Tevsh, Correspondent
Packers 2007 season prediction record: 10-6
Pre-season prediction on Green Bay's 2007 record: 7-9
Saturday's game: Packers 24, Seahawks 13
Comment: The Seahawks seem to be the trendy pick for a road upset in this week's divisional round, but I don't see it happening. The Packers will be ready, and I think Mike McCarthy has improved enough not to get out-coached by Mike Holmgren, who otherwise would represent a big advantage in a game like this. Forget about the lack of playoff experience for the Packers and bring on the NFC Championship.


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