Seahawks' Marshawn Lynch, Russell Wilson can bring back playoff nightmares for Packers in divisional matchup

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The Seahawks didn't need too much from running back Marshawn Lynch and quarterback Russell Wilson to easily beat the injury-depleted Eagles 17-9 in Sunday's NFC wild-card playoff game in Philadelphia. They can expect to get a lot more from them in next Sunday's divisional playoff game in Green Bay (6:40 p.m. ET, Fox).

The Packers, instead of seeing the No. 3-seeded Saints in Lambeau Field, draw a worse matchup against No. 5-seeded Seahawks. Not only does the combination of Lynch and Wilson bring up awful memories of Green Bay's epic collapse in the NFC championship game in Seattle five years ago, but they also can present nightmare matchup problems now.

Lynch scored a touchdown against the Eagles in his second game back from retirement to help a Seahawks rushing attack that is without its top two backs, Chris Carson and Rashaad Penny, for the playoffs. Years ago, in that January 2015 game against the Packers, he rumbled for 157 yards and TD to help the Seahawks erase a 16-0 halftime deficit to win 28-22 in overtime. Wilson overcame four interceptions to also deliver a critical rushing score and the game-winning TD pass.

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The past is one thing, but the present is another. Lynch had only 6 carries for 7 yards against the Eagles, who boasted the NFL's mighty No. 3 run defense. The Packers' biggest weakness during their 13-3 breakout season with first-year coach Matt LaFleur has been against the run. Green Bay enters the playoffs with the No. 23 run defense, which allowed on average 120.1 yards per game and a healthy 4.7 yards per carry. Knowing this, opponents averaged 26 rushing attempts against them in the regular season.

The Packers' struggles start with their three-man front and seep into their linebacker corps, which is much better in coverage and at rushing the passer. The Seahawks are a relentless running team; they had the No. 4 rushing offense in the NFL, at 137.5 yards per game and 4.6 yards per carry. They averaged 30 rushing attempts per game.

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Lynch and rookie Travis Homer were a lot more effective running the ball against the 49ers' No. 17 run defense in the regular-season finale. The Seahawks will keep pounding away on the Packers to wear them down and as their consistent, necessary way to facilitate the downfield passing game for Wilson.

Worrying about Lynch going "Beast Mode" with power between the tackles and also being concerned about Wilson scrambling is a tough assignment for the Packers' front seven. They haven't been exposed much to running QBs this season, but they did have trouble at times against with both Dak Prescott and Mitchell Trubisky.

That's before getting into the problem Green Bay has against Wilson's two main wide receivers, veteran Tyler Lockett, who more often than not lines up in the slot, and speedy outside rookie D.K. Metcalf, whom the Eagles found to be too big and too fast to cover to the tune of 7 catches, 160 yards and a TD on 9 targets. Lockett chipped in with 4 catches for 52 yards on his 8 targets, leading to Wilson's super-efficient day (18-of-30, 325 yards, TD, 108.3 rating, 10.8 yards per attempt) against the Eagles' weak secondary.

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The Packers were better in cornerback coverage earlier in the season but have suddenly struggled against better slot receivers and big, fast outside wideouts. So, yeah, that's not good, either, vs. the 1-2 punch of Lockett and Metcalf.

Lynch and Wilson formed the dynamic duo then, and they're getting warmed up again now. The Packers have a special running back-quarterback pair themselves in Aaron Jones and Aaron Rodgers, with Davante Adams presenting a big coverage challenge for the Seahawks.

But the Packers' offense can't afford any of its slow starts, any of Jones' disappearing acts or any dysfunction with Rodgers and his receivers. They will need to be on point offensively to survive and advance to another championship game, facing one of the most dangerous wild cards ever.

The Seahawks' offense is positioned to light it up in the frozen tundra, as both Lynch and Wilson can do plenty in tandem to frighten a familiar foe.

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