Good morning, 12s.
Here's a look at what's "out there" for today - Blue Friday, Jan. 16 - about your Seahawks two days before they host the Green Bay Packers in the NFC Championship game at 12:05 p.m. PT on Sunday, Jan. 18 from Seattle's CenturyLink Field.
The Picks Are In
Elliot Harrison at NFL.com serves up his game picks for Sunday, seeing a 24-17 Seahawks win, "... will Russell Wilson make enough plays to win? Yep. Tony Romo was masterful against the Packers at Lambeau last weekend, and it's not as if they had to worry about him running like Wilson. Green Bay did have to worry about DeMarco Murray on the ground -- and other than a huge fumble, the Cowboys back produced. Marshawn Lynch, who isn't a fumbler, should follow suit against that Green Bay front seven. I don't care if all he says to reporters after the game is 'Dr. Leonard McCoy' -- Lynch will be a bowling ball of desire, one that I'm not sure the Packers can stop 25 times."
Don Banks at SI.com picks the Seahawks over the Packers by a touchdown, 27-20, "Seattle looks poised to become the first repeat NFC champion since the 1996-'97 Packers managed that trick, but rematches can sometimes be tricky in the postseason, and Green Bay should pose the toughest challenge the Seahawks have faced in weeks."
All but one of ESPN.com's NFL Nation NFC bloggers pick the Seahawks to win on Sunday. Terry Blount, who covers the Seahawks, and Rob Demovsky, who covers the Packers, are each on Seattle's side this week.
Blount, who sees a 20-17 Seahawks win, writes, "The Packers were 4-4 on the road. The Seahawks are 8-1 at home this season (including the 36-16 win over Green Bay in Week 1) and are 25-2 over the past three seasons in the loudest stadium in the league. This also is a matchup of the top-scoring offense this season against the top defense in points allowed. Do you know what went down the last time that happened in the playoffs? A Super Bowl blowout by the Seahawks in the 43-8 win over the Broncos. This game will be close, but the Seahawks are headed to Phoenix and the Packers are headed home."
Demovsky, who likes Seattle 23-20, says, "Maybe you thought when the Packers put up just 16 points against the Seahawks in their Week 1 loss at CenturyLink Field that it was just a bad day for Aaron Rodgers and the offense. Perhaps it was. But the Seahawks did that for most of the year. In fact for the season, they allowed an average of just 15.9 points per game, best in the league. They gave up a half-point fewer per game at home, too. The Packers are better now than they were then thanks to an offensive line that remained intact all season, a strong running game with 1,100-yard rusher Eddie Lacy, and an offense that, at times, has shown it's more than just Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb. The problem is, sometimes Rodgers doesn't have much more than that pair, and that's when the Packers have problems."
David Steele at The Sporting News takes Seattle over Green Bay, 29-24, "The Packers' defense doesn't present nearly the same challenge to the Seahawks' offense. Russell Wilson and Co. always figure out how to get what they need. "
John Breech at CBSSports.com likes the Seahawks, 30-20, over the Packers, "Since 2012, the Seahawks are 0-6 in the regular season or playoffs when an opponent scores 28 or more points. The problem is that I don't think an injured Rodgers can lead the Packers to 28 or more points."
Pete Prisco at CBSSports.com goes against the grain and likes Green Bay to win on the road, 23-20, "I picked the Packers to get to the Super Bowl before the season, and I am sticking with it. Aaron Rodgers was sensational last week against Dallas, and I expect the same here. The Seattle defense is special, and presents a heck of a challenge. But I think Rodgers will be much more aggressive in this one than he was in the first meeting, which Seattle won easily. If the Packers go in there and try to line up and run it, they will be in trouble. They have to throw to score, and run to win."
Twelve of 13 NFL experts at ESPN.com are picking the Seahawks to advance.
And five of eight NFL experts at CBSSports.com are taking the Seahawks straight up.
Alice In Chains To Perform At Halftime
On Friday morning, the Seahawks announced Seattle's own multi-platinum rock band Alice in Chains will perform at halftime of Sunday's NFC Championship.
Seahawks.com's Clare Farnsworth caught up with the band's lead guitarist Jerry Cantrell to preview Sunday's showing.
Mind-Blowing Stats For Championship Weekend
NFL.com shares several mind-blowing stats surrounding the Seahawks ahead of Sunday's conference title game against the Packers. You can find them all right here, but a couple are laid out for you below.
"Against QBs who have won at least one Super Bowl, Russell Wilson is 9-0 in the regular season and playoffs. Wilson is 2-0 vs Eli Manning; 2-0 vs Drew Brees; 2-0 vs Peyton Manning; 2-0 vs Aaron Rodgers; and 1-0 vs Tom Brady. In those 9 games, Wilson has thrown 15 TD, 4 INT, and has a passer rating of 104.7."
"There have been 6 instances of teams meeting in Week 1 and then again in the conference championship game. Each time, the team that won in Week 1 also won the conference championship. The most recent such team was Kurt Warner's 2001 Rams, who beat the Eagles in both games."
From The Head Coach
Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll joined KIRO Radio's Dori Monson this morning to discuss the team's upcoming game against the Packers. The audio, with Carroll talking about playing at CenturyLink Field for the final time this season and shedding light on how Aaron Rodgers' calf injury will affect Seattle's defensive game plan, is embedded for you above.
The Local News
Here at Seahawks.com, Clare Farnsworth leads his recap of Thursday's events in Hawkville by putting the focus on the work of general manager John Schneider and explains how visualization has been a part of Russell Wilson's preparation.
I share eight takeaways from Carroll's Thursday meeting with the media, recap nine things we learned from Kam Chancellor, Earl Thomas, and Bobby Wagner's Thursday press conferences, and catch up with Seahawks defensive end Demarcus Dobbs, who come Sunday will have a fourth-straight NFC Championship appearance under his belt.
Here's a look at the fan activities surrounding Sunday's game against the Packers.
Larry Stone at the Seattle Times says Russell Wilson is on pace to join Ken Griffey Jr. at the head table of Seattle sports icons.
John Boyle at the Everett Herald explains what Chancellor means to the Seahawks defense.
Gregg Bell at the Tacoma News Tribune rehashes how Chancellor and Thomas bonded over a cartoon as roommates their rookie season.
Danny O'Neil at 710Sports.com pegs Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers as his person of interest ahead of Sunday's game.
MyNorthwest.com catches up with kicker Steven Hauschka, who notes properly trimmed toenails are one of his keys to success.
And Seattle's Woodland Park Zoo has some of the region's wildest Seahawks fans.
The National Buzz
Jim Corbett at USA Today features the play of Doug Baldwin and Jermaine Kearse, a pair of undrafted wideouts who have made the most of their opportunities with the Seahawks.
Greg Bishop at SI.com profiles Seahawks free safety Earl Thomas.
From The Players Tribune, former NFL linebacker Shawne Merriman takes a look at the four defenses remaining in the NFL playoffs, outlining what each must do to carry their team to the Super Bowl.
Also from The Players Tribune, former NFL quarterback and current Seahawks radio commentator Warren Moon breaks down the four quarterbacks left in this year's postseason, identifying factors each will face that could determine the outcome of Sunday's games.
Bill Barnwell at Grantland.com has an in-depth preview of Sunday's NFC Championship.
Terry Blount at ESPN.com details the emphasis quarterback Russell Wilson has placed on getting the ball out quicker.
Jeffri Chadiha at ESPN.com says the Seahawks could be the NFL's last great defense.
Drew Olson at ESPNWisconsin.com writes about the sports ties Seattle shares with Wisconsin.
And Coy Wire at FOXSports.com outlines five things the Seahawks must do to beat the Packers.
Tweet of the Day
Today's "Tweet of the Day" comes from ESPN Stats & Information, who notes how dominant the Seahawks defense has been at home this season.
Song of the Day
And in the spirit Blue Friday, we leave you with a "Song of the Day" courtesy of Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll, who passes along a music video to a playoff-inspired ditty titled "Hawktown Funk."
D*id I miss anything you think is worthy of inclusion? Let me know on Twitter *