The Green Bay Packers (1-1) head to CenturyLink Field to take on the Seattle Seahawks (1-1) to conclude the third week of the NFL season.
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The Packers face their first road contest against the surprisingly stout Seahawks defense, where a win will bring the team into a three-way tie atop the NFC North with Chicago and Minnesota.
QB Aaron Rodgers is putting up 261 yards per game, which is an uncharacteristic 16th in the league, and his passer rating of 89.9 through two games is down significantly from last season’s 122.5 average. The probable return of WR Greg Jennings should help boost the pass game, which will be important to offset the lack of a Packers’ ground attack, which is averaging a 29th ranked 75.5 yards per game and is coming up against a defense that has allowed a league best of only 46 yards per game.
The Packers have been a terror on defense in their first two games with 11 sacks, which led the league through two games, and their pass defense is ranked first, allowing only 133 yards passing per game. One of the key matchups will be Green Bay LB Clay Matthews, who leads the league with six sacks, going against Seattle’s LT Russell Okung, who is coming off an injury and will have to protect the blind side of his rookie QB.
Seattle is coming in to the game after upsetting the Dallas Cowboys and will need a win to stay one game behind the NFC West-leading Arizona Cardinals. Rookie QB Russell Wilson is middle of the pack with a passer rating of 81.1 and a 61.1% completion rate. He has shown an ability to keep plays alive with his legs, with 12 rushes for 48 yards, four of which have been for first downs.
The key to the Seahawks offense will be the run game behind RB Marshawn Lynch, who is third in the league with 103.5 yards rushing per game. The strong rushing attack could force the aggressive Green Bay pass rush into a more conservative stance which will take some of the pressure off the rookie thrower. On defense, the Seahawks are currently 12th against the pass, allowing 229 yards per game and first against the run, giving up only 46 yards per game so far.
One of the keys against the typically high-flying Green Bay offense will be corners Brandon Browner and Richard Sherman. This tandem brings some size to the Seattle secondary and the big men will look to bump receivers off routes, impacting the timing of the throws.
FOX Business has evaluated the win/loss and stock market statistics over the past 20 seasons of Monday night NFL games to come up with a Monday Night Markets (MNM) score for each team based on their record and the prior week’s market activity. Let’s take a look at what the markets have to say.
The Dow Industrials ended last week down 0.1% and the S&P 500 was down as well, closing out the week with a 0.4% loss, the first loss for both indexes in three weeks. While there was some optimism from a larger-than-expected jump in August home re-sales, weak data on US jobless claims and Chinese manufacturing, as well as a disappointing outlook from bellwether FedEx, brought the markets lower.
Over the past 20 years, the Packers have played 40 Monday night games and based on our calculations have a Monday night rank of .526 when the Dow closes the prior week down and .556 when the S&P 500 is down, giving them a MNM rank for this week of .541.
During the same 20-year period, the Seahawks have played 10 Monday night games and have a rank of .800 when the Dow is down and .800 when the S&P 500 is down, giving them an MNM rank this week of .800.
Monday Night Markets picks the Seattle Seahawks at home over the Green Bay Packers.
Week 3 FBN Staff Picks:
Broncos @ Falcons
Sandra Smith (1-2)
Connell McShane (2-1)
Robert Gray (3-0)
Seattle boasts arguably the best home-field advantage in the NFL and they always play much better in front of the faithful. But the vaunted 12th Man crowd and a rejuvenated Seahawks defense will not rattle Aaron Rodgers and the Packers, who are accustomed to excelling in hostile environments on a national stage.
The Monday Night Markets (MNM) rank is derived by taking the number of games won during each market condition of up or down during a twenty year period, over the total number of games played. Each result for the Dow and S&P are averaged to determine a final rank between 0 and 1.