SEATTLE SEAHAWKS UPDATE 

lWILSON EAGER TO PLAY IN SNOW; COULD GET 6-8 INCHES

In anticipation of tomorrow afternoon's clash with the Green Bay Packers in Wisconsin, Russell Wilson, who played one season at the University of Wisconsin, pleaded for snow.

"I can't wait," Wilson said, via the Seattle Times. "It's going to be awesome. Obviously I get to go back to Wisconsin. We know it's going to be a tough environment. We're really looking forward to it. We're having a bullish approach to the whole thing, you really have to be tough minded. We want a tough environment, we look forward to those types of situations and I'm hoping it's coming down, I'm hoping it's snowing.

"I'm hoping it's kind of a downpour of snow. That would be great."

Sounds like Wilson will get his wish.

According to Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel staffer Bob McGinn, heavy snow -- as in six to eight inches falling between Saturday night and Sunday night will fall. It could be the Packers' snowiest game since 1985.

The last cold-weather game Wilson played in was January's minus-six degree playoff win outside in Minnesota when the offense couldn't move the ball.

Sunday's cold won't be so bitter.

"It was crazy cold," Wilson said of the fortunate win over the Vikings. "This week I don't think it will be that bad, but it will probably be coming down, knowing the state of Wisconsin, it will probably be snowing pretty good. Nothing really changes, you just have to protect the ball in terms of running it. Same thing with throwing it, too. At the same time, you still have to have that aggressive mentality and make the plays. It's always harder in my opinion for the defense actually, because we know where we're going and they don't. So in terms of our runs, in terms of our passes, you want to take advantage of that."

As NFL.com notes, the Packers' pass defense has stiffened the past two weeks, but whether that was an illusion based on opponents remains to be seen.

Wilson leads the most dynamic passing offense of his career and has averaged 282.4 pass yards per game with a 12-2 TD-to-INT ratio in the Seahawks' eight wins.

If snow is coming down Sunday, his elusiveness and ability to drive the ball down the field in the elements could be the difference in the Seahawks closing in on a playoff bye.

Meanwhile, Green Bay's injury woes at linebacker, which became more magnified with the news that sacks leader Nick Perry (hand) won't play Sunday, don't help matters as the defense gets set to play another talented tight end.

Even at full strength, the Packers have long struggled against big-play pass catchers at the position.

As the Sports Xchange reminded readers, the 6-7 Jimmy Graham created matchup headaches for longtime Green Bay defensive coordinator Dom Capers when the All-Pro played for the New Orleans Saints.

Now that he's settled into Seattle's offense in his second season, the Packers will be hard-pressed to hold Graham to the one reception he had for 11 yards when the teams met in Week 2 last year.

In addition, Thomas Rawls suddenly looks like the guy who led the NFL in average yards per catch (5.65) in 2015. The return of a healthy Wilson has really helped the run game. In the past three weeks, the Seahawks have posted 519 rushing yards (second), 6.41 yards per carry (first) and 5.09 yards before contact (first).

That could be a factor tomorrow.


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