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Packers vs. Seahawks: Performances to watch

Seattle suddenly became a sack machine in first playoff game

DE Jadeveon Clowney
DE Jadeveon Clowney

GREEN BAY – The Packers and Seahawks meet in the postseason for the fourth time, with a berth in the NFC Championship Game on the line.

Here are five things to watch:

1. Changing a trend: The Seahawks' defense recorded just 28 sacks in 16 regular-season games, less than two per contest. But then the unit, led by Jadeveon Clowney, went out and sacked Philadelphia's QBs seven times last Sunday. RT Bryan Bulaga could get the lion's share of work against Clowney, and slowing him down will be key to making last week's Seattle pass rush an anomaly.

2. Rookie sensations: Each team has a rookie making a huge contribution. Seattle's is more high-profile in WR DK Metcalf, who had 160 receiving yards in the Seahawks' wild-card win last week at Philadelphia. Green Bay's is in the trenches, LG Elgton Jenkins, who has been impressive as a run-blocker and rock solid in pass protection.

3. Momentum shifts: There are guaranteed to be some, and the three previous playoff meetings between these teams have been full of them. How quickly one team can snatch momentum back from the other at certain points in the game will play a big role.

4. Rising to the occasion: The last time the Packers hosted the NFC Divisional round, five years ago vs. Dallas, it was two rookie pass-catchers who became the stars – WR Davante Adams and TE Richard Rodgers. Will one of Green Bay's current young perimeter players making his playoff debut – WRs Allen Lazard, Marquez Valdes-Scantling and Jake Kumerow, or TEs Robert Tonyan and Jace Sternberger – step forward this time?

5. Scene of the crime: The Packers have not scored a defensive touchdown all season. On the same field 16 years after Al Harris' famous overtime pick-six vs. Seattle, it may be time to break the drought.