The Green Bay Packers will host the Seattle Seahawks in a pivotal matchup in the NFC divisional round. Among all of the players involved in the offense, Allen Lazard is the biggest X-Factor for the Packers against the Seahawks.
The Packers came into the 2019 season with the belief that Marquez Valdes-Scantling and Geronimo Allison were going to have prominent roles in the offense. Contrary to their belief, both Valdes-Scantling and Allison proved to be too inconsistent in Green Bay’s offense.
Therefore, Matt LaFleur began incorporating other wide receivers in the offense and may have found a diamond in the rough. In a Week 6 contest versus the Detroit Lions, the Packers needed some offensive help as the game was nearing an end.
With Davante Adams out with an injury, Green Bay decided to deploy Lazard late in the fourth quarter. The undrafted wide receiver out of Iowa State finished the game with four receptions for 65 yards and the game-winning touchdown for the Packers.
After the game, it was discovered that Aaron Rodgers lobbied for Lazard to receive some playing time. The veteran quarterback knew the offense needed a spark, and Lazard was able to provide that for them.
Fast forward to the end of the season, and Lazard was called upon once again in a close game against the Lions. For the second time, the second-year wideout delivered with a clutch touchdown. Only this time, his game-tying touchdown in Week 17 led Green Bay to have the No. 2 seed in the NFC.
Altogether, Lazard finished the season with 35 receptions, 477 yards, and three scores. The Packers didn’t envision him having such a productive season before the year began.
Without a doubt, Lazard has emerged as the team’s second-best option at wide receiver. Of course, Adams remains Rodgers’ favorite target when the Packers put the ball in the air.
But on Sunday against the Seahawks, Lazard could have his number called upon once again. The Seahawks are unmistakenly going to hone in on making sure Adams is contained in the aerial attack.
Whether they double him or throw exotic coverages at him, the Seahawks don’t want Adams to beat them single-handedly. Provided that, Lazard should be given plenty of opportunities to succeed on Sunday.
In the regular season, Seattle had the 27th ranked pass defense in the NFL. Throughout the season, they proved that they could be had through the air.
This past Sunday, the Seahawks ended up having to face a 40-year-old Josh McCown. This was due to Carson Wentz leaving with a head injury early in the game. After defeating the Philadelphia Eagles, Seattle will have to square off against Rodgers in the divisional round.
The Seahawks are likely going to have a gameplan in place to slow down Adams. With that being said, Lazard could be the deciding factor on whether or not the Packers advance in the postseason.