A Dozen Reasons the Packers Are Better Prepared to Win in Seattle Than Week 1

Thanks to lessons learned, player development and several schematic changes, the Packers are better equipped to knock off the Seahawks than they were during the season opener.

Green Bay Packers Mike Neal and Clay Matthews—Kim Klement, USA TODAY Sports.

Green Bay Packers Mike Neal and Clay Matthews—Kim Klement, USA TODAY Sports.

Much has changed in Titletown since the Green Bay Packers found themselves on the losing end of the season opener in Seattle back on Sept. 4.

When the Packers travel to the Emerald City on Sunday for a rematch in the NFC Championship game, they'll be better prepared to take down the defending Super Bowl champs.

Here's a dozen reasons why:

 

1. Clay Matthews at Inside Linebacker

It's no secret the success the Packers have had on defense since the post-bye role expansion of Matthews to include inside linebacker, particularly their run defense.

At the season's midpoint, it ranked dead last in the NFL—32nd—allowing more than 150 yards per game on the ground. But by the end of the regular season, the run defense climed up to 23rd in the NFL, giving up 119.9 yards per game.

Matthews and the rest of the Packers run defense will have to be at its best as they face the league's No. 1 rushing offense with the Seahawks rumbling for an average of more than 170 yards per game.

It's very possible Matthews will also be used as a spy on Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson, the NFL's 16th leading rusher, gaining 849 yards on the year.

 

2. Sam Barrington's Role Expands While A.J. Hawk's and Brad Jones' Contracts

The starters at inside linebacker Week 1 for the Packers were Hawk and Jones, both of whom have received demotions since that time.

Although they still play small roles on the Packers defense, Hawk has been relegated primarily to the base 3-4 defense while Jones plays almost exclusively in the team's dime look.

Back during Week 1, Hawk and Jones received the lowest grades on the Packers defense from ProFootballFocus.com, both players guilty of poor run fits, missed tackles and inadequate pass coverage. Jones, in particular, was also flagged for two penalties.

Barrington, meanwhile, has stepped up as the Packers' inside linebacker in the Packers' nickel defensive package, playing an average of 46 snaps per game from Week 13 onward.

Even though Barrington has been prone to miscues too, they've been far less glaring than Hawk and Jones. And the physical presence Barrington brings to the Packers defense has made a noticeable impact.

 

3. Julius Peppers Kept Fresh

In Weeks 1 through 15, Peppers played no fewer than 50 snaps per game on both defense and special teams.

The cumulative effect of such high snap counts appeared to have taken a toll as Peppers failed to record a single sack during a five-game stretch ending Week 15.

In the Packers' last three games, including playoffs, Peppers has played 32, 35 and 37 snaps, keeping him fresher and more effective. In those three games Peppers has eight tackles, three sacks, three forced fumbles and two deflected passes.

The Packers have found a formula that works for the 34-year-old Peppers, one that figures to continue on Sunday as the hybrid linebacker/defensive end looks for the first Super Bowl championship of his 13-year career.

 

4. Ha Ha Clinton-Dix Goes Full-Time at Safety, Micah Hyde at Slot

Although the first round draft pick of the Packers has played in every game this season, Clinton-Dix didn't make his first start until Week 7 when he became a full-time player on defense.

Clinton-Dix took over for Hyde at the free safety position, which has benefitted both players. Clinton-Dix has been the better safety while Hyde has settled into his comfort zone as a slot cornerback.

Following the bye week, Hyde took over the nickel cornerback responsbilities, pushing Casey Hayward into dime duty.

Since the bye week, Hyde has grabbed both of his interceptions, broke up six of his seven passes and wrapped up his only sack.

 

5. More Man-to-Man Coverage by the Cornerbacks

Yet another bye-week adjustment, the Packers have started to committ safety Morgan Burnett to the box more frequently, aiding in stopping the run.

At the same time, they've also increased their rate of blitzes under defensive coordinator Dom Capers as outlined by Bob McGinn of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:

His five-man pressure numbers on pass plays went from 36.2% in Games 1-8 to 39.3% in Games 9-16, and his all-out pressure (more than five rushers) rate almost doubled from 5.7% to 9.2%.

More responsibility has fallen on the shoulders of the Packers cornerbacks to play more man-to-man coverage with Clinton-Dix acting as the deep safety, providing Cover 1 responsbilities over the top.

As a result, the Packers have given up fewer explosive, big plays in the passing game and have only allowed three wide receivers to gain over 100 yards this season.

 

6. The 4-3 "Quad" Is Kaput

The Packers tried to catch the Seahawks by surprise in Week 1, debuting a 4-3 defense they hadn't previously run under Capers and kept under wraps during the preseason. It was called the "Quad."

In theory, the plan wasn't a bad one. It got more speed on the field, put players like Julius Peppers and Mike Neal in more traditional defensive end roles and attempted to put Clay Matthews in a position to make plays at a weakside linebacker position.

The problems, however, were in communication, getting personnel groups on and off the field and in the right place. A.J. Hawk and Brad Jones also proved to be poor fits for traditional 4-3 linebacker roles too.

No more than a few weeks into the season, the Packers stopped using the scheme completely. There's little question they plan to use what's worked from the bye week forward.

 

7. Offensive Line Finds Continuity

Back during Week 1, Bryan Bulaga went down with a knee injury 20 snaps into the game and was replaced by Derek Sherrod in the lineup.

The Packers' new right tackle proceeded to allow a fourth-down sack, turning the ball over on downs and then gave up a strip-sack, recovering the ball in the end zone for a safety.

Green Bay had to endure one more game without Bulaga in Week 2, but he's been back in the lineup ever since as the Packers have had the same starting five on the offensive line for 15 straight games.

Continuity on the offensive line has been evident. They've allowed 30 sacks on the season, their fewest since 2007. And they've also opened up holes for Eddie Lacy, allowing him to gain 100-plus yards from scrimmage in each of the last 10 games, the longest streak in team history.

 

8. Third, Fourth, Fifth Receiving Options Emerge

The Packers aren't worried about Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb, but the concern all season has been for other options to emerge when opponents take away the Packers' top receiving threats.

Back during Week 1, not a single wide receivers outside of Nelson or Cobb caught a pass. Since that time, rookie Davante Adams has taken hold of the No. 3 wide receiver job and hasn't let go.

Adams has been up and down, going through an especially rough patch during the month of December, but he stepped up big time in the Packers divisional round playoff win over the Dallas Cowboys when quarterback Aaron Rodgers identified a mismatch and targeted him 11 times, catching seven for 117 yards and a touchdown.

The Packers have also struck a comfortable balance with Andrew Quarless and Richard Rodgers at the tight end position with both players catching touchdown passes in the win over the Cowboys.

 

9. Lesson Learned from Avoiding Richard Sherman

Not unlike the scrapping of the "Quad" on defense, the Packers learned a valuable lesson on the offensive side of the football in Week 1, knowing they can't be one dimensional and throw the football to only one side of the field.

"We're a no-huddle offense, and my thought was—and I told Jordy (Nelson) in the game plan—just line him up on the left side," explained McCarthy on Monday. "We thought Richard would come over there and guard him on the left side. That didn't happen."

Aaron Rodgers threw just one pass to the right side of the field beyond the line of scrimmage for a gain of just two yards. The Packers plan to adjust accordingly.

“It just depends on who’s open," said Rodgers. "It’s always important to throw it to the right and throw it to the left a little bit.”

 

10. Rookies Become Battle-Tested

Outside of center Corey Linsley, who did an admirable job making his first career regular-season start in Week 1, the other rookies on the Packers roster weren't ready for primetime.

As described above, Ha Ha Clinton-Dix hadn't yet become a full-time starter. Davante Adams played just nine snaps on offense in the season opener. Richard Rodgers played 20.

Each of these first-year players have gone on to play key roles for the Packers this season, and they're light years ahead of where they were back in September.

Even the role players, such as defensive lineman Mike Pennel and linebacker Jayrone Elliott, weren't trusted to even be on the 46-man active roster back during Week 1. Now they're week-in, week-out contributors.

 

11. John Kuhn's Role Redefined

The Packers fullback played just eight snaps in the season opener at Seattle, and perhaps not surprisingly, the Packers run offense stalled, gaining just 80 yards, 3.8 per carry.

As the season progressed and the weather has gotten colder, the Packers have made it a point to get Kuhn on the field more often as a lead blocker, particularly from the bye week going forward.

The coaching staff has also figured out how to keep Kuhn on the field as they operate their no-huddle offense, avoiding substitutions, something they were hesitant to do early in the year.

Consequently, the Packers run game has been effective down the stretch, and Kuhn has been recognized for his solid play, having been named to the Pro Bowl and All-Pro.

 

12. Special Teams Standouts Active

On Sept. 4 in Seattle, Brandon Bostick was injured, Chris Banjo wasn't even on the roster and the Packers didn't yet trust Jayrone Elliott to activate him on game days.

Consider that since that time, Elliott has become the team's second-leading tackler on special teams (15 stops) while Banjo was last year's second-leading tackler (10). Bostick is now healthy, and they're all big parts of the Packers' core special teams units.

In the past two weeks, the Packers have also made the league's second-worst kick returner, DuJuan Harris (20.7-yard average), a game-day inactive. Taking his place have been the much more dangerous Micah Hyde and Randall Cobb.

The return of elite blockers T.J. Lang and Josh Sitton to the placekick protection units since midseason injuries shouldn't go unnoticed either.

 

13. A Baker's Dozen: Key Backups Active

When Bryan Bulaga was forced out of action in the first regular-season game, the Packers were forced to rely upon an ineffective Sherrod.

Recognizing he never fully recovered from a brutal broken leg in 2011, the Packers parted ways with Sherrod during the bye week and activated J.C. Tretter in his place.

Tretter is inexperienced and has been less than impressive in limited action so far this season, but there's little chance he's worse than Sherrod.

The Packers have also activated Scott Tolzien in light of Rodgers' injury the past two weeks, an option not available to them in Week 1.

Matt Flynn might be the first player off the bench in the event Rodgers is injured, such as he was in the regular-season finale against the Detroit Lions. But if Flynn can't get anything going, he'll probably have a short leash.

 

Brian Carriveau is the author of the book "It's Just a Game: Big League Drama in Small Town America," and editor at Cheesehead TV and its "Pro Football Draft Preview." To contact Brian, email [email protected].

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Comments (70)

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Doug_In_Sandpoint's picture

January 15, 2015 at 12:29 pm

I can't wait for this game. Just reading this pumps me up. I am surrounded by Seahawks "fans" that have been on board for about 5 minutes. I can't wait for the coaches to get poached, Russell WIlson to get a fatty contract, free agents to start leaving and the salary cap to kick in. We'll see how long they remain elite.

Meanwhile, a Packer victory would be as sweet as they come. I've lived with the Fail Mary and the first game of the season long enough. Go Pack!

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FITZCORE1252's picture

January 15, 2015 at 03:26 pm

Are you going? I'm thinking about driving up but can't get anybody to go.

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tjm65's picture

January 15, 2015 at 03:51 pm

I live in Seattle and a bunch of us (~6) are planning on going, can't sit together most likely. Not the most friendly place to see a game as a supporter of the opposing team....

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FITZCORE1252's picture

January 15, 2015 at 07:56 pm

I've been several times (lived in Oly til this past year), never had a problem. That's my thing, I've got buddies going (hawk fans) but they have no extras, so i could go and prefunk with people i know, but sitting by myself would be pretty lame.

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Doug_In_Sandpoint's picture

January 15, 2015 at 06:40 pm

I don't think I will make the drive unless I have a good line on a ticket. I'm still angling to be front row with Corey B. #waitingfortheinvite

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FITZCORE1252's picture

January 15, 2015 at 07:52 pm

Plenty of tickets online, if you're willing to pay.

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Doug_In_Sandpoint's picture

January 15, 2015 at 08:18 pm

There's the rub. Money eludes me.

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CTPack's picture

January 15, 2015 at 12:54 pm

I don't get having both Tolzien and Flynn active for the day. There is almost zero chance either of them could lead to a victory so might as well put more tools around Rodgers to get the job done. I'd activate Janis!

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Horse's picture

January 15, 2015 at 12:59 pm

Maybe you heard that Rodgers has an injured calf? Probably not a good idea to go into a game with an injured QB and one backup QB.

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CTPack's picture

January 15, 2015 at 01:23 pm

Yes, he's injured. He also practiced yesterday - something he didn't do a week ago - and played two full games on the leg since his injury. How many games a year do two QBs get injured and a third is necessary?

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RCPackerFan's picture

January 15, 2015 at 01:09 pm

What happens if the Packers are up in the 4th Quarter, and Rodgers can't go anymore. Then Flynn gets hurt. No QB's to hold the lead.

The likelihood of that happening probably not great, but do you want to risk it?

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CTPack's picture

January 15, 2015 at 01:22 pm

Yes, lol.

What if we have Rodgers, Flynn, AND Tolzien injured? Should we bring in a 4th to be safe? My opinion is to play for the 99.99% of the time when a single QB or his back up is plenty.

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RCPackerFan's picture

January 15, 2015 at 02:05 pm

If Rodgers was completely healthy i would agree. But none of us know if he will be able to complete the game.

That being said, to be honest, how much playing time would Janis get if he were active? He wouldn't be returning kicks/punts and wouldn't be playing on offense. If he hasn't played yet he won't be playing in the most important game of the year thus far.

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DrealynWilliams's picture

January 15, 2015 at 04:55 pm

RC Packer Fan, "What happens if the Packers are up in the 4th Quarter, and Rodgers can't go anymore. Then Flynn gets hurt. No QB's to hold the lead."

The likelihood of that happening probably not great, but do you want to risk it?

CTPack says: "Yes, lol."

I just died from laughter!!!!!!

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CTPack's picture

January 15, 2015 at 01:26 pm

Also, if we're ahead in the 4th and need Tolzien he'll be handing the ball off to Lacy. Seems Cobb is good enough to do that.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

January 15, 2015 at 08:29 pm

I would have liked to have seen Janis activated too, but I think that ship has sailed. It is probably too late for Janis to play at WR w/o game day reps. Not sure what he might bring to the table as a KR, and he hasn't played STs during the season. Yeah, I think that ship sailed several games ago.

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barutanseijin's picture

January 16, 2015 at 10:35 am

If Janis can't work his way up the depth chart and crack the game day lineup, he's not going to do much against the Seattle secondary.

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PackerAaron's picture

January 15, 2015 at 10:26 pm

Oh my god. Enough with Janis. There's a reason he hasn't played. He's not ready.

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DrealynWilliams's picture

January 16, 2015 at 10:24 am

Thank you.

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RCPackerFan's picture

January 16, 2015 at 10:50 am

Exactly... We need to look at this year as a Redshirt year for Janis.

He needed a year to learn the playbook and learn how to go against top notch talent.

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Spud Rapids's picture

January 16, 2015 at 01:46 pm

Janis is just like everyone's craze about Charles Johnson last year. Sure he has the measurables but we all know that doesn't mean it'll translate on the field. In all honesty I am more excited to see what Abbredaris can do next year than Janis.

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DrealynWilliams's picture

January 16, 2015 at 05:17 pm

"In all honesty I am more excited to see what Abbredaris can do next year than Janis."

Hell yea! Just imagine (if all goes well) the offense running no huddle in the Cobra formation with Jordy and Adams out wide, Abbredaris in the slot + an inline TE.

But let's not think too hard on that. Let's enjoy this season. A trip to the SB is on the line this weekend!

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Nick Perry's picture

January 17, 2015 at 07:15 am

You used to say the same thing about Micah Hyde ALL YEAR LONG TOO. You really have no idea how much playing time Janis may earn by next year. I mean you're really not going out on a limb suggesting he'll be a #4 or #5 if the Packers resign Cobb and have a healthy Nelson and Adams are you?

BTW Stroh, You really don't have to say it every week, actually a week without your sarcastic comments would be awesome!

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Nick Perry's picture

January 17, 2015 at 10:38 am

Nothing to do with "Petty Games" Stroh. What myself and others have always had a issue with is your sarcastic, know it all attitude.

Sorry but when you starting commenting on Hyde this year like you KNEW he was going to be a good return man or be an asset on defense after you tore him apart last year, well you're right I couldn't help myself.

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DrealynWilliams's picture

January 17, 2015 at 09:08 am

Lol,is that really Stroh? Because I know he HATED the Abby pick.

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Nick Perry's picture

January 17, 2015 at 10:20 am

It's Stroh, most of the time he won't comment when myself or others have called him Stroh, this time he couldn't help himself. Can't you tell? The sarcastic comments and the manor he comments gave it away as soon as he started posting as DannyDS.

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RCPackerFan's picture

January 15, 2015 at 01:07 pm

Great article Brian.

adding to #8. Third, Fourth, Fifth Receiving Options Emerge-
They also have developed throughout the year the ability to include the RB's in the passing game. Lacy has become a weapon out of the backfield in the passing game.

#14. Playcalling...
Both on offense and defense the playcalling has been great in putting their players in their best positions to succeed.

McCarthy has done a great job this year changing the offense to make it work. Using Kuhn as a lead blocker, now using the Pistol formation, Putting Cobb in the backfield to create mismatches.

I think this year for Capers it will be all about moving Mathews to ILB. But his play calling has been great this year. Letting Clinton-Dix play deep and bringing Burnett up in the box more. Having Hyde cover TE's. Using Hayward to cover the slot WR's.

The play calling on both sides of the ball has been great this year.

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Bohj's picture

January 15, 2015 at 04:47 pm

Playcalling has been great because we have more chess pieces than just pawns. Thank you injury gods and draft and peppers.

Capers is awesome. Just give him the pieces.
No one bitched about winning the super bowl. Why? Cullen jenkins....woodson in prime......and Collins. Its taken some time and some replacements but capers finally has a full complement of weapons to deploy.

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zoellner25's picture

January 15, 2015 at 01:24 pm

We are going to win this game.

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pooch's picture

January 15, 2015 at 01:58 pm

Please put Hawk and Jones on inactive list so Capers doesn't do something dumb and play them

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pooch's picture

January 15, 2015 at 01:59 pm

I have nightmares of Lynch dragging Hawk 10 yards downfield

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RCPackerFan's picture

January 15, 2015 at 02:02 pm

Or Jones committing a penalty which in turn costs the defense points, if not the game...

Seriously how many 3rd down penalty's has Jones committed? Especially ones where they stopped the offense?

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Darrin's picture

January 16, 2015 at 09:43 am

At least one per game....please make it stop!

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RCPackerFan's picture

January 16, 2015 at 10:03 am

no doubt.

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pkrbkr66's picture

January 17, 2015 at 04:41 pm

LOL!

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HankScorpio's picture

January 15, 2015 at 04:20 pm

This article is about how the Packers are better prepared to compete this week.

On the Seattle side, Percy Harvin is gone. He had over 100 yards of total offense and really hurt the Packers in week one. Dynamic playmakers are a premium commodity in the playoffs and Seattle has one less guy like that.

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4thand1's picture

January 15, 2015 at 09:10 pm

Seattle also lost a good young receiver to injury, but its still all about their defense.

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HankScorpio's picture

January 16, 2015 at 07:45 am

No doubt. It will be strength on strength when the Packers have the ball. It should be fun to watch. If the Packers play their game, and play well, I think they have enough to get the job done...which means scoring in the mid 20s, IMO.

I think the Packers defense can hold the Seahawk offense to low 20s or less.

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pooch's picture

January 15, 2015 at 04:56 pm

Also Big MIKE you need to run Lacy between tackles,there D is to fast to run wide,use your guards and center,there maulers

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4thand1's picture

January 15, 2015 at 09:11 pm

That's how Dallas beat em. The o-line dominanted.

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HankScorpio's picture

January 16, 2015 at 07:55 am

Based on how the Cowboy and Packer lines held up vs the terrific Lion d-line recently, I would say the Packer o-line is at least comparable in quality as Cowboy o-line. The Packers clearly held up better vs the Lions than the Cowboys did.

And I totally agree about keeping Lacy in between the tackles. Running wide vs a speedy defense is a recipe for failure.

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pooch's picture

January 15, 2015 at 04:58 pm

Was Bobby Wagner playing when Dallas beat Seattle?

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TommyG's picture

January 17, 2015 at 08:02 am

No.

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DrealynWilliams's picture

January 15, 2015 at 05:02 pm

I'm thinking MM is quite genius (alright...almost??) and he knows that there are only 2-3 (true) SB contenders in the NFC ANNNNND that an NFL season is LONG.

Why put so much on tape in just week 1?

Why does Lacy have so little amount of carries as a bruiser?

Why did we really not throw to that 1 side all game long?
(we know the type of competitor Rodgers is)

HHCD has more experience.

Sam Barrington is now a starter and has experience.

Adams has experience.

Our TEs are stepping up and providing enough help.

Linsley is even better and has experience.

The Playoff Julius Peppers is here.

I am NOT guaranteeing a victory, but I damn sure am guaranteeing this game not being one-sided like a lot of other people are expecting. The Pack will show up. This is what I wanted. I wanted Seattle -- in Seattle.

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pooch's picture

January 15, 2015 at 05:44 pm

+ there is no way Brad Jones is playing this game???

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DrealynWilliams's picture

January 15, 2015 at 08:00 pm

ST and ... yea,just ST

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Tundraboy's picture

January 15, 2015 at 09:54 pm

Well said, I will make sure to reread this Sunday before I sit down to watch the game.

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pooch's picture

January 15, 2015 at 05:42 pm

Please Mike when its 1st and goal at the 2 yard line run Lacy up the middle 3 times,and make sure your in the spread offense,please no Kuhn

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TommyG's picture

January 15, 2015 at 06:34 pm

I'm pleased to see that many here have not forgotten just how embarrassing week 1's loss was. Our packers have improved since then. The only question now is if they have improved enough to win.

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LASVEGAS-TOM's picture

January 15, 2015 at 09:22 pm

Danny DS, Are you in Arizona? What is the talk from the average fan on the game Sunday. Are they all picking Seattle??, or do they think GB will win it?? What about the Sportscasters?? TommyG in Seattle says their all saying a Seattle Blowout. Would you say it's the same in Arizona? LVT

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LASVEGAS-TOM's picture

January 15, 2015 at 11:27 pm

I think our Defense will have to show up Big. I have enough confidence in our OL, that I don't think they will stop us. I think it will be a barn burner. We cannot spot Seattle any easy PT's. I'll take Pt's any way we can get them, but I'd rather see sustained drives. Keep our Defense off the field as much as possible. I like the fact that just about everyone is on Seattle. I don't understand why the Line hasn't moved an eyelash. I personally believe, this is Las Vegas's Super Bowl. LVT

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Doug_In_Sandpoint's picture

January 15, 2015 at 06:53 pm

#14 The whole Rodgers calf issue has been a smokescreen and he has been healed for weeks. He is 100% and has been for some time. He was forming the perfect ruse and he will run for over 100 yards on the stunned Sea Chickens. It will be the greatest surprise in the history of football.

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packsmack's picture

January 15, 2015 at 08:41 pm

While you're going a little extreme here, I do think he's better than he's letting on. The second half of the Dallas game made it look like he was doing a rope-a-dope. He's also mentioned several times how he felt okay going left. Why say that if the Seahawks could use it against you by forcing you right? I just don't buy that it hasn't improved in the 3 weeks since Detroit.

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Tundraboy's picture

January 15, 2015 at 10:02 pm

Have been thinking the same things, That pass to Rodgers , the comments. I think he and I hope MM's playcalling will surprise,

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Bearmeat's picture

January 15, 2015 at 09:08 pm

Just as I felt the Packers were a better team than the Cowboys, I feel the Seahawks are a better team than the Packers.

I hope MM and AR find a way to make it close, because I'm frankly expecting to get trucked by Marshawn and run around by Wilson.

AR and the WRs have not looked good against teams with a pass rush and good secondaries. Dallas had neither. Seattle has both.

Hope I'm wrong. I hate the Rainy City Bitch Pigeons. And their defense full of loud mouths.

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HankScorpio's picture

January 16, 2015 at 08:02 am

Both teams were 12-4 with head to head going to Seattle in week 1. I agree the Seahawks are a better overall team but the gap is not nearly as wide as some people seem to believe. The week 1 result is garbage, IMO. The Packers always start slow and the NFC CG o-line doesn't resemble the unit that played in week 1. Linsley is not starting his first game, Bulaga is not playing his first game since 2012 and Sherrard is not even on the roster anymore.

It could easily turn on a big special teams play or a turnover.

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Bearmeat's picture

January 15, 2015 at 09:09 pm

Just as I felt the Packers were a better team than the Cowboys, I feel the Seahawks are a better team than the Packers.

I hope MM and AR find a way to make it close, because I'm frankly expecting to get trucked by Marshawn and run around by Wilson.

AR and the WRs have not looked good against teams with a pass rush and good secondaries. Dallas had neither. Seattle has both.

Hope I'm wrong. I hate the Rainy City Bitch Pigeons. And their defense full of loud mouths.

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Bearmeat's picture

January 15, 2015 at 09:15 pm

Sorry about the double post... computer froze..

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Mojo's picture

January 15, 2015 at 11:40 pm

It's going to be tough scoring against Seattle, but fortunately the Packers have one of the leagues best offenses. If ARods calf holds up they should pluck a few feathers.

To me the key to victory is keeping Wilson contained. He's very adept exploiting man coverage when the DB's have their backs turned and running for whatever he can get. Plus he's not greedy. He'll take what he can get and keep the drive alive. The Pack needs to keep him in the pocket and take their chances with his arm.

And for God's sake - tackle. We have to have one of the worst tackling secondaries. If they can clean that up they have a very good chance.

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RCPackerFan's picture

January 16, 2015 at 10:17 am

Another reason -

Packers defense has been very good and underrated since the move of Mathews to ILB. Since week 10 they have only given more then 21 points 1 time. That was to the Falcons.

Week 10 - Bears - 14
Week 11 - Eagles - 20
Week 12 - Vikings - 21
Week 13 - Patriots - 21
Week 14 - Falcons - 37
Week 15 - Bills - 21
Week 16 - Buccaneers - 3
Week 17 - Lions - 20

Last week - Dallas - 21.

The Packers defense has been very good in not allowing teams to score a lot of points on them.

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TommyG's picture

January 17, 2015 at 08:21 am

I'm actually more concerned with our ability to score, while not allowing their defense to score. Carolina lost the game on that pick 6.

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DrealynWilliams's picture

January 17, 2015 at 09:13 am

And Sherman should have been BURNED several times if it wasn't for Cam Newton's inaccuracy.

Surely we have WRs faster than the Panther's WRs....

Especially Kelvin Benjamin

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cheesehead1's picture

January 16, 2015 at 10:27 am

Solid defense, good tackling for a change and NO turnovers give us a fighting chance to win. Need a full 60 minutes. Seattle is a very good second half team. As much as I don't like Seattle, you have to give them credit. Go Pack!

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packsmack's picture

January 16, 2015 at 11:41 am

Seattle is good, no doubt, but they've also been cruising against bad teams for the past 2 1/2 months.

I think you throw week 1 out the window. Not only was it closer than the final score says (Seattle scored a garbage passing TD with 2 minutes left when Green Bay was selling out against the run down two scores already), but there were several things about the two teams in the first matchup that were incredibly different. Most of the differences for the Packers are listed by Brian above. The interesting differences are for the Seahawks though.

Number one, obviously, is their lack of Percy Harvin. Paul Richardson had filled Harvin's role with mixed results, but he's now injured and gone as well. That's a lot of offense from week one that's now completely gone.

Number two, Brandon Mebane is out. This is probably the biggest difference of them all. Yes, Kevin Williams moved inside and has been terrific in a pinch, but Mebane was a HUGE part of their rush defense and the real reason Linsley needed prayers week one. It cannot be overstated how good Mebane is and how big of a loss he is for a team that has very few guys of his ilk. By the way, one of his replacements, Jordan Hill, was ALSO put on IR, so Seattle is dangerously thin inside.

Number three, Zach Miller is out. This one probably matters the least because Luke Willson has stepped right in and not skipped a beat, but it's still a loss of ANOTHER pass catching option for Russell Wilson. Along with Harvin and Richardson, that's a total of 3 fewer options than he had in week one (although I don't know if Richardson played any offensive snaps week one).

This week will be a completely different game. Whether the multitude of differences make a 20 point difference is anyone's guess. I think it will, mostly because Seattle hasn't really changed at all as a team for the better, having to piecemeal their team back together a la the Packers of the past several years, while the Packers are leaps and bounds better without any real significant losses on either side of the ball.

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cheesehead1's picture

January 16, 2015 at 01:09 pm

Unfortunately, a limited Aaron Rodgers is a huge difference.

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TommyG's picture

January 16, 2015 at 03:16 pm

It is. Or, is it? Being less mobile necessitates the need to get rid of the ball quicker. Being limited means more running. More running will mean that seattles safeties will need to play closer to the line, which in turn opens up the passing game. Throwing quickly into short coverage equals a grind it out drive. One move by a wr in short coverage equals a big play.

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ballark's picture

January 16, 2015 at 05:03 pm

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ballark's picture

January 16, 2015 at 07:17 pm

Brian, great fucking post.

I want to add a #13--make it a baker's dozen.

After the Cowboys win, I was elated, and I said something on Twitter about how I was so proud of this team, and whatever they accomplished from here on out was gravy. Off Twitter, I was telling my friends, yeah, it would be great to win, but our QB's hurt, it's in Seattle, etc. etc. The excuses were obvious and, in a way, I think I was just protecting myself from the heartbreak of a potential defeat.

But as the week's gone on, I reflected more and more on this team and what they've been through. Then last night I re-watched the Dallas game, and this is where I'll add #13. When TJ came in and peeled that Cowboy off the pile, the scrum follows, and then *immediately* there were his brothers--the wolf pack. And that's #13: THESE GUYS FUCKING BLEED FOR EACH OTHER. I really feel that. Whether it's #12 limping through his calf, Julius in the twilight of his career stripping Demarco, giving his every ounce in quest of that 1st ring, the rookies catching TDs to carry this team to another Sunday, or again, those o-lineman rallying to each other's side, I just truly feel like this team has "IT"

Get the fuck out of our way, Seattle. We're the Green Bay Packers. We're from Titletown. And winning is what we do!

Go Pack Go.

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Tundraboy's picture

January 16, 2015 at 09:38 pm

That's what I want to hear , and see on Sunday!!!!! Go Pack Go

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4thand1's picture

January 16, 2015 at 09:54 pm

Seattle has a better defense, that's it. The o-line will win this game for GB.
GOPACKGO

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