Preview Packers/Seahawks

  • It’s not often any team (sort of except New England) gets to the conference championship game. So this is a big deal. One game away from the Super Bowl.
  • Seattle is a very good team. I may not like the team and the fans and the overall hype surrounding them right now. But this is a very good team. They are well coached, they have one of the most disciplined, intelligent QBs in the game, a beast of a RB, an aggressive, confident defense and a considerable home field advantage. This is going to be a difficult game no question.
  • That said, I don’t necessarily see the comfortable victory so many football writers are predicting. In fact I’m a little surprised by how easily the Packers have been dismissed by most writers. The Packers, even with a limited Rodgers, have one of the best and most explosive offenses in the NFL. And the team that will take the field in this game, will be quite a bit different from the one that took the field Week #1. The Packers have won the vast majority of their games at 13-4 and their most recent victory was against a team that beat the Seahawks in Seattle (while the Seahawks struggled for a while with a Carolina team that the Packers blew out in a half).
  • As I said, I think Seattle is a very good team and there does exist the potential for them to get early momentum and rip apart our Packers. It is possible but not likely. While I fear the things many others fear – their defense and Lynch running against our iffy run D – as I wrote last week, I think their may be a few other factors in this game that surprise some.
  • I’m guessing Lacy has a big game. He’s in his second year and still has the taste of an ugly home playoff loss from last year in his mouth. While he’s a nice, mild-mannered person, I think Lacy has a nasty streak in him – which is what helps him plow weak tacklers right over. I see Lacy unleashing a bit of Lynch’s beast today. I see him having a solid game (and it may come initially in the passing game).
  • While I think the Pack will really try to get Lacy going early, Brother Steve thinks the Pack should open up with tons of passing to get Rodgers in rhythm and catch Seattle off guard a bit. This may not be a bad idea. Only thing I’d add is that Lacy should still be involved – catching passes and serving as a safety option for Rodgers.
  • As I write before every game it seems – key will be distributing the passes. The more guys that get involved catching passes the more the Packers gain the simple psychological advantage of leaving Seattle wondering “where is the ball going next?” It is often why the team wins when we win. If we were to go back and look at our losses, I’m guessing we’d notice that in each one there were a limited number of contributors.
  • I agree with friend Mike and others that have talked about how key the offensive line is in this one. Not just for protecting Rodgers but for opening up running lanes too. They have been playing really well in recent weeks and I expect this to continue – but I also don’t think we can expect Rodgers to go completely without pressure today. This is one of the top defenses in terms of bugging the QB so we should expect a sack or two – and if it happens we shouldn’t think of it as the end of the world.
  • This is the kind of game where we could really use a huge play from Hyde on special teams. That is the kind of thing that could shut up the Seattle fans quickly and give the Packers momentum.
  • I think this could be a THE game for our defense to show up. Capers has been hit or miss this season, with a few more hits in the second half of the season. And when he’s hit, the D has been stifling. It was interesting to read about Capers/MM’s horrible/failed gameplan for Week #1 when Seattle rolled us. And I suppose there is 3a similar risk in that Capers might get too cute again only to get lit up. But he seems to have a better read on opponents in the last few weeks and I’m guessing the D shows up. While it may seem like a silly, hyped fan kind of thing to say, I actually think the fact that Peppers has never won the Super Bowl (and that it’s his birthday today) is a big deal. I’m guessing he causes some problems today. But like I said a few days ago, it is Matthews, Burnett, Tramon, Barrington, Ha Ha and the middle of the D-Line – these are the guys we need to show up today. If these guys show up and Peppers, Shields and Perry continue to wreak havoc like they have I think THE PACKERS defense could end up being a big factor in this game.
  • Once again, much of the outcome of this game rests on the shoulders of Aaron Rodgers. He is the best player in the NFL and the MVP. Yes he’s injured and it’s limited and problematic, but he is so good at what he does that sometimes no matter how well prepared a defense is, he can still make teams pay. His accuracy is so other-worldly that even the trash-talking Richard Sherman can absolutely blanket a guy but leave open 10 inches – enough room for Rodgers to beat him.
  • Lastly, this game will be a huge mental test. How will the team come out in the beginning – fired up and ready to go or overwhelmed by the emotion of the crowd and the opponent? How will the team shake off mistakes or less than ideal plays? How will the team roll forward after they gain momentum from a score or a series of good plays? If the team takes the lead, will MM and Rodgers have the courage and mental toughness to stick with what’s working and go in for the kill? While I do think one of Seattle’s greatest strengths is the teams’ overall mental toughness, this is a Packers team that has surprised me at times with its show of mental toughness.
  • Packers 27, Seattle 23.

One Response to “Preview Packers/Seahawks”

  1. Frank G Says:

    It’s interesting to see how most experts are dismissing the Packers heading into this game. After the NE game, they were hailed as the #1 team in the league…then Buffalo happened. The Packers are not expected to win, so there is no pressure on them. That’s a great spot to be in.

    Seattle has steamrolled 7 very average to below average teams in a row and they are somehow viewed as an unstoppable juggernaut. I ain’t buying it.

    The Packers defense still scares me…gotta hold up against the onslaught of The Beast. Russell Wilson has fumbled 12 times this year and the Seahawks have recovered each time. That luck comes to an end today.

    I like MM’s bold talk and play calling to finish out games this year. I think the O-line is out to prove to everyone that they are, perhaps, the best unit in the league. I think that AR and Jordy will play lights out today to atone for their miserable performances in Buffalo, which forced the Packers to travel to this most inhospitable of venues.

    24-23 Packers.

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