26

September

Packers vs. Seattle: Moving on from Monday Night: It. Is. Time.

Green Bay Packers huddle

Green Bay Packers will unite at Lambeau Field this Sunday

By now, you’ve all probably read everyone’s take on last night’s embarrassing showing by the NFL.  I’m a bit late to the party but I have the benefit of some extra time to digest what took place and having read it all too.  I don’t have it figured out, probably never will.  But I do know that I feel very disappointed.

I’m not going to break down the numbers, re-hash the stats or talk about the “shoulda, woulda, coulda”.  So what am I going to do?  I’m just going to shoot straight from the hip.  I’m going add this one to the list of disappointments in recent Packer history:

- The Terrell Owens TD catch in the end zone to beat the Pack during the 1998 season playoffs.  A loss that ironically was affected by another bad call by a referee as an obvious Jerry Rice fumble was ruled down by contact.  Back then there was no instant replay and the call stood.  9ers drove down and. . . .

- 1st playoff loss at Lambeau Field against the Atlanta Falcons (a dome team) during 2002 season playoffs

- 4th and 26 a year later

- The embarrassing playoff loss to the Vikings during the 2004 season playoffs

- The entire 2005 season

- The gut-wrenching NFCCG loss to the Giants during the 2007 playoffs that would be Brett Favre’s last game in a Packer uniform

-The 2008 offseason and eventual trade of Favre to the Jets and the drama that it brought with it

-Last year’s playoff loss, again to the Giants, after a 15-1 regular season

You’re probably all saying “well most of those are playoff games.  Of course they’re disappointing!”.  No, last night’s Packers vs. Seahawks matchup wasn’t a playoff game, but it sure felt like it, didn’t it?  As I’m sitting here watching the replay of the game’s final play for about the 50th time and over 24 hours later, it feels as though the Packers lost much more than a single football game.  Over the past day, not a single side bar on ESPN’s network is without at least one topic related to yesterday’s contest.  When was the last time a regular season game, especially this early in the season, got this much play?

24

September

Week 3 Key Matchups: Green Bay Packers vs. Seattle Seahawks

Packers Aaron Rodgers vs. Seattle Seahawks

Packers QB Aaron Rodgers looks for a tough road win in Seattle

Week 3 is here and it’s time to look at some of the key matchups in the Monday Night game featuring the Green Bay Packers at the Seattle Seahawks.  On paper, this has the makings of an evenly-matched contest that will likely come down to who wins the turnover battle.

The Packers are the better overall team but CenturyLink Field and their raucous crowd, aka the 12th man in Seattle, has turned many super powers into chumps.  Let’s take a look at what I see as the keys to who comes out of this one with the “W”.

Russell Wilson vs. the Packer front 7

Rookie QB Russell Wilson won the starting job in training camp over newly acquired and former Green Bay Packer Matt Flynn.  Many were surprised as it seemed Flynn was the clear-cut choice to start after deciding to leave Green Bay where he had become a solid backup QB and had that monster game in week 17 of last season.

Flynn signed a hefty free agent contract with Seattle and was on his way but he finds himself, once again, on the sideline carrying the clipboard.  Wilson played very well during the preseason.  He was 35-of-52 (67.3%) for 464 yds, 5 TDs and just 1 INT.  Wilson also had 10 rushes for 150 yds and a TD.  That was enough to put him under center when the Seahawks opened the 2012 season.

Wilson has, at times, played beyond the typical rookie tendencies.   In watching the game vs. the Dallas Cowboys last week, Wilson was fundamentally sound and well-composed against a pretty good Cowboy pass rush.  He plays within the system and we can’t forget all of the success Seattle Head Coach Pete Carroll had at USC with his quarterbacks.  Wilson is not even a full year removed from his playing days at the University of Wisconsin and is still on the low end of his NFL learning curve.

Carroll has helped assemble a team and created an offensive system that doesn’t put it all on Wilson’s back.  Very composed and with a good pocket presence, Wilson is proving to be a key to the defensive game plan.  He plays it safe for the most part, and takes what the defense gives him.  Many of his completions last week were shorter routes with a few shots downfield.  Those high percentage throws can prove detrimental to the defense.  If Wilson is able to sustain long drives and tire the Packer defense, it will shift favor toward the Seattle side.