Packers vs. Seahawks / Pregame Points to Ponder
Larry McCarren's Blog from Seattle, Washington
We've got a pair of 1-1 teams, both coming off encouraging victories, colliding in Seattle Monday night. Following tape reviews of each of those wins, here are some potential factors, (from a Packer perspective, naturally), in regards to which team leaves CenturyLink Field with a 2-1 record.
1. Controlling Marshawn Lynch's production. While the "Russell Wilson at QB story" has gotten a lot of play this week, the player the Green Bay defense has to be most concerned with is Lynch. He's averaging almost 4.5 yards a rush behind a line that's not much to write home about. He's already got 47 carries and Seattle uses him to keep the pressure off their rookie quarterback. If Lynch is productive, down and distance is manageable and Wilson throws when he wants to, not when he has too. If Lynch is having success on the ground, it also sets up play-action passing, and since the defense has to respect the run, it could keep the edge off the Packers' pass rush.
2. Hang on to the football. This is true every game but much like the 49'ers, the Seahawks tackle with a vengeance. They hit, especially in the secondary, and the Packer receivers in particular cannot allow those collisions to jar the football loose.
3. Turn the tables on Seattle's aggressiveness in the secondary. The Seahawks also jump on routes and it appears they're susceptible to double moves. (Instead of a square out, a square out and up would be an example.)
4. It'll be loud, deal with it. If there's a team that has spent more time practicing with crowd noise than the Packers, I'd be shocked. They even bring out the speakers during OTA's and, as a matter of fact, they practiced indoors today just so they could pump up the volume. When Aaron Rodgers is in the shotgun, they'll use a "silent count", which in reality is a misnomer. It's silent as far as the QB is concerned but he'll let Jeff Saturday know he's ready for the snap by lifting his leg, and then Saturday hollers "Ready, go" and snaps the ball.
5. Continue what's been a fine start on special teams. Seattle also excels in this area and is coming off a game where a recovered fumble on kickoff coverage and a blocked punt led to 10 of its points. Winning on special teams would be great, a tie against an opponent of this caliber would be acceptable, but losing this particular battle would likely lead to a loss overall.
Healthwatch: Greg Jennings (groin) did some practicing the past couple days and although he's listed a questionable, it would come as a surprise if he didn't play.
We'll be back Monday with the Tale of the Tape.