Thursday, September 04, 2014

Keep It Positive: How The Packers Can Upset The Seahawks

There's no doubt about it, opening on the road in Seattle is the toughest way to start the 2014 season. The only other regular season game that's anywhere near as difficult as this one will be the Week 8 game at New Orleans, and that one isn't as bad as it looks because QB Aaron Rodgers loves playing in a dome.
The usual formula for success for Mike McCarthy's team is to get the offense in a rhythm and have the defense force turnovers. QB Aaron Rodgers isn't known for winning low scoring affairs. But the Packers are much more likely to win if they keep the score down.

What I want to see on offense. RT Bryan Bulaga has to have a great game. This memory pales in comparison to the not-touchdown pass to end the Fail Mary game in 2012, but Bulaga was terrible. Rodgers was sacked 8 times, most of them coming in the first half, and most of them recorded by the defender who was running at Bulaga. Seattle's secondary is very good, but Rodgers will have some success if they can protect him. To a lesser extent, the first NFL start for C Corey Lindsey is also a factor, but the Packers can help him on the interior and Seattle's outside pass rush is the main concern.

What I want to see on defense. It's all about stopping QB Russell Wilson. The last time these teams played in Seattle, Wilson had a poor game (it was only his third NFL start) and he completed only 10 passes (9 in reality). The Packers only scored 12 points but they held Seattle to 14 (7 in reality). The Cardinals did the same thing to the Seahawks last season in Week 16; keep the score low and win with a late touchdown. The Cardinals put a ton of pressure on Wilson, kept him from scrambling (only 2 recorded rushes), and allowed only 11 completions. They need to hit the quarterback but keep him contained in the pocket. It's time to see why the Packers signed LB Julius Peppers.

This isn't a projection, the formula for beating the Seahawks is easier said then done, but if the Packers do win it'll be in a low scoring game. Packers 17, Seattle 13.

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