Follow us:

Seahawks Blog

The latest news and analysis from all angles on the Seahawks.

September 1, 2014 at 10:47 AM

A first look at the Green Bay Packers

Here’s our first look at the Packers and Thursday’s game:

Seahawks opponent: Green Bay

Game time: 5:30 p.m, CenturyLink Field.

TV: NBC

Coach: Mike McCarthy, 82-45-1 in eight years, all with Green Bay.

2013 Record: 8-7-1

Last game: Finished preseason 3-1 by beating Kansas City 34-14.

The series: The Packers lead it 8-6. But it doesn’t take much of a memory to recall Seattle’s last win, the controversial 14-12 victory in 2012 when Golden Tate came down with a much-debated touchdown reception on the final play.

The early line: Seahawks by 5.5

Key players: QB Aaron Rodgers: Now 30, Rodgers remains one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL, hoping this season to stay healthy after missing seven games last season due to a collarbone injury. Rodgers looked in mid-season form during the preseason, completing 21-30 passes for 268 yards and two touchdowns.

TB Eddie Lacy: The second-year running back from Alabama revitalized Green Bay’s running game last season, rushing for 1,127 yards in the last 13 games of 2013 and finishing with a franchise rookie record of 1,178 for the season. His emergence helped Green Bay finish fourth in the NFL last year in yards per carry at 4.7.

DE/LB Julius Peppers: The 12-year veteran signed as a free agent with Green Bay in the off-season, and the Packers are altering his role just a little bit, asking him to play in a two-point stance instead of with his hand on the ground. His objective, though, will remain the same — to rush the passer. Green Bay also hopes that Peppers will make it harder for opponents to double-team outside linebacker Clay Matthews.

Green Bay’s keys to success: The Packers enter the season regarded by many as the team with the best chance of unseating the Seahawks as NFC Champs. Concluded SI.com’s Monday Morning Quarterback: “There’s not a deeper, more talented all-around team in the NFC.’’ Rodgers remains the key to the offense, but the emergence of Lacy, as well as a deep running back corps, has made the Packers a more-balanced offense, giving the team an able complement to the Rodgers-led passing attack. Green Bay’s ability to establish the running game — and Seattle’s to stop it — will be a telltale sign early. Green Bay’s 3-4 defense took a hit in the pre-season when nose tackle B.J. Raji was lost for the season with a biceps injury. But a deep group of linebackers forms the core of the defense, which also is strong in the back end, bolstered in the off-season by the signing of free agent cornerback Sam Shields and the addition of rookie safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix.

BY THE NUMBERS

13 — Green Bay’s NFL championships, most of any team — Chicago is next with 9.

7 — Green Bay’s NFC North titles since 2002.

400.3 — Green Bay’s yards per game in 2013, third in the NFL behind Denver (457.3) and Philadelphia (417.3).

Comments

COMMENTS

No personal attacks or insults, no hate speech, no profanity. Please keep the conversation civil and help us moderate this thread by reporting any abuse. See our Commenting FAQ.



The opinions expressed in reader comments are those of the author only, and do not reflect the opinions of The Seattle Times.


Advertising
The Seattle Times

The door is closed, but it's not locked.

Take a minute to subscribe and continue to enjoy The Seattle Times for as little as 99 cents a week.

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Subscriber login ►
The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription upgrade.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. For unlimited seattletimes.com access, please upgrade your digital subscription.

Call customer service at 1.800.542.0820 for assistance with your upgrade or questions about your subscriber status.

The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. Subscribe now for unlimited access!

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Activate Subscriber Account ►