The Green Bay Packers’ Week 2 game is against the Seattle Seahawks. Here’s an early look at that Sunday night showdown at Lambeau Field.
Series: Green Bay leads 8-6 (regular season), though Seattle has won the last three (including playoffs).
Last time: With the Packers just minutes away from the Super Bowl, they fell apart at the seams and lost 28-22 in overtime on Jan. 18.
Offensive rankings: 10th in points (24.6 per game). 9th in yards (375.8 per game). 27th in passing (203.1 per game). 1st in rushing (172.6 per game).
Defensive rankings: 1st in points (15.9 per game). 1st in yards (267.1 per game). 1st in passing (185.6 per game). 3rd in rushing (81.5 per game).
Noteworthy: Green Bay’s 2014 season was bookended by a disappointing Week 1 loss at Seattle and then the bitter loss in the NFC Championship Game. Seattle’s season, of course, ended in a bitter loss to New England in the Super Bowl, with the Seahawks just 1 yard from making history as back-to-back champions.
The Seahawks not only feature a dominant pass defense but ranked second in the league in yards allowed per carry. That defense suffered a blow when it lost cornerback Byron Maxwell to the Eagles and defensive coordinator Dan Quinn to the Falcons as their head coach. Defensive backs coach Kris Richard will fill Quinn’s shoes.
“If it's not broke, don't fix it,” Richard said during OTAs. “I’m going to keep going to the old adage there. We're going to look to put our guys in the best possible place for them to be in order for them to be successful What we've done around here, we've been pretty successful, so we're going to keep the ball rolling.”
2015 Comings and Goings
Hello: TE Jimmy Graham (trade, Saints), CB Cary Williams.
Draft: Frank Clark, who got booted off the Michigan football team after a domestic abuse allegation, was Seattle’s top choice. He wound up pleading guilty to persistent disorderly conduct and got off with a fine of just $250. At the Combine, Clark had this to say: “I’m not saying I’m a womanizer or anything of that nature. I’m just saying it was a confrontation between me and one of my friends and the woman involved took it to another level that it shouldn’t have been taken to. That’s fine. I’m not throwing her under the bus. I’m not saying she did anything wrong. I’m just saying that a lot of things that happened in that room that night could have been avoided.” Third-round slot receiver Tyler Lockett should provide another weapon for quarterback Russell Wilson and upgrade the return game, as well. Fourth-round picks were used on guards Terry Poole and Mark Glowinski.
2015 Personnel in Focus
Pro Football Focus, that is. PFF has a color-coded rankings system for each team’s 24 “starters,” with the extra player to account for a key substitution package such as a third cornerback or third wide receiver. Green Bay has four blue/elite starters (Rodgers, Cobb, Nelson and Sitton), six green/high-quality starters (Lang, Lacy, Hayward, Peppers, Daniels and Matthews), four green/good starters (Linsley, Bulaga, Shields and Burnett), six yellow/average starters (Bakhtiari, Quarless, Kuhn, Hyde, Perry and Clinton-Dix) and four orange/below-average starters (Adams, Guion, Raji and Barrington). The Packers don’t have any starters rated poor and they don’t have any rookies projected to be starters.
The Seahawks have ...
Red/Poor (0): None.
Purple/Rookie (0): None.
Coach Pete Carroll, on rebounding from their last-minute loss in the Super Bowl: “I told you guys last year that one of the great challenges of my coaching career was to come back off last season. I don't feel any different this year. As soon as the games are over, regardless of what the outcome was, we go back to the business and work that we do. And what we hope to do is not let what just happened affect our ability to produce at a really high level as we move forward — whether it was a win or whether it was a loss. I've been saying that for year. So, this is one of those challenges. We are a really unique team right now for people to watch. You saw us win it all, and you saw us go all the way to the last moment and not get what you want. How will we respond? We'll find out. I've watched this all year — how are they responding (to being champions)? Early on it was 'Oh, not very well. 3-3 and we're struggling.' But we made it through all that. We regained our swagger and stride and became an extraordinarily quick football team at the end of last season.”
QB Russell Wilson, on contract negotiations as he enters the final year of his rookie deal: "As you guys know, I'm not going to go into great detail about that at all. It's a private matter."
CB Richard Sherman, on criticism from Jets cornerback Antonio Cromartie that Sherman only plays on one side of the formation rather than following the opponent’s top receiver: “I think it's one of the things that's just the ignorance of the public. How many great left tackles do you see switching to the right side because there's a great d-end (switching) to the right side? You don't see it. Great players stay on their side and do what they're supposed to do. How many guys have you seen switching from side to side on a No. 1 defense? We're the No. 1 defense for a reason.”
Bill Huber is publisher of PackerReport.com and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org, or leave him a question in Packer Report’s subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at twitter.com/PackerReport.