Seattle Seahawks (5-9) at Green Bay Packers (9-5)
Kickoff: Noon, Sunday.
TV: Fox (Thom Brennaman, Brian Billick).
History: 13th regular-season meeting. Packers lead 7-5. The intra-conference foes are meeting for the seventh time since 2003, and Green Bay has dominated with five wins in the previous six games. Two of those victories came in the NFC playoffs, both at Lambeau Field — 33-27 in overtime in a 2003 wild-card game and 42-20 in a 2007 divisional-playoff matchup. The Packers prevailed 27-17 at Seattle in the regular season last year.
Packers: Out — LB Jeremy Thompson (neck); Questionable — CB Trevor Ford (knee); NT Ryan Pickett (hamstring). Probable — LB Nick Barnett (knee); LB Brandon Chillar (back); S Nick Collins (calf); DE Cullen Jenkins (quad); DE Johnny Jolly (knee); CB Brandon Underwood (hip); CB Charles Woodson (shoulder).
Packers: WR Patrick Williams, FB John Kuhn, CB Trevord Ford, S Matt Giordano, T Breno Giacomini, T Allen Barbre, NT Ryan Pickett, LB Jeremy Thompson.
Seahawks: QB Mike Teel (third QB), CB Roy Lewis, LB Aaron Curry, G Mansfield Wrotto, WR Nate Burleson, WR Ben Obomanu, TE Cameron Morrah, DT Craig Terrill.
Keys to the game
While Packers QB Aaron Rodgers has been dropped 49 times this season, the Seahawks haven't registered a sack the past two games. So expect Green Bay to spread the field with three- and four-receiver formations and pick on Seattle's undersized secondary. Green Bay gave up 503 passing yards last Sunday, but the secondary will be aided by the Packers going after the Seahawks' poor pass protection. Seattle keeps talking about the need to run the ball better, but the offensive line generates little push and the team is constantly playing from behind.
Jennings had a 45-yard TD catch at Seattle last year.
Otto Greule Jr./Getty Images
Inside the Seahawks
It's wasn't him.
That's what Seahawks defensive end Darryl Tapp said again on Thursday after practice when asked about reports that he bit Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers in last year's game against the Packers at Qwest Field in Seattle.
Tapp again denied biting Rodgers, and then proceeded to demonstrate how, according to the fourth-year player out of Virginia Tech, that it's pretty much impossible for him to have pulled it off, putting on his helmet and demonstrating on a reporter's arm that he couldn't get his mouth through his facemask.
"He's not my concern as far as if I bit him or not because it didn't happen," Tapp said. "I know me personally, if someone were to bite me I wouldn't wait a whole year to bring it up to somebody to get it handled. That's all I'm saying about it."
Of course, Tapp continued to talk about it.
"I don't understand it," he went on. "But, hey, if he believes I bit him, send me the film of the exact play and I'll apologize. But I'm pretty sure it didn't happen. I'm pretty positive."
So, will Tapp use the accusation as motivation?
"Definitely," he said. "That's my rep you're messing with, my rep in the league. We'll get that taken care of. ... I must have the strongest Jaws of Life. Somebody said on Twitter I must have an extra mouth like in Predator or Alien."
Tapp said he's not sure if he'll mention the incident to Rodgers on Sunday.
"I might bring it up," he said. "But I'm going to play ball as usual and try to get a win, that's the most important thing," he said "After we get a win and do what we need to do, I might bring it up. But first things first. We have to focus on handling these guys and trying to shut him down as a passer and then we can (talk)."
Predicted snowy conditions in Green Bay conjures up images of Ryan Grant's sledding past Seattle Seahawks defenders at snow-covered Lambeau Field for a franchise-record 201 rushing yards in the Packers' playoff win in January 2008. Head coach/play caller Mike McCarthy may not be inclined, however, to pound the football with Grant, whose performances have been too up and down this season.
The Seahawks are a mess defending the pass, so why not let Aaron Rodgers put on a familiar aerial show a final time in front of the home crowd this season? The Seahawks' banged-up defense is expected to be even more short-handed with injured rookie linebacker Aaron Curry not likely to play. Fresh off being exploited by Tampa Bay's Kellen Winslow for six catches for 93 yards, the Seahawks get the tall task of trying to defend the 6-foot-5 Finley. He has created all sorts of mismatches and emerged in the last five games as the Packers' top receiving threat with 31 receptions for 302 yards and three touchdowns.
Defensively, the Packers will be able to pin their ears back and go after mistake-prone quarterback Matt Hasselbeck, since Seattle is devoid of a running game that could keep Green Bay honest. Hasselbeck has been sacked 26 times and has taken quite a beating this season. The Cardinals reached Hasselbeck for nine sacks in two games, and the similarly aggressive San Francisco 49ers had a five-sack day against him. That latter number is starting to become the norm for the Packers, who took down the Pittsburgh Steelers' Ben Roethlisberger five times last time out.
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Bill Huber is publisher of Packer Report magazine and PackerReport.com and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at email@example.com, or leave him a question in Packer Report's subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at twitter.com/packerreport and Facebook under Bill Huber.