The Packers are off to a 1-0 start and now we get to see the game we have been waiting for for seven months. The only game that could get Packer fans to look past a Bears game. The Seattle Seahawks come into Lambeau Sunday night and take on the Pack in a rematch of that fateful NFC Championship Game.
But this is a different team in Green Bay and a much different one in Seattle. Gone are the key players in the playoff loss. Gone is Jordy Nelson due to a knee injury. But Seattle is in much dire shape, and they are as ripe for a revenge defeat more than they ever have. Their window is closing rapidly and could close even quicker with a defeat Sunday night. The Packers have numerous advantages in this game, but there are three matchups that will decide this game and those three should propel the Packers to victory.
The first matchup of this is the “Legion of Boom” against the Packers receiving corps. I use quotes here not just because of the title, but because there isn’t much boom right now without the Seahawks most important player. Richard Sherman and Earl Thomas are nicked up. Cary Williams is streaky at best and Kam Chancellor is at home holding out for more money. His replacement, Dion Bailey is a replacement level player right now and is a key reason that the Seahawks fell to St. Louis last week. He is a big hitter like Chancellor but not nearly as good in coverage or sound tackling. The Packers can use that to their great advantage while exploiting guys like James Jones and Davante Adams against down the seams.
Our next matchup takes place in the trenches, where each team will vie for the edge in the physical game. The Packers defensive line had some tough moments against Chicago, especially the ends where Mike Daniels, Mike Pennel and Josh Boyd were non-factor. BJ Raji had a solid game, and Datone Jones returns this week. Luckily for all of these guys Seattle’s offensive line is a complete liability to their team. They have only one above average player in Russell Okung and a bevy of unproven players down the line. They traded their center and messed up the chemistry for Russell Wilson, and Julius Peppers and Clay Matthews are looking for any opportunity for a good shot at the quarterback who beat them last season.
And our final matchup takes place between two backs who are more or less the same in every way except age. Marshawn Lynch is well known for his power, and his ability to drive a pile forward is second to one. That one is Eddie Lacy. And Lacy has even more ability to take it the distance. He’s quicker, has better hands, better vision and never stops moving. Even when he’s stopped his legs keep churning. Lynch used to be that way but that has dwindled. Just look at the fourth down stop of him last Sunday. Lacy looks to assert himself as the best power back in the league and there is no better way to do that than against current holder of the crown.
All in all, there are a lot of other matchups to watch out for, but these three are squarely in favor of the Packers and they are the ones who control their own destiny this weekend. A 2-0 start will go a long way, and it will be even sweeter if they can drop the Seahawks to 0-2. Sunday night will be one that we will always remember for its hype, its meaning, and hopefully its result.——————
Mike Wendlandt is originally from Iola, Wisconsin and graduated from Drake University in 2015 with a degree in History. With a significant journalism background both in writing and broadcasting, Mike can be heard as the play-by-play voice of Central Wisconsin High School sports on WDUX FM 92.7 and on Twitter @MikeWendlandt.
Mike Wendlandt is a writer covering the Green Bay Packers for PackersTalk.com.