Farewell (For Now)

130504021345903499Now that training camp is nearly three weeks old, you may have been surprised at the lack of content here on Packer Perspective. I’m sorry to report that for reasons beyond my control, we’ve reached the end of our run on the site. At least, for now.

For the foreseeable future, The Packer Perspective will be on indefinite hiatus. I’m very thankful for all of you that have taken the time to read everything we’ve posted over the past three-ish years or so. What started as a project almost entirely intended for my own enjoyment grew to something much more. At our very best, we averaged more than 142 visitors a day. In October 2012, WordPress featured us on the “Freshly Pressed” page on the main WordPress site. We’ve amassed more than 1,100 “likes” on Facebook and just over 1000 followers on Twitter. That’s no small accomplishment in my book.

I say that not to toot my own horn, but to thank you for all that you’ve done for the site. Thank you for reading. Thank you for tolerating  my silly posts. Thanks for commenting, tweeting, and liking everything we’ve put up. I can’t truly express how much I appreciate it.

I can’t guarantee that Packer Perspective will ever return, or if it does, it will be anything like it was over the past few years. What I can tell you is that it’s been an amazing ride, and I’m so thankful for all the people who helped make it special.

Thanks to you for reading, Jordan Huenink for joining the venture as a writer, and for everyone who’s offered advice and feedback since post number one went live. I’ll miss you all.


The Story So Far

The four biggest names of the Packers offseason so far could all be out of Green Bay when it's all said and done.

The four biggest names of the Packers offseason so far could all be out of Green Bay when it’s all said and done.

By Jon Meerdink

In the month since the Super Bowl, things have largely been quiet in Green Bay. Sure, there was that whole “we should totally have that Brett Favre ceremony at Lambeau Field” thing, but that wasn’t a story at all outside Wisconsin and was barely a story outside the eastern chunk of the state.

However, plenty of little things have developed over the past month or so, and since we’ve neglected to mention any of them so far, allow me to give you an episodic recap, as well as a few predictions.

1) A.J. Hawk probably should have been gone two years ago, but better late than never.

Everybody knows A.J. Hawk should have been cut years ago, but ever since Desmond Bishop shredded his hamstring, there was never a viable replacement on the roster. This roster move is only sad if you were convinced that Hawk was going to be something he never became and was never going to be. Hawk’s selection as the fifth pick remains a fascinating story to me, but it was time for him to go.

2) A.J., please make sure Brad leaves with you

If A.J. Hawk should have been gone two years ago, Brad Jones should have been gone with him. Ever since Pro Football Focus named him a “Secret Superstar” (an article I refuse to link to any more because I’m not going to give pageviews to a bad prediction unless it’s mine), he’s been an unmitigated disaster. How many plays did he completely screw up this season through silly penalties or missed assignments or airballed tackles? I don’t know, but it feels like it was a lot. This was a long time coming.

3) Maxx Williams is the new Tyler Eifert

Remember two years ago when seemingly every mock draft under the sun had the Packers picking Tyler Eifert? That trend seems to be repeating this year. I’m seeing Williams pop up a lot on mock drafts, which is surprising to me because the Packers have such serious needs at other positions. I know, I know…”best available player.” What determines best, though? Does talent determine what’s best or does need determine what you think is best? Either way, I have a tough time seeing the Packers picking a tight end, but stranger things have happened.

4) Prediction time: the Packers will draft a tackle, and may do so early

I know inside linebacker is probably a greater need, and if Randall Cobb leaves (more on that in a second) wide receiver will be a position of interest too, but don’t sleep on tackle either. Even if Bryan Bulaga returns, are you really comfortable with J.C. Tretter and post-ACL surgery Don Barclay as the top backups to David Bakhtiari and Bulaga? It’s probably not fair to cherry pick one play, but I can’t get the image of Tretter getting toasted by Mario Williams to end the game that could have locked up home field advantage for the Packers. I would not mind at all if Ted Thompson went tackle early.

5) Uncomfortable revelation time: I will be very sad if Randall Cobb leaves

Over the past few days, I’ve been trying to come to terms with the increasingly real possibility that Randall Cobb, perhaps my favorite Packers player, will not be in a Green Bay uniform next season. I understand all the reasons for not keeping him, but I think he’s still an ascending player and would probably be worth money at least comparable to what Jordy Nelson is getting. He’s the most versatile offensive threat that the Packers have had since Ahman Green, a guy who put up numbers that would have won him an MVP but for the fact that Priest Holmes existed. I think the Packers are still learning what he’s capable of being, and it would be shameful to see a 25 year old with such enormous upside leave. He could have five to seven more Pro Bowl-caliber seasons left.

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Super Bowl Email Chain

feature.super.bowl.2015.640x380.2Packer Perspective writers Jon Meerdink and Jordan Huenink traded emails about the Super Bowl this week. Here’s what they talked about. Who’s your pick for the Super Bowl?

Jon: Looking ahead to Sunday’s Super Bowl, I think it’s interesting how the stories of both teams have been similar. Both were highly regarded out of the gate, and for good reason. The Patriots are the Patriots and the Seahawks are the defending champs. But both faced significant questions throughout the year, too. The Patriots went through the whole “is Tom Brady washed up?” episode and the Seahawks had a bit of a midseason swoon. My question is, have both sides answered their questions? If not, what do you see as the issues they’re facing going into the game?

Jordan: There’s no denying that two, solid football teams are playing on Sunday. There’s also no denying that I enjoyed witnessing the early season struggles for each of them as well. Seeing the Patriots lose a few games and panic about the mortality of their QB probably brought joy into the lives of a majority of Americans – not just me. And knowing that the Packers could very well be facing the Seahawks in the post-season made their early-season stumbles that much more meaningful. But throughout the course of the season, both organizations seemed to have righted their respective ships. The Patriots offense has once again become the juggernaut that we know they can be with Brady and Gronk, and the Legion of Boom has found their footing as well.

The only issue I see for Seattle is one that was brought to light against the Packers. If they find themselves playing from behind, they don’t necessarily have the offense to come back. (Unless the other team hands it to them on a silver platter, that is.)  And while the Patriots offense is definitely capable of getting out to a quick lead, they proved against Baltimore that they can come back as well.

Jon: I think I agree that Seattle still has some work to do to prove that they can come back against teams. By all accounts, they had that game lost two weeks ago, if not for the two dozen or so things the Packers somehow managed to screw up.

I am starting to wonder, though, if people might be overlooking the Seahawks a little. I know you can’t really overlook anybody in the Super Bowl, but it seems like popular opinion is beginning to unite behind the Patriots as the favorite. But if anybody can shut down Rob Gronkowski and get to Tom Brady, it has to be these guys, wouldn’t you think?

Jordan: With their dominant performance against the Colts in the AFC Championship, it seems like the Patriots have definitely become the popular choice to raise the Lombardi. This situation seems eerily similar to the week leading up to Super Bowl XLIII when everyone wrote off the Seahawks against one of the best offenses the NFL has ever seen in the Peyton Manning led Denver Broncos. And we all know how that one ended…  After last year, I refuse to write off Seattle against the Brady Brigade, no matter how many points they’ve scored recently.

What aspect of the game are you looking most forward to? I’ll be making a point of watching Gronkowski versus the Seahawks linebackers – a position that they struggled with mightily over the course of the season.

Jon: I’m going to watch Russell Wilson intently. There were a lot of things that surprised me about Wilson in the NFC Championship game. He looked completely confused early, and the Packers managed to get pressure on him in a big way, making him look skittish in the pocket and shaky on his reads. We both know that Seattle’s offensive line is a liability. Can New England do the same? If anybody can scheme something up, it’s Bill Belichick.

Jordan: I have no reason to believe the Patriots aren’t going to attempt to attack Seattle how the Packers did in the first half of their game. I found it hard to believe how rattled Wilson looked over the course of 98% of that game. I mean, he only had seven interceptions all season, and then the Packers pick him off four times in ONE GAME? I bet you Revis is licking his chops.

It ceases to amaze me how Belichick can transform and mold his offensive schemes to fit the weaknesses in opposing defenses. In Week 11 against the Colts, they ran the ball 40 times for 250 yards and four touchdowns, and in the AFC Divisional playoff game against the Ravens, they only ran the ball seven times all game while Brady had 50 pass attempts. (You can see why owning Patriots players in fantasy football is frustrating!) I’m starting to find it harder to pick against the Patriots on Sunday

Jon: So who’s your pick? Blowout or close game?
Jordan: I’m definitely going with the Patriots, but the score is something harder to decide on. I’ll say Patriots 28, Seahawks 24. I can’t imagine it’s going to be a blowout. How about you?


I really want to pick the Patriots, but the more I think about it, the harder and harder time I have believing that the Seahawks can have two stinkers in a row. As I said earlier, we all know they were lucky to get out of the NFC Championship game alive, but the Seahawks haven’t had to rely on luck all that much recently. I think If they withstand New England’s early charge, they’ll come out on top. I’ve got Seahawks 30, Patriots 24.

The NFL Draft – Meeting Our Needs


The Packers drafted safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix with their first pick last year (21st overall).


by Jordan Huenink

Even though I’m still finding myself having conversations with co-workers about ‘the game,’ I think I’m finally coming around to accept the reality that the Packers season is over. Of course I plan on watching Sunday’s game, but I don’t plan on enjoying one second of it. Not even the commercials. Or the Puppy Bowl. Or the food. Okay, maybe the food.

But since the post-season is over, we now officially find ourselves in the off-season, a time where teams mold and shape their teams to give them a better shot at making a run to the Super Bowl next season. Their first shot at improvement is Free Agency, which Jon covered yesterday. After that comes the NFL Draft.

I’ve scoped out a few of the major sports sites and compiled a list of positions that they think the Packers need to address at the draft.

– Inside Linebacker
– Defensive Lineman
– Tight End

Inside linebacker was a position of need going into the 2014 season, but was not addressed by the front office. This weakness shined brightest in the play of A.J. Hawk and Brad Jones this past season. With B.J. Raji and Letroy Guion listed as free agents this year, the Packers could find themselves with a hole or two on the d-line. Richard Rodgers showed great improvement over the course of 2014, and I’m personally not ready to write him off. I think the Packers have other positions to address than tight end.

– Cornerback

This article was written days after Matt Ryan and Julio Jones carved up the Packers secondary on Monday Night Football. If the Packers choose not to or are unable to resign Tramon Williams and Davon House, they will find themselves thin at the cornerback position. Even if they resign Williams, he will only have one or two decent years left in him. Might not be a bad idea to invites in a young CB.

Bleacher Report
– Inside Linebacker

The article labels Hawk as a fan favorite, but a player that has become a hindrance on the field at times due to his lack of speed. They rightfully seem high on Jamari Lattimore, but feel a new face will be brought in on Draft Day to add speed to the linebacking corps.

– Inside Linebacker
– Cornerback
– Nose Tackle
– Rushing Linebacker
– Wide Receiver

This site uses some of the same reasons for needing ILB, CB and DL. They also realize that although Julius Peppers had a fantastic 2014, he won’t be around for very long. The Packers will need another linebacker able to rush the quarterback opposite Clay Matthews. They also mention a need at WR, but it seems like more of a need to sign Randall Cobb than find one in the draft.

Inside linebacker was the position that immediately came to mind before I started writing this post. If I have to sit through another game where Brad Jones draws a flag that extends the opponents’ drive and results in points, I may hate the number 59 for the rest of my life. I don’t mind A.J. Hawk one bit – I’m actually a Hawk jersey owner – but he either needs to stop pulling a piano around every time he chases a quarterback or he needs to thank the Packers for drafting him when he finds himself in a different team’s jersey.

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Ranking the Free Agents-to-Be

Two of these three men are important free agency targets. The third is Jamari Lattimore.

Two of these three men are important free agency targets. The third is Jamari Lattimore.

By Jon Meerdink

Of the 13 potential free agents we previewed before last season even began, only 11 remain. Derek Sherrod and Ryan Taylor have been involuntarily moved on to greener pastures. Well, I really can’t speak to the color of the grass where Sherrod and Taylor are, but assuming there is grass, I hope it’s green.

Anyhow, there are just 11 remaining free agents, and you could make a compelling case for keeping most of them around, if not all of them. Some need to be prioritized, so let’s take a look at each of them, tiered for your convenience.

Tier 1 – Big Bucks, But Worth It?

Randall Cobb – He’s no doubt the cream of the Packers free agent crop, and as such, he’s going to be expensive. I tried to handicap the market for cobb before the season, but the numbers may have close to doubled since then. I’d be inclined to pay him almost whatever he’d ask. Cobb has such terrific chemistry with Aaron Rodgers. His loss would be a tremendous blow to the Packers’ offense.

Bryan Bulaga – The former first round pick finally seems to have shaken the injury bug that’s bothered him the last couple seasons, but he always seems like he’s one bad step away from missing another game or two. Still, this year’s offensive line was by far the best in recent memory, and Bulaga’s steady play was a big reason for that. He was Pro Football Focus’s fifth ranked right tackle this season, and Fox Sports’ Paul Imig provides a good estimate as to what he could be worth.

Tier 2 – The Twins

B.J. Raji/Letroy Guion – The first pair of teammates hitting the free agent market is an interesting case, and one where I don’t think the Packers have a downside. The Packers could keep both, either, or neither and make a good case for any one of them. B.J. Raji was primed for a “prove it” year before he was sidelined with a torn bicep, and Guion, on a one year contract, was in a similar situation. Guion had a career year, but his career year wasn’t elite by any stretch of the imagination. I think it’s likely that Raji returns on a deal averaging slightly less than he’d have been paid this year and Guion gets slightly less than that.

Tramon Williams/Davon House Here’s a good case for “older but limited” vs. “potential but injured.” We know exactly what Tramon Williams is at this point in his career: a decent cover corner who will make between two and seven completely inexplicable bad plays a year, like the dunderheaded tackling job on Dallas’ short pass that turned into a touchdown in the divisional round. And while his plays are bad, it’s fair to point out that cornerbacks, at least when we watch on TV, usually go unnoticed, so perhaps it’s just that his plays look worse than others. What’s all that worth, especially with Williams on the wrong side of 30? Hard to say, but I think the Packers look to bring back House first, if only because he’s younger. Injury concerns, though, would seem to drive down House’s value.

Matt Flynn/Scott Tolzien – Color me unimpressed by either Packers back-up. The Flynn mythos is well established, although crossing your fingers that he’ll put together yet another lightning in a bottle game seems like a wish and not a plan. Tolzien has the tools, but questions constantly abound about the way he throws the ball. Tom Silverstein covered the topic at some length in November, and the concerns go back even farther than that, at least five years from what some cursory Googling reveals. At this point, I’m fine with keeping one or neither, and it’s probably a safe bet that at least one of them will be around at least through training camp next year.

Tier 3 – Spare Parts

John Kuhn – The annual Kuhn debate returns with the same talking points, only a year older! He’s still a fullback, still a pal with Aaron Rodgers, and still probably valuable in some capacity as a lead blocker, not that it made any difference down near the goal line during a recent game whose outcome I can’t remember.

Jarrett Bush – The annual Bush debate returns with the same tal…oh sorry. Anyhow, Jarrett Bush. He does special teams better than most other guys but nothing else, aside from destroying tight ends named Tony Gonzalez and occasionally Jason Witten. If Demetri Goodson figures things out, Bush is gone.

Jamari Lattimore – Here’s a fact that you may have forgotten: Jamari Lattimore started not one but SEVERAL games for the Packers this year. The fact that I can’t remember one thing that he did, good or bad, doesn’t seem to bode well for a guy who started five games.

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There was a game that happened here. I'm not sure exactly what happeend.

There was a game that happened here. I’m not sure exactly what happeend.

By Jon Meerdink

I haven’t been able to bring myself to watch the final quarter and a half of Sunday’s meltdown. I had to turn off the TV just as the Packers kicked a field goal to make the game 19-7 just past the midway point of the third quarter and return to church for volunteering purposes. Needless to say, the worst of my fears was realized: I watched the Packers slowly lose the lead and succumb to one of the greatest postseason collapses in history.

I have no plans to watch that final quarter and a half, as it would probably just make me feel worse about the game than I already do. And while the bad feelings are mitigated in large part by the news of the untimely passing of Mike McCarthy’s brother, I’m still left with the impression that the Packers wasted one of the best opportunities they may ever have to score another title during the Aaron Rodgers era.

As I detailed before the game, opportunities to truly contend are limited. For all we know, this could have been the Packers last, best shot to grab another championship before Rodgers rides off into the sunset. Whether they could have beaten the Patriots again, we’ll never know. We’ll always have to wonder what could have been.

This game reminds me very much of another road playoff collapse: the loss to the Philadelphia Eagles on January 11, 2004, better known as the 4th-and-26 game. You know the story. I remember exactly where I was sitting in the basement of my family’s house on North Main Street in Cedar Grove, Wisconsin when the game ended. I remember Brett Favre gifting an interception to Brian Dawkins in overtime. I remember seething as the game ended. And most of all, I remember a guy from my parents’ church group saying “well, that’s a bummer,” and then leaving the basement, like he didn’t have a care in the world.

That irritated the 15 year old version of me very much, but in hindsight I wonder if he had a point. He’d watched the same on-field disintegration that I had, but it didn’t bother him. He’d probably barely think about it on his drive home, because he’d properly compartmentalized that part of his life. He was much better adjusted than I was. I could spin it as saying that he wasn’t as much of a fan, and that may be true, but it’s probably equally likely that he was just a better fan than me.

So yes, the Packers may have wasted an incredible opportunity on Sunday, the fact remains that the clock is slowly ticking towards another football Sunday. We won’t see the Packers compete in a game that matters again until September, and even when we do, it won’t be the team that we invested in this season. And that’s okay. We’ll still watch. We’ll still enjoy the games. We’ll still have fun with our friends and families as we see a new version of the Packers grow and develop and succeed. All that will happen again next year, just as it did this year. And no matter the outcome, none of it will be wasted if we remember the game’s proper place.

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Another Shot – NFC Championship Preview


Julius Peppers nows moments like these are rare. Appreciate them when they come along.” width=”436″ height=”287″ /> Julius Peppers knows moments like these are rare. Appreciate them when they come along.

By Jon Meerdink

Football is a rare commodity. You’re guaranteed sixteen games a year and no more. As Packers fans, we’re already well into bonus coverage. Our team gets another shot this weekend, and we get another chance to see them play.

The Packers have now made the playoffs in six consecutive seasons. Six years in a row, our favorite team has had a shot at the ultimate goal. If that’s not remarkable enough, think back a generation to the beginning of the Brett Favre Era in Green Bay. How many shots did the Packers have then? How many times did the season extend beyond Week 17?

It’s been a long run of success in Green Bay, and that run got a little longer this year. But this is far from ordinary. The Packers have had two consecutive Hall of Fame quarterbacks under center, and more than enough good fortune to put excellent players around them. What we’ve seen over the last two decades and change is extraordinarily rare.

But think deeper about those years. The Packers have won two Super Bowls, been to three, and gotten to the conference championship two more times, only to fall short. In those more than two decades of success that’s five times the Packers have had a shot at either winning or going to a Super Bowl. This Sunday makes number six. Even with Hall of Fame quarterbacks, chances at winning it all don’t come along all that often.

Few people on the Packers know that better than Julius Peppers. He’s had all the individual success in the world, but a ring eludes him. In a news conference this week, Peppers talked about what it’s like to come up short time and time again.

“All of those were close calls,” he said. “I always thought I’d be back the following year, and it never happened. It makes you realize that you have to take advantage of the moment when you have it.”

Peppers has another moment on Sunday, and so do we. The odds are steep, and the Packers will need more than a few breaks to fall their way to come out on top. But they have a shot, and that’s the most important thing.

Football is a rare commodity indeed, and opportunities to watch your team succeed at the highest level are even more rare. Appreciate this Sunday. Enjoy the ride, no matter what the outcome. We never know when this chance could come back again.

The Pick – Packers: 31 Seahawks: 30

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Is Stopping Marshawn the Lynch-Pin?

By Jordan Huenink

As we get closer to conference championship weekend in the NFL, there aren’t a lot of media outlets giving the Packers a huge chance this weekend in Seattle. In fact, I think they’re currently listed as a seven point underdog! Apparently everyone outside of Green Bay thinks the equation is:

NFC Championship Equation

But on the Green and Gold side of things, we know that Aaron Rodgers and the Packers have what it takes to pull the apparent upset of the reigning Super Bowl champs. Jon touched on the passing attack yesterday, and today I’m going to look into how the Packers defense can limit the impact that running back Marshawn Lynch has for the Seattle offensive attack.

In Week 1, Lynch ran all over the Packers to the tune of 110 yards and two touchdowns. By season’s end, Lynch racked up a stat line of 1,306 rushing yards and 17 total touchdowns. He’s what makes the Seattle offense tick, and is probably at the top of the “Most Feared” list heading into Sunday’s game.

In the Seahawks’ four losses on the season, Lynch was held to stat lines of 63 total yards and a receiving TD (@SD), 62 total yards (vs DAL), 71 total yards (@ STL), and 124 yards rushing (vs KC). So it’s clear that limiting his output is a key factor in keeping Seattle in check.

Lynch is a bruiser. Not only can he sidestep a would-be tackler, he can lower his head and just run straight through you. All this physical running takes a toll on opposing defenses as the game goes on. Most of his longer rushes have occurred late in games when the other team is getting worn down. There’s no easy way to tackle him without giving up additional yards or getting trucked in the process. Trust me, I’ve tried. (NOTE: I have not actually tried.)

In Week 1, the Seahawks also used Percy Harvin as a rusher to mix up their run game. As a result, the defense had to account for Harvin every time he went into motion. This then opened up running lanes for Lynch or drew defenders out of the box. Even though Harvin was traded to the Jets, the Packers will still have to account for the read option by quarterback Russell Wilson, who the Pack held in check in their first meeting (seven rushes for 29 yards).

They key to slowing down Lynch (because it will be near impossible to stop him completely) will be for Clay Matthews and the defense not to get worn down by the time the fourth quarter rolls around. Single coverage on the Seattle wide receivers will help with this, since safeties Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, Morgan Burnett and Micah Hyde will then be free to help stop the run.

It will also be crucial that the defense stays smart and stays to their rush lanes. If defenders over pursue or fail to set the edge, Lynch and Wilson can easily exploit those errors and turn them into big gains. Do I need to remind you of what Colin Kaepernick has done in the past?

kaepernick run

And finally, just one word. TACKLE! There have been an agonizing number of missed tackles by the Packers secondary which turned minimal gains into huge plays for the opposing teams. Off the top of my head I think of two examples. First, this embarrassing touchdown run by then-Buccaneer LeGarrette Blount.

Blount GIF
And I’m sure you all remember Tramon Williams‘ missed tackle in last week’s game that turned into a long touchdown for Cowboys receiver Terrance Williams. I believe Clinton-Dix also had a missed tackle against Brandon Marshall of the Bears that turned into a long touchdown.

william whiff

Play clean, sound defense and limit the big plays, and the Packers can come out of Seattle with the win and a ticket to Super Bowl XLIX in Arizona.

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A Quick Pass to Victory

Rivers and the Chargers took down Seattle in Week 2. Can the Packers do the same?

Rivers and the Chargers took down Seattle in Week 2. Can the Packers do the same?

By Jon Meerdink

The Seahawks’ secondary is getting all kinds of publicity leading up to this weekend’s NFC Championship, and for good reason: they’re really good. They’ve thoroughly flummoxed just about every top-flight quarterback they’ve faced, including Aaron Rodgers in Week 1. The Packers famously made the decision to avoid Richard Sherman entirely that day, cutting off half the field even more effectively than Sherman already does. It didn’t work. The Seahawks were more than okay with the Packers avoiding half the field, and the Packers couldn’t do enough on the half they alloted themselves to even put a small dent in Seattle’s defense.

It won’t be the same this time around, however. The Packers have already gone on record as saying they’ll be going Richard Sherman’s direction, and I think we’ll see some new wrinkles that Mike McCarthy is cooking up this week, much like he did in preparation for the New England Patriots.

Might it be simpler than that, though? Is there an easier way than out-scheming the Seahawks? Former Packers coach Mike Holmgren thinks there is. here’s what he told the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel this week:

Asked how he would attack the Seahawks, Holmgren said that he would throw on first down and run on second because Carroll tends to have his big linemen in the game on first down and replace them with his pass rushers on second down.

“They’re going to bring their ‘quicks’ in on second down,” Holmgren said. “They substitute a lot on second down. When they go to their smalls, you run and try to get in third and short. Then you have a chance.

“That’s what San Diego did (in a 30-21 Seahawks loss).”

A look at the play-by-play data from San Diego’s Week 2 tilt with Seattle reveals this to be at least partly true. Overall (and not counting kneel downs), the Chargers called passes on 16 of their first down plays and runs on…17. But wait! There’s more! During the Chargers’ impressive first half, in which they outscored the Seahawks 21-14, they went with passes on 12 plays and runs on just seven. That may be more the approach Holmgren was hinting at.

Could it work? The Packers have the personnel to do so, but pass protection will be even more at a premium. If quick passing on first down is the answer, the biggest question will be pass protection.

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Packers vs Seahawks: A History Lesson

Packers-Seahawks.1aby Jordan Huenink

Last time the Packers traveled to Seattle to take on the Seahawks it wasn’t a pretty outcome for the Pack. The Seahawks were coming off a convincing Super Bowl win against one of the most potent offenses of all time in the Denver Broncos, and it was also the night they got to raise their championship banner. It was the first game of the 2014 NFL season, and the Pack were went packing by the score of 36-16.

Both teams find themselves at the top of the NFC, but it’s not the first time that’s been the case for these organizations.

Back in the day when players like Brett Favre, Matt Hasselbeck, Shaun Alexander and Ahman Green took the field, these two teams faced off in two of the greatest playoff games of all time. Let me correct myself. They faced off in two of MY favorite playoff games of all time. Let’s take a look back at these two, fantastic games.

2003 Playoffs – Wild Card Round

The Packers finished the 2003 season NFC North champions with a record of 10-6 and the #3 seed in the playoffs. Brett Favre finished the season with 32 touchdowns and 21 interceptions. (An enormous number compared to what we’ve now grown accustomed to with Aaron Rodgers.) Ahman Green was in the prime of his career having rushed for over 1,800 yards and 15 touchdowns on the season. He was a beast.

The Seahawks also went 10-6 to earn their Wild Card spot (5-1 in the NFC West) – the #5 seed. Matt Hasselbeck tossed 26 touchdowns and 15 interceptions on the season, while Shaun Alexander posted 1,435 yards rushing to go along with 14 touchdowns of his own.

The two teams had played at Lambeau back in Week 5. A game in which the Packers dispensed of the Seahawks by the score of 35-13. Favre threw two touchdowns, and Green rushed for two. Alexander had the lone, Seattle touchdown in the contest.

Like most Lambeau, playoff games, it was chilly. Game time temperature was 20 degrees with a wind chill of 7 at kickoff. The Packers were looking to avenge a 2002 home, playoff loss to Michael Vick and the Falcons – the organization’s first ever playoff loss at home. Head coach Mike Holmgren was on the sidelines, but for the visiting team. You can see the kind of storylines that were probably being reported by the media leading up to this game.

With the score at 6-3 in favor of the Seahawks, Favre found tight end Bubba Franks for a 23-yard touchdown pass for the game’s first touchdown. A Ryan Longwell field goal made it 13-6 heading into halftime.

Seattle came out with a strong drive to start the second half, and tied the game as Alexander converted a 4th and goal from the one yard line for the touchdown. He would then give the Seahawks the lead later in the quarter with another goal line score.

Ahman Green answered with a goal line touchdown of his own to tie the game at 20-20. He then found the end zone in the fourth quarter to give the Packers a late lead. But Hasselbeck orchestrated a comeback drive to tie the game with Alexander’s third touchdown of the game. A last-second Longwell field goal came up short for the win. The game was heading to overtime.

Then this happened.

2007 Playoffs – Divisional Round

The teams met again four years later in the second round of the playoffs, once again at Lambeau. The Packers rolled into the playoffs at 13-3 and NFC North Champs (despite two losses to Chicago). Seattle went 10-6 and won the NFC West.

While the quarterbacks stayed the same since their last, playoff meeting, the Packers now had Ryan Grant in the backfield rather than Ahman Green. Shaun Alexander was still with the Seahawks, but was injured for part of the year and had only tallied four touchdowns on the season. Grant rushed for 958 yards on the season and eight touchdowns.

The first thing that comes to mind when I think of this game was the snow. Despite a green field at kickoff, the snow quickly came down, turning Lambeau Field into a real-life snow globe. If I remember correctly, people had to run out on the field with shovels during timeouts to uncover the lines on the field. I also remember Favre throwing snowballs at Donald Driver with that childish glee on his face.

Snowball As for the game, Ryan Grant managed to put the Packers in an early, 14-0 hole. Grant fumbled on the first play of the game as well as on the team’s second drive. Seattle quickly struck with two, early touchdowns.

But from that point on, it was all Green Bay. The offense rattled off six, straight touchdown drives despite the barrage of snow. Favre threw two touchdowns to Greg Jennings and one to running back Brandon Jackson, while Grant redeemed himself in a big way with 201 yards rushing and three scores.

This game is memorable to me because it really encapsulated a lot of what the Packers were about at that time. The snowfall was a testament to the conditions of Lambeau, the snowball fights were the epitome of Favre’s boyish love of the game, and the score mirrored the dominance of the 2000s.

Check out these highlights from the game. Sorry for the crappy quality.

Thanks for taking a walk down memory lane with me. We now turn our attention to Sunday’s game against a Seattle team that is quite different than the ones from 2003 or 2007. We’ll dive into this match-up more as the week goes on.

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