Here we are – week 2 of the 2015/16 NFL season.
This week, we’ll be looking at the pros and cons for this round’s clash between the Seattle Seahawks and Green Bay Packers.
In week one, Seattle narrowly lost a great game in overtime against St. Louis while Aaron Rodgers and his team walked out of Chicago with a win over the Bears.
This week will be an epic clash at Lambeau Field with both teams looking to make a statement.
GREEN BAY PACKERS
Green Bay pulled out a win over a re-building Chicago franchise last week but they’ll have their work cut out for them this week when they take on an angry Russell Wilson and co.
Under Mike McCarthy, Green Bay hold a 81% win record at Lambeau Field which is one of the more impressive home field win rates in the NFL.
With the stadium also being recently upgraded with more seats and better training facilities, the Packers will be right at home.
The Rodgers-Jones Connection.
The return of James Jones looked impressive in week one.
After jumping to Oakland last season before jumping to the Giants and being cut, James Jones returned to Green Bay and instantly reconnected with Rodgers for 2 TD’s (one of them being a beautiful one handed catch).
If these two can find some early season form, the Packers attack will look very formidable indeed.
Cobb’s Looking Impressive.
When Randall Cobb went down in the preseason with a shoulder injury, there was a flutter of panic in the Green Bay camp. With a distinct lack of depth at WR, there was some concern but thankfully Cobb pulled through and found some rhythm against Chicago including a TD in the 4th Quarter.
Less Than Winning Record.
The Packers are 10-8 over Seattle but have lost the last 3 times these two teams have met.
Will that be playing on Aaron Rodgers mind as he tries to take his team to 2-0 or will the pressure of a losing streak prove too much to handle?
Jordy Nelson is Gone All Season.
One of Green Bays best players succumbed to a leg injury during their preseason.
With a distinct lack of cover at wide receiver, they have had to scramble and recall James Jones from Free Agency.
While James Jones has a great partnership with Rodgers, there is a rare chemistry between Nelson and Aaron that is hardly seen in the game today.
The Packers allowed Chicagos Matt Forte to rush for 141 yards including one touchdown.
These aren’t the kind of gaps they want to leave exposed to Seattle and you can be well assured that Coach McCarthy will be re-watching the tape to make sure that it doesn’t happen again.
The 2014/15 NFC Champions aren’t off to a great start this season.
Pete Carroll will be feeling the pressure, especially after the final seconds of Super Bowl XLIX. The memes of that final play alone will follow him for the rest of his career.
Now, his boys have a chance to make a statement with a win away from home when they take on Aaron Rodgers.
Russell Wilson will be looking to make a statement, much like Tom Brady last week.
As we saw there, motivation to put doubters to bed can be a powerful boost.
Seattle will be looking to make their third consecutive Super Bowl and put the horrors of this years SB loss to the Patriots behind them.
Form in the Final Minutes.
The last quarter against St. Louis had Seattle post 18 points which is always an impressive feat.
It shows that Seattle can preform under pressure and get points when it matters.
It was a run of bad luck in the final 60 seconds that saw them ultimately lose the game and shows that there is some potential with the Seattle offense.
Lightning Strikes Again?
I mentioned it in the Green Bay Cons section. The last 3 times these teams have met, Seattle have come out number one. That should hopefully build some confidence which is something that they are lacking right now.
Russell Wilson had 41 attempts with the ball against the Rams which shows that they have had the ball in hand-now they just need to capitalise on it.
This is most likely me just being too harsh. Seattle needed 1 yard in over time to win the game.
Sound familiar? Except this time, they did exactly what they should have done last time and threw it to Marshawn Lynch. And everyone knew that’s exactly what they were going to do.
The fans knew it, the Rams defence knew it. They shut Lynch down for a 1 yard loss and sealed the game.
Seattle’s attack needs to be seriously looked at for other options.
Rough Day to be Wilson.
Russell Wilson was sacked six times. SIX. That tape needs to be reviewed, studied and made sure that it never happens again.
The Rams managed to put together a defence that featured five first-round picks up front which no doubt influenced this stat but with a defence as formidable as Seattles, that is something Pete Carroll needs to look at.
Jon Ryan from Seattle kicked a 57 yard punt which was then immediately returned for a 75 yard TD.
These are the kind of simple errors the Seahawks cannot afford from their Special Team if they plan to make a push for Super Bowl 50.
There will be a lot of work this week and don’t be surprised if we see a few changes in the line up for Seattle.
At the end of the day, this could really go either way.
I’m counting on Seattle to pull finger and get their act together to win a tight match. They’ve shown that they can work well under pressure. Now they just have to work well in every other kind of situation too. Seattle to win 31-28 (or something in that margin).
Players to Watch:
Watch for a more aggressive Marshawn Lynch at Lambeau Field. This is a game where he needs to step up.
For Green Bay, James Jones will be looking to build on the momentum he has started with Aaron Rodgers so keep an eye on that combo-it could be the game winner for the Packers.