The Green Bay Packers (1-1) will travel to the northwest to take on the resurgent Seattle Seahawks (1-1) led by rookie quarterback Russell Wilson. Both teams handled their opponents well last week, as they defeated the Chicago Bears and Dallas Cowboys by a combined 33 points.
This will be a tough game for Green Bay in a difficult environment. There is no question Qwest Field will be rocking louder than usual considering it is a primetime game on Monday Night Football. Not to mention, there is something about Wilson that makes teams nervous to face him. This will be a great opportunity for the Packers’ offense to finally come alive this season and show the world what they are all about this year.
The following are five things Green Bay must do in order to defeat Seattle on Monday night:
Get after Russell Wilson
Wilson’s dynamic play is what is currently pumping energy into the Seahawks. He has converted 61.1 percent of his passes for a total of 304 yards and two touchdowns while only throwing one interception in two games this season. The last thing the Packers want to do is allow him to get comfortable in the pocket and survey the field. Seattle’s offensive line has only given up five sacks this season, but Green Bay has recorded 11 so something will have to give. If the Packers get Wilson flustered and forcing bad passes, they will win the game.
Eliminate crowd noise
As I have already stated, Qwest field is a nightmare to play away games at especially during primetime games. The “12th man” is easily the loudest outdoor stadium in the NFL and the noise has certainly helped with some victories over the years. Green Bay’s goal should be to get ahead early and convert a couple of big plays to take the crowd out of the game. Forcing turnovers on defense, as well as, three-and-outs will also be a huge factor in lessening the noise.
Make Marshawn Lynch a non-factor
The Seahawks currently rank seventh in the league in rushing yards (148.5 per game) and most of that has to do with Marshawn Lynch. Seattle’s No. 1 goal will be to establish a rushing attack early and often against a Green Bay defense that has been horrendous at stopping the run this season. The Packers have allowed 140.0 yards per game, good for 27th in the NFL, which fits perfectly into what the Seahawks will be trying to do. Lynch only appears to be a factor in the running game so shutting him down there will have a huge effect on the outcome of the contest. If he runs wild, the Packers could very well be in danger of losing.
Get Randall Cobb involved early
Randall Cobb is Green Bay’s secret weapon on offense and is everything general manager Ted Thompson envisioned when he drafted the 22-year-old out of Kentucky in the second round last season. The Packers have utilized Cobb several different ways already this season with plenty of success. Lining him up in the backfield and hitting him with quick passes appears to be very effective against defenses worried about the big receivers. Getting Cobb involved early will open up the big play downfield for Aaron Rodgers and Jordy Nelson.
Force Seahawks’ offense to pass
The Seahawks rank last in the league in passing yards (136.0 per game), which means they will try to establish a run first. Meanwhile, the Packers have been surprisingly good this season against the pass, as they rank 13th in the league. Being a rookie quarterback playing on Monday Night Football, head coach Pete Carroll will attempt to get Lynch involved before putting the pressure on Wilson to convert passes. If Green Bay can somehow slow the running backs down and force Wilson to pass, then they might be able to feast off of some turnovers.
Michael is a MLB and NBA Featured Writer for Rant Sports, but covers topics for various teams in baseball, basketball, and football. Make sure to follow Michael on Twitter @MichaelTerrill and on Facebook.