3 Things for Seahawks to win
1. Seattle’s offensive line must play better. Obviously it was a tough matchup last week against arguably the best defensive front in the NFL on the road; but the Seahawks are unlikely to get in the win column in Week 2 if the Packers are able to get after Russell Wilson like the Rams did in Week 1. With a few new faces along that offensive line we anticipated that there might be some struggles early on but for the Seahawks’ sake that unit must take a big step forward in Week 2.
2. Pressure Aaron Rodgers relentlessly. Let’s face it, we all know how talented the Legion of Boom is and we understand what Kam Chancellor means to that defense. But the fact remains, if you cannot consistently pressure, hit, sack the opposing quarterback you’re going to struggle to get stops. The Seahawks’ pass rush simply didn’t get it done against what is widely considered a poor offensive line in St. Louis. Nick Foles managed a 115.8 QB rating against Seattle in Week 1 despite the Rams’ lack of a running game (2.9 yards per carry). The 7 QB hits and 2 sacks weren’t enough to stop Nick Foles. It certainly won’t be enough to stop Aaron Rodgers. The Seahawks’ pass rush has to be substantially better.
3. Beast Mode. Offensive line took a step back, Jimmy Graham isn’t much of a run blocker, none of your receivers scare anyone, stopped on 4th and short, but do not waver. Continue to run your offense through Marshawn Lynch. Matt Forte made the Cheese Heads look like Swiss Cheese in Week 1 (24/141/1).
3 Things for Packers to win
1. Block it up front. Aaron Rodgers does a great job of buying time, sliding in the pocket and getting on the perimeter which tends to mask Green Bay’s, average at best, pass protection. A good pass rush can make the best quarterbacks look mediocre. The Packers’ offensive tackles in particular need to do a better job in their one-on-one battles with speed rushers on the edge. We’re looking at you Bulaga and Bakhtiari.
2. Someone other than Julius Peppers and Clay Matthews needs to make a play. The Packers have talent on defense, however, over the past couple of seasons that talent simply hasn’t played at a high enough level. Obviously, there is a lot of youth in the secondary but veterans: B.J. Raji, Sam Shields, and Nick Perry need to play substantially better.
3. Attack Dion Bailey. Bailey struggled in Week 1 in his attempt to replace Kam Chancellor and there is little reason to expect that he will fair better against the Packers receivers in Week 2. The Seahawks may try to protect him a bit more in this matchup by playing him in the box and leaving Earl Thomas as the single high safety. However, it behooves Aaron Rodgers and company to identify Bailey pre-snap and force him into isolated coverage situations. Bailey is the weakest link.
What to watch for…
The level of physicality in this contest. Outside of a few individual players the Packers aren’t really a “physical” team. And the Seahawks certainly didn’t appear to be a physical team last week. Early indication of which team is winning the physical battle will be displayed along the line of scrimmage. But sometimes it takes one player to set the tone. Without Kam Chancellor, who might that player be?
The Front Office Says…
Juice – The Seattle Seahawks win.
Headley – The Green Bay Packers win.