The Seattle Seahawks (0-1) will pay an old friend a visit when they come to Lambeau Field this weekend to take on the Green Bay Packers (1-0), whom they defeated in last season's NFC Championship game. The Seahawks hit an early bump in the road by losing in overtime to the St. Louis Rams Sunday, while the Packers cruised to yet another victory over the Chicago Bears. Will Russell Wilson's Seahawks rebound in Week 2, or will Aaron Rodgers' Packers avenge January's playoff loss?
Here are three keys to the game for both the Seahawks and the Packers.
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The Seahawks were culprits of two blunders in Week 1 that played a deciding factor in the outcome. The game-tying touchdown allowed to Lance Kendricks after Dion Bailey tripped and the botched onsides kick to start overtime sealed their fate. If there is a repeat performance of critical mistakes down the stretch, expect the Seahawks to be going home 0-2.
2. Buy some time for Russell Wilson
Wilson was essentially running for his life in Week 1, as the Rams' defensive line consistently won the battle at the line of scrimmage. It should be a far easier time for the Seahawks' offensive line to handle the Packers' front seven, but playing on the road (again) won't be easy, particularly at Lambeau. If the Seahawks are to attempt passes downfield, Wilson needs some time in the pocket to find his receivers.
3. Feed the Beast (Mode)
Matt Forte had himself a day in Week 1, rushing for 141 yards against the Packers. As such, it should be quite evident who the Seahawks should turn to for offense come Sunday. Feed Lynch, control the clock and keep Aaron Rodgers off the field. That's a recipe for success.
1. Stuff the run
The Seahawks' offense is powered by one of the NFL's toughest workhorse running backs in Marshawn Lynch. Last week against the Bears, the Packers struggled to contain Forte, who racked up 166 yards of total offense. This week's threat is two-pronged, as ll Wilson can be as lethal with his legs. The Packers must keep a watchful eye on the read option.
2. Pound away with Eddie Lacy
Seattle has a notoriously strong secondary, led by cornerback Richard Sherman and safety Earl Thomas, so Green Bay's receivers will have their work cut out for them on Sunday night. The Packers can make life a little easier for their pass-catchers by pounding away at the line with Eddie Lacy. He will power the way to victory by forcing the Seahawks to respect the run.
3. Protect Aaron Rodgers
Rodgers is the biggest difference-maker in this game, so count on Seattle's ferocious defense to be gunning for him. If the Seahawks repeatedly disrupt his performance, there's a good chance they win the game. Green Bay's offensive line, anchored by standout guards Josh Sitton and T.J. Lang, must protect Rodgers and keep the pass-rush at bay.