Before we get to the nitty gritty of this week's game, let me just say I'm a little bit jealous of Seattle fans. I mean, have you SEEN the Pacific Northwest? Yeah, it's pretty incredible. If I had to live somewhere just for the scenery, that might be the place I'd pick. Not that Wisconsin isn't beautiful, but I've seen exactly zero mountains in the 24 years I've lived here.
With that out of the way, let me compliment the Seattle Seahawks. The sports scene in that part of the country is rather dismal. The Mariners regularly struggle to reach mediocrity, despite the best efforts of Felix Hernandez. The best college football team in the region is across the border in Oregon. And last but not least, the Seattle Supersonics are...the Oklahoma City Thunder.
But hope springs in Century Link Field! Led by a young quarterback with a big arm and great mobility, complemented by an All-Pro running back, and backed up by a terrific secondary, the Seahawks may be on the verge of building something interesting in Seattle. But on the other side of the field, Green Bay is coming off one of their most dominant defensive performances in recent memory, and Aaron Rodgers still presides as the premier quarterback in the NFL. Who's coming out on top tonight? Let the Countdown begin!
5 - Times Russell Wilson has been sacked through two games this year, tied for tenth in the league. Former first round selection Russell Okung will try to prevent that number from rising as he squares off with Clay Matthews this week. Green Bay currently leads the leagues in sacks with 11.
4 - Road games in the next five weeks for the Packers, including this week at Seattle. Over the next month and a half, the Packers will play Seattle on the road, New Orleans at home, and then Indianapolis, Houston, and St. Louis on the road. This is Green Bay's first road game of the season.
3 - Losses by the Packers in primetime games since 2009 in 12 total tries, a winning percentage of .750. This is the second prime-time game of the season and the second of five this year (including three more trips to Sunday Night Football).
2 - Sacks this season by Packer rookies (one each by Mike Daniels and Jerel Worthy). First round pick Nick Perry has yet to notch a sack, but he's freed up a lot of running room for Clay Matthews this year.
1 - Games in franchise history when the Packers have combined for seven sacks and four interceptions while allowing less than 200 total yards (last week against Chicago). After an underwhelming debut, the Packers' defense responded with a dominant performance against the Bears. How they perform against the rookie Wilson and his running mate Marshawn Lynch will likely go a long way toward determining the outcome of this game.
The Packers and Seahawks last met in 2009, when Green Bay administered a late December 48-10 beatdown at Lambeau Field. Brandon Jackson and Ryan Grant both scored two touchdowns on the ground en route to the...rout, I guess. My point is, Green Bay was pretty dominant. Ahman Green even got in on the scoring, putting points on the board for his one-time former team against another of his former teams. If only the Texans had somehow been involved.
Meet a Seahawk
Kam Chancellor - Safety
Kam Chancellor is a big dude, standing 6'3" and weighing 232 pounds. Falling somewhere between small linebacker and giant safety, Chancellor spends most of his time laying the lumber to opposing receivers and tight ends. The 24-year old from Virginia Tech currently leads the Seahawks in tackles and has also defensed one pass. He's also known by the nickname "Bam Bam," and I'll let this highlight video explain exactly why. (FYI: go ahead and mute the video. I'll spare you the profanity-laced rap lyrics.)
Green Bay - 31 Seattle - 14
The Packers' offense has to break out eventually, and I think this is the week. Coach Mike McCarthy expressed confidence that this could be the week they put it all together, and I agree. Plus, Dom Capers should have plenty of ammunition to throw at his first rookie QB of the season, and I expect Clay Matthews to introduce himself to Mr. Wilson early and often.
One More Thing
The Green Bay Packers have the third worst rush defense in the league, based on yards per attempt. Currently, only the Cincinnati Bengals and the St. Louis Rams are giving up more yards per carry (5.5 each) than the 5.1 yards per carry surrendered by the Packers. Seattle's leading rusher, Marshawn Lynch, is averaging 4.4 yards per carry. Run defense may be something to watch closely in this one.