Tale of the tape: Packers at Seahawks
Take a quick glance at the tale of the tape for Monday night’s showdown between the Green Bay Packers and Seattle Seahawks.
The Packers’ offense has gotten off to a slow start, but QB Aaron Rodgers could be a man on a mission after having his leadership skills called out earlier this week by TE Jermichael Finley’s agent. Wide receiver Greg Jennings sat out last week's game versus Chicago with a groin injury, but returned to practice earlier this week and is questionable Monday.
Seattle RB Marshawn Lynch has certainly stepped up as the leader for his team, amassing 207 yards and a touchdown while dealing with the lingering effects of a balky back. Rookie QB Russell Wilson is commanding a passing attack that is averaging a league-low 136 yards per game.
The Packers enter with the second-ranked pass defense in the league. The Green Bay secondary came up huge last week, picking off Bears QB Jay Cutler four times. LB Clay Mathews is giving opposing QBs nightmares, opening the season with six sacks, the highest total in the league.
The Seahawks boast the second-ranked rushing defense in the NFL, allowing an average of just 46 yards per game. The Seattle defense held Tony Romo and the high-powered Cowboys offense to just seven points in Week 2 and only 49 yards on the ground.
Packers punter Tim Masthay connected on a 27-yard touchdown pass to tight end Tom Crabtree on a faked field-goal attempt that helped spur last week's victory over the Bears. That was the team’s second special teams TD of the season following Randall Cobb’s 75-yard punt return for a score against San Francisco in the season opener.
The Seahawks also scored a special teams TD on a blocked punt in their win over the Cowboys last week. Additionally, the unit recovered a Dallas fumble on the game’s opening kickoff that was turned into a field goal.
Word on the street
“You start with your offensive line and quarterback, that's the biggest stress point in my mind when you play in loud stadiums. The perimeter players have to keep their eye on the ball. Aaron (Rodgers) does a very job with cadence, in loud stadiums and in our own stadium. It's something we put a lot of time into as far as our cadence, and not just training one quarterback and one center. It'll be a big challenge, something we've been preparing for all week.” – Packers coach Mike McCarthy on the crowd noise in Seattle.
“I think that he is one of the truly special ‘effort’ guys in the league. He’s quick, he’s strong, he’s instinctive and all of that, but what separates him is that he’s relentless.”--Seahawks coach Pete Carroll on Clay Mathews. Carroll also said he plans to keep a tight end on Mathews to block and will have his running backs chip him before going out on a route.