Seahawks vs. Packers: Lombardi Ave.’s view of the game

GREEN BAY, WI - DECEMBER 11: Russell Wilson
GREEN BAY, WI - DECEMBER 11: Russell Wilson /
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GREEN BAY, WI – DECEMBER 11: Russell Wilson
GREEN BAY, WI – DECEMBER 11: Russell Wilson /

The Seattle Seahawks play the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field at 1:25 pm PT on Sunday. To get a Packers view of the game, I asked Ray Rivard five questions about the matchup.

Ray Rivard works at FanSided’s Green Bay Packers site, Lombardi Ave. Though Ray is part of the enemy today, he is still a great writer. He was nice enough to let me bounce some questions off him about the Seahawks versus the Packers. Here are his thoughts.

Aaron Rodgers

12th Man Rising: Aaron Rodgers may be the best quarterback in the NFL. He went through about a 16-game stretch recently where he didn’t seem himself before being great again the second half of last year. What was happening in that stretch? And what caused him to regain his greatness?

Ray Rivard: Man, if I knew the answer to that question, I might be able to cure cancer or establish world peace. The only answer anyone could probably point to is that Aaron Rodgers is indeed human. Many have said in the past that he’s Superman. For most of his career, he has been nearly unstoppable. But over that 16-game stretch I feel there were a number of things that caught up with him. First of all, the team, administration and coaches around him had grown complacent. After all, the Packers seemed to be on auto pilot over the stretch of a few years, making the playoffs without much need to make changes. However, I feel the rest of the league finally caught up to that Packers offense and scheme.

Inside 1265 Lombardi Avenue there seemed to be a wakeup call among all of the troops. When Aaron told everyone that the Packers were going to run the table during the last half of last season, everyone scoffed because they had seen this team on the field. They seemed uninspired and lazy. Then Rodgers took control and rallied the troops, plain and simple. He led this team to wins by what seemed like shear will. Packers fans are hoping the changes the team has made this offseason, coupled with a new desire for a Super Bowl by Rodgers, will help turn this team around and take them that one step further to a Super Bowl.

Martellus Bennett, Michael’s brother, is new to Green Bay this season

12th Man Rising: The Packers have great weapons around Rodgers. One recent addition is Martellus Bennett, brother of Michael. What should fans expect from Martellus this year and how does he improve the Packers offense?

Rivard: Martellus is by far the biggest addition who should have an immediate impact on this team. Since Jermichael Finley was forced to retire, the tight end position has been an after thought by the Packers. In years past, the tight end has always been an important X-factor for the Packers offense. Players like Finley were put on the field to stretch defenses and to help open up the outside for guys like Greg Jennings, Jordy Nelson, and Donald Driver.

Martellus Bennett looks to be the player who can do that for this Packers offense. In addition to Bennett, the Packers also brought in Lance Kendricks and still have Richard Rodgers at the position. If there is one deep position on this team, tight end is the deepest. Bennett and company will give Rodgers the firepower in the middle of the field that will make this offense one of the most dynamic in the league.

Packers defense

12th Man Rising: The Packers are not without talent on defense either. How do you see them matching up against the Seahawks week one? And is the defense good enough to win a championship?

Rivard: That’s the question everyone is asking. If you look at last year’s defense, it was the team’s Achilles heel. When Matt Ryan went off on the Packers secondary in the championship game, it was clear something had to be done. The Packers went out and got safety Josh Jones in the draft, brought Davon House back into the fold and drafted cornerback Kevin King with their first pick.

Those three things should have a huge impact, but the Packers weren’t done there. Just in the past couple of weeks the Packers also brought in former San Francisco 49ers Ahmad Brooks and Quinten Dial, as well as signed Ricky Jean Francois to bolster an interior defensive line that already had Mike Daniels and Kenny Clark. On paper, this defense is greatly improved – that is if OLBs Clay Matthews and specifically, Nick Perry, can stay healthy for 16 games. Yes, on paper the defense has enough firepower to win a championship, but the injury bug has to stay away and Dom Capers has to come up with schemes that will utilize these guys in ways that plays to their strengths.