Seahawks have to draft their own blueprint to beat the Packers

GREEN BAY, WI - SEPTEMBER 10: Russell Wilson #3 of the Seattle Seahawks. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
GREEN BAY, WI - SEPTEMBER 10: Russell Wilson #3 of the Seattle Seahawks. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images) /

The Seahawks will have to keep the Packers offense in check to win Sunday. Or maybe just outscore them in a track meet. Both have worked this year.

The Seahawks will have all 46 hands full tomorrow when they face the Packers at Lambeau Field. They haven’t had a lot of luck winning there lately, as you may have heard. I’d rather focus here on just what it will take for Seattle to turn recent history on its head. An Infinity Gauntlet would be quite helpful; I can just see Russell Wilson kneeling in a victory formation at the final whistle, uttering, “I am DangeRuss”.

Unfortunately, Tony Stark won’t be on the Seahawks sideline Sunday. The Hawks will have to rely on the brains of Pete Carroll, Brian Schottenheimer, and Ken Norton to design the winning plan. In the past, the conventional wisdom to beating the Green Bay Packers was to contain their own phenomenal quarterback, Aaron Rodgers. This year another Aaron has been just as problematic for opposing defenses. That would be Aaron Jones, who scored 16 touchdowns on the ground this season.

But the conventional wisdom hasn’t always been the key to beating the Pack this year. In two of their three losses, the key was shutting down Jones, not Rodgers. Against the Eagles, Rodgers threw for 422 yards and two scores. But Jones was held to just 21 yards. Rodgers more than doubled his total on the ground and was basically a one-man show. Yet the Pack lost, 34-27. The blueprint here was to choke off the running game and win a track meet.

The second loss Packers loss saw the Chargers, of all teams, throttle both parts of the Pack attack. Jones was held to 30 of Green Bay’s abysmal 45-yard rushing total. As for the quarterback, he only managed 161 yards and one score. It was one of the worst performances of the season for the future Hall of Famer. The blueprint for Los Angeles was to shut down Green Bay completely, earning a 26-11 win.

Rodgers worst game arrived just two games later, courtesy of the reviled 49ers. The pack relied on Aaron Jones and Jamaal Williams to generate a solid running game. Overall, the Packers managed 117 yards against the Niners run defense, or about one carry above their 112-yard season average. The problem for Green Bay is that Rodgers could get nothing done. He completed 20 of 33 passes, which is fine. The problem is, the Packers longest gain was just 15 yards. San Francisco allowed Green Bay to pick up yardage on the ground, but it didn’t matter. Time after time the Niners made big plays, especially on defense. Green Bay converted just one of 15 third downs. That was the Niners blueprint for their 37-8 beatdown of the Pack.

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Can the Seahawks shut down the Packers? I’d say that’s unlikely. Ken Norton’s defense has shut down the Cardinals once and the Eagles twice. That’s it. Seattle has allowed at least 20 points in every other contest this year. Not counting their few solid defensive games, they’ve allowed 27 points per game. Odds are, I’d say the Hawks will have to keep pace and pull out another nail-biter at the end. And that has been the Seahawks unique blueprint all season.