Despite a big victory over the Cowboys last week and a home-field advantage, the Seahawks will be 3 1/2-point underdogs against Green Bay Monday.
GAME: Green Bay Packers (T1, NFC North) at Seattle Seahawks (1-1, T3, NFC West). TYPE: Regular season. WEEK: 3. WHEN: Monday, 5:30 p.m. PT, CenturyLink Field. MEETING: 14th (Packers lead 8-5). STREAKS: Packers W 1; Seahawks W 1. HEAD COACHES: Mike McCarthy, Green Bay; Pete Carroll, Seattle. LINE: Green Bay by 3 1/2. TV: ESPN. RADIO: ESPN 710 AM, KIRO 97.3 FM.
Much has been made in recent days about the Seahawks’ success in prime time and Monday night games. Seattle sports a 35-25 prime-time record and a 17-8 mark on Monday, and its .680 winning percentage on the first day of the week leads the NFL. Seattle has also won five consecutive Monday night games, three by shutout, outscoring opponents, 146-37.
None of that will matter when the Seahawks line up Monday night against Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers, who are 9-3 on Monday night over the past three seasons, winners of 10 of their last 11 away from Lambeau Field (including playoffs), and a club that usually finds a way to flatten the Seahawks (Packers have won four of the past five meetings).
“Aaron is terrific at the line of scrimmage and making everything happen,” said Seahawks coach Pete Carroll. “That’s not good for us. He moves extremely well, hes exceedingly good at finding guys down the field when hes on the move. He’ll just beat you with his legs.”
In his four full seasons as Green Bay’s starter, Rodgers has passed for 4,000-plus yards three times and is coming off his best year, when he threw for 4,643 yards, 45 touchdowns and led the league with a 122.5 passer rating. He won the league’s MVP award last year and was the Super Bowl MVP the year before that.
Rodgers is also one of the great road quarterbacks in the NFL. Since taking over as Green Bay’s starter in 2008, he has a 99.9 passer rating away from Lambeau Field. Only New England’s Tom Brady has a better mark, 100.6. Rodgers is also tied with Drew Brees of New Orleans for most road TD passes since 2008 with 59.
Rodgers — not Johnny Unitas or Peyton Manning — also ranks No. 1 in NFL history with a 103.6 career passer rating.
As good as Rogers has been, the Seahawks will be equally concerned Monday with linebacker Clay Matthews, a three-time Pro Bowler and son of Clay Matthews Sr., who played 19 seasons with Cleveland and Atlanta, and nephew of Bruce Matthews, who played 19 years with the Houston Oilers/Tennessee Titans.
“Matthews, hes about as tenacious a player as you can come up against,” said Seahawks offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell. “Hes got great skill. Hes speed, hes power. I think the best thing about him is he never stops. He just continues to go from snap to whistle.
Matthews walked on at USC in 2004 under Carroll and by 2009 blossomed into a first-round draft pick. He’ll be matched opposite T Russell Okung, who has an unenviable task. Matthews recorded a league-high six sacks in Green Bay’s first two games (no other player has more than 3.5).
?Matthews also registered six sacks in the first two games in 2010. He is just the sixth NFL player in history to register six or more sacks in the opening two games of a season and the only one to do it more than once.
“Six sacks in two games is sick, I dont know how that happened,” said Carroll. “We have to do everything we can think of. We have a variety of ways we can take care of it. The problem is if you go away from him (Matthews), then (first-round draft choice) Nick Perry is on the other side. Nick is a really good young football player too.
“The three big guys inside are ridiculous. This is a very difficult defense. Theyre an extraordinary group, and Charles Woodson is ridiculously effective. Hes all over the place at nickel, at safety. Theyll put him wherever they need to put him; whether hes blitzing or covering. Hes just a monster getting to the football.”
In their 23-10 victory over Chicago, Green Bays defense posted one of its finest all-around efforts — seven sacks, four interceptions, 168 yards of total offense. It marked the first time in franchise history that Green Bay posted seven or more sacks, and four or more INTs and allowed less than 200 yards of total offense (team sacks began to be recorded in 1963).
The Seahawks will have one advantage against Green Bay: the CenturyLink noise. Asked if he was concerned about it, Rodgers said, You know, concerned isnt really the right word. I just think you have to be aware of it because its a factor. Those fans are really intelligent fans. They know when to cheer. They get so stinking loud out there.
“They do a really good job of giving their defense that advantage when we have to go on some silent counts, or when were trying to hear each other. They should be commended for that. We practice with sound and you try to simulate some of that. I’d say Seattle and Kansas City are probably the two loudest outdoor stadiums that weve played in.”
SERIES: Dates to Oct. 10, 1976, when the expansion Seahawks lost to the Packers 27-10. In addition to holding an 8-5 series edge, the Packers have won four of the past five contests, including the last one by a 48-10 margin Dec. 27, 2009. The Packers have also won two playoff games. Nine of the 13 regular-season meetings have been held in Wisconsin. This visit by Green Bay marks its first Seattle appearance since Oct. 12, 2008, when the Packers won 27-17.
LAST MEETING (Packers 48, Seahawks 10, Dec. 27, 2009): Ryan Grant and Brandon Jackson each ran for a pair of touchdowns as the Packers overwhelmed the Seahawks at Lambeau Field in 18-degree weather, the second-coldest game in Seattle franchise history. The Packers rushed for five TDs overall. The Seahawks scored their only TD on a Matt Hasselbeck pass of 16 yards to tight end John Carlson in the fourth quarter.
Seahawks: 1-1-0, T3, NFC West; scored 43 points (21.5 per game), ranking 24th; allowed 27 points (13.5 per game), 3rd; differential of +16 points ranks sixth. Packers: 1-1-0, T1, NFC North; scored 45 points (22.5), ranked 20th; allowed 40 (20.0), 8th; differential of +5 points ranks 11th.
SEAHAWKS HEAD COACH: Pete Carroll (48-50-0 career, 15-19-0 Seattle) is in his third season. In 2010, he directed Seattle to the NFC West title, the Seahawks becoming the first team in NFL history to win a division with a losing (7-9) record. Prior to joining the Seahawks, Carroll served as head coach at Southern California, where his Trojans won seven Pac-10 titles.
SEAHAWKS QUARTERBACKS: Russell Wilson at Arizona — 18 of 34 for 153 yards, 1 TD, one INT, 62.5 rating; vs. Dallas — 15 of 20, 151 yards, 1 TD, 0 INTs, 112.7 rating . . . Matt Flynn — at Arizona, DNP; vs. Dallas, DNP.
SEAHAWKS STATS / NOTES
TEAM OFFENSIVE RANKINGS
|Total Yards||569||28||Total Yards||645||23|
|Yards / Game||284.5||28||Yards / Game||322.5||23|
|Rush Yards||297||7||Rush Yards||151||T26|
|Rush / Game||148.5||7||Rush / Game||75.5||T26|
|Pass Yards||272||32||Pass Yards||494||T14|
|Pass / Game||136.0||32||Pass / Game||247.0||T14|
|Points / Game||21.5||T24||Points / Game||22.5||T20|
TEAM DEFENSIVE RANKINGS
|Total Yards||549||6||Total Yards||545||5|
|Yards / Game||274.5||6||Yards / Game||272.5||5|
|Rush / Allw.||92||2||Rush / Allw.||280||26|
|Rush / Game||46.0||2||Rush / Game||140.0||26|
|Pass Allw.||457||14||Pass Allw.||265||2|
|Pass / Game||228.5||14||Pass / Game||132.5||2|
|Points Allw.||27||3||Points Allw.||40||8|
|Points / Game||13.5||3||Points / Game||20.0||8|
SEAHAWKS OFFENSIVE LEADERS
SEAHAWKS DEFENSIVE LEADERS
|Tackles||Chancellor 14, Wright 14, two with 8|
|Sacks||Clemons 1.0, Jones 0.5, Irvin 0.5|
|Quarterback Hits||Clemons 3, Irvin 2, 6 with 1|
|Interceptions||Browner 1, Sherman 1|
|Passes Defensed||Sherman 3, Wright, Mebane, Clemons, 2|
|Forced Fumbles||Wright, Browner, Clemons, 1|
|Fumbles Recovered||Mebane 1|
PACKERS NOTES: ?Since coach Mike McCarthy took over in 2006, Green Bay has a 10-3 regular-season record against NFC West teams. That .769 winning percentage is the second best by the Packers over that span against another division behind only the .875 mark (7-1) vs. AFC West clubs . . . The Packers have won their first road game of the season each year under McCarthy, a six-game streak in road openers that’s the longest current streak in the NFL . . . McCarthy is one of two head coaches in franchise history to guidevthe Packers to six consecutive wins in road openers. He trails only Vince
Lombardis eight-game winning streak (1960-67) . . . The Packers have won 53 road openers, the most in league history . . . Green Bay has a league-best 8-2 record in September road contests under McCarthy . . . ?The Packers set a franchise record with a league-best seven road victories in 2011, topping the previous mark of six road wins in 2004 and 2007 . . . Nearly half of the players (26 of 53, 49.1 percent) on Green Bays roster entered the league as a sixth-round or seventh-round pick or as an undrafted player. More than a third of the players (18, 34.0 percent) on the roster were not drafted.
PACKERS QUARTERBACKS: In Aaron Rodgers MVP season of 2011, he ranked No. 1 in the NFL in passer rating (117.5), tied for No. 2 in passing TDs (21), No. 2 in yards per attempt (9.00) and No. 2 in INT percentage (0.72) on the road . . . The Packers have averaged 28.1 points per game in Rodgers 64 career regular-season starts, No. 1 among NFL QBs since 1950 (min. 50 starts): 1. Rodgers, 28.1; 2. Philip Rivers, 27.6; 3. Tom Brady, 27.3; 4. Norm Van Brocklin, 27.1 . . . In two games this season, Rogers has completed 52 of 76 passes for 522 yards, three TDs and two INTs.
PACKERS HEAD COACH: McCarthy is in his seventh year as the Packers 14th head coach. McCarthy, Vince Lombardi and Mike Holmgren are the only coaches to guide the Packers to a Super Bowl title. McCarthy has led the Packers to playoff appearances in four of his six seasons. His .651 winning percentage (including playoffs) ranks No. 4 among active NFL coaches (min. 50 games). McCarthy was named Packers head coach on Jan. 12, 2006, his first head coaching job after 13 years as an NFL assistant.
KEY DATES: Nov. 18 — Seahawks bye week; Jan. 5-6, 2013 — Wild card weekend; Jan. 12-13 — Divisional playoffs; Jan. 19-20 — Conference championships; Jan. 27 — Pro Bowl (Honolulu); Feb. 3 — Super Bowl, New Orleans. Feb. 20-26 — NFL combine (Indianapolis); April 25-27 — NFL draft.
NFC West Standings
|Arizona||3-0||1-0||Sunday vs. Miami Dolphins|
|S. Francisco||2-1||0-0||Sunday at New York Jets|
|Seattle||1-1||0-1||Monday vs. Green Bay Packers|
|St. Louis||1-2||0-0||Sunday vs. Seattle Seahawks|
COMING UP: The Seahawks travel to St. Louis for the first of two meetings with the Rams. The Seahawks play at Carolina the following week and return to CenturyLink Field Oct. 14 to host the New England Patriots.
2012 Seahawks Preseason Schedule
|8/11/12||vs. Tennessee||7 p.m.||Q13||W||27-17||1-0|
|8/18/12||at Denver||6 p.m.||Q13||W||30-10||2-0|
|8/24/12||at Kansas City||5 p.m.||Q13||W||44-14||3-0|
|8/30/12||vs. Oakland||7 p.m.||Q13||W||21-3||4-0|
2012 Seahawks Regular-Season Schedule
|9/9/12||at Arizona||1:25 p.m.||FOX||L||20-16||0-1|
|9/16/12||vs. Dallas||1:05 p.m.||FOX||W||27-7||1-1|
|9/24/12||vs. Green Bay||5:30 p.m.||ESPN||—||—||—|
|9/30/12||at St. Louis||10 a.m.||FOX||—||—||—|
|10/7/12||at Carolina||1:05 p.m.||FOX||—||—||—|
|10/14/12||vs. N. England||1:05 p.m.||CBS||—||—||—|
|10/18/12||at S. Francisco||5:20 p.m.||NFLN||—||—||—|
|10/28/12||at Detroit||10 a.m.||FOX||—||—||—|
|11/4/12||vs. Minnesota||1:05 p.m.||FOX||—||—||—|
|11/11/11||vs. NY Jets||1:05 p.m.||CBS||—||—||—|
|11/25/12||at Miami||10 a.m.||FOX||—||—||—|
|12/2/12||at Chicago||10 a.m.||FOX||—||—||—|
|12/9/12||vs. Arizona||1:15 p.m.||FOX||—||—||—|
|12/16/12||*at Buffalo||1:05 p.m.||FOX||—||—||—|
|12/23/12||vs. San Francisco||1:15 p.m.||FOX||—||—||—|
|12/30/12||vs. St. Louis||1:15 p.m.||FOX||—||—||—|
* in Toronto
2012 Seahawks Capsules
Aug. 11 Seahawks 27, Titans 17 (at Seattle) — Rookie quarterback Russell Wilson ran for a touchdown and passed for one, leading the Seahawks over a Tennessee Titans team featuring two quarterbacks with strong local ties, ex-Seahawk Matt Hasselbeck and ex-Husky Jake Locker. Hasselbeck threw two interceptions while Locker completed 7 of 13 for 80 yards.
Aug. 18: Seahawks 30, Broncos 10 (at Denver) — Starting his second straight exhibition game, QB Matt Flynn failed to seize control of the quarterback job, finishing 6 of 13 for 31 yards with no TDs or INTs. But Wilson made a case for himself by completing 10 of 17 for 155 yards, two TDs and a passer rating of 28.5. The Seahawks finished with 228 yards rushing, led by Sutton’s 48 yards on three carries.
Aug. 24: Seahawks 44, Chiefs 14 (at Kansas City) — Wilson completed 10 of 17 passes for 185 yards and two touchdowns. With Wilson playing into the second half, Seattle scored 21 points, overcoming a 10-9 halftime deficit. Earl Thomas made the big defensive play, returning an interception 75 yards for a touchdown. Flynn did not play due to injury.
Aug. 30: Seahawks 21, Raiders 3 (at Seattle): Flynn, getting most of the snaps, completed 11 of 13 passes for 102 yards. Seahawks outgained the Raiders 334 yards to 101.
Sept. 8: Cardinals 20, Seahawks 16 (at Phoenix): Despite seven tries inside Arizona’s red zone in final minute, the Seahawks could not score the game- winning touchdown. The Seahawks overcame a tepid first half offensively thanks to an 83-yard kickoff return and a 52-yard punt return by Leon Washington.
Sept. 15: Seahawks 27, Cowboys 7 (at Seattle): The Seahawks took a 10-0 lead in less than five minutes when Michael Robinson forced Felix Jones to fumble the opening kickoff, leading to a short field goal, and Malcolm Smith blocked Chris Jones’ punt and Jeron Johnson returned it for a touchdown. Marshawn Lynch ran for 122 yards and the defense allowed the Cowboys only 34 yards and three first downs in the second half.