Eight months after the NFC Championship Game, the Green Bay Packers finally have their chance to avenge the nightmare ending to last season.
When the Packers host conference rivals the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday tonight, the heavyweight fight between the pair of Super Bowl contenders will hit Lambeau Field.
Green Bay will hope to erase memories of its epic collapse to Seattle in January, when the Packers blew a 19-7 lead in the final minutes of the fourth quarter before losing in overtime.
While Green Bay would be justified in having extra motivation for the early-season encounter, coach Mike McCarthy has tried to keep emotions from taking over.
“Mike has always done a wonderful job of keeping things the same around here and keeping it even-keeled,” Packers guard Josh Sitton said. “There’s not a whole lot of highs and a whole lot of lows. We just try to stay on that plane and do what we do.”
This time, Green Bay hold home-field advantage at a venue they went 9-0 in last season, including the playoffs, while the Seahawks enter vulnerable on the heels of a 34-31 overtime loss to the St. Louis Rams in their opener.
Aaron Rodgers has especially been infallible, with the Packers quarterback not having thrown an interception on his home field since December 2012. Rodgers has gone 17 games, 512 pass attempts and 41 touchdowns since the pick – all NFL records.
Green Bay’s defence, however, will have their hands full with Seattle’s ground attack after getting run over in Week 1 by the Chicago Bears, who totalled 189 rushing yards on 33 carries.
The Seahawks struggled to get their dominant run game going against St. Louis as they averaged just 3.9 rushing yards, but led the league last season at 5.3 yards per carry. To aid their effort in slowing down running back Marshawn Lynch, the Packers will get last year’s leading tackler, safety Morgan Burnett, back from injury.
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