Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Hawks Beat Packers 34-24!

It's true. It happened. Last year, the teams played at a snowy Qwest Field and the Hawks won, but you'd never know it because almost nobody has discussed it. Contrast that with how much talk there was about the 2005 Redskins playoff game before the rematch last week, and you've got another odd thing about the lead-up to this game.

I realize the Packers have far different results this year than last, but I can't imagine there aren't some things we could glean from a look back, so here goes.

Packers Differences
  • Ahman Green is no longer the starting RB
  • The Packers did not have WR James Jones who is their third-leading receiver this year
  • Donald Lee was not nearly the factor he is now. In fact, he did not have any receptions in the game last year, but is just behind Jones in receptions this year
  • Marquand Manuel was playing safety
  • LB Nick Barnett was not playing due to injury
And that's really about it. That's a little shocking. There are some differences in how much certain guys are playing, but the stats and players are not as different as you might think considering the change in record.

The Seahawks may not have improved as much as the Packers, but it's certainly more obvious where the improvement came from in terms of players and roles. The Packers were a very young team (still are), and so much of their improvement seems to be just from being in the system and league another year.

I think there's a pretty good chance we won't see Shaun rush for 200 yards against the Pack like he did last year. Matt was also just returning from his injury and had a horrid game with 3 INTs and 4.4 YPA. Hackett had a decent game.

The teams looked very similar last year as well. Favre matched Hasselbeck's 3 INTs and a lost fumble. Each team had one sack. Each team struggled on third downs.

It just goes to show you how much confidence can effect the outcome of a football game. Two essentially identical teams face off one year later, with completely different expectations. This lack of clear difference on the Packers side makes me more confident that we have what we need to beat this team.

3 comments :

Hawkgirl said...

Hawkblogger,

My husband and I are going to the game this Saturday. If you'd like anything from my end--reports, pictures, etc. let me know, I'd be happy to share anything relevant that comes up. I really enjoy reading your blog!

Hawkgirl

cwu91 said...

I'd have to go back and review the game, but didn't Stevens have a number of drops in that game as well? To the point at which the fans were openly booing him? Barnett didn't play, so they'll have to account for him.

Engram moves back to his normal position with Branch at the flanker, provided Branch plays right? I would think Matt would be more comfortable under that scenario, and I don't think he's going to have back to back subpar games.

Special teams have been a tad shakey for the pack lately.

The Hawks speed at LB should help....I worry about GB spreading the field and running on dime coverage packages.

hawkblogger said...

good morning.

anything you can offer as an eye witness would be terrific, hawkgirl.

I added the bit about Barnett. Not sure how I left that off as it might be the biggest difference.

I am feeling better about our matchup against their D with all four of WRs back and their CBs thin after the two starters. Plus, their safeties are young and could be susceptible to Matt's fakes.