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.
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.