The NFC Super Bowl quest is going to end where it began this year, with the Green Bay Packers returning to Seattle to face the Seahawks this Sunday at 3:05 p.m. ET. The Packers lost to the Seahawks in Seattle, 36-16, in Week 1.
Aaron Rodgers was healthy for that game, and the Packers still lost by 20 points. How in the world can they win now that Rodgers (calf) is not?
“There’s a few things that the Packers do that no one has has an answer for – and that’s Randall Cobb in the backfield,” former Packers safety LeRoy Butler said on Tiki and Tierney. “It’s a matchup nightmare for anybody. It’s the same matchup nightmare for Russell Wilson outside the pocket. So what the Green Bay Packers are going to do is they’re going to go in attack mode. Aaron Rodgers is going to attack so many areas to find out (whether) your third- or fourth-best corner (can) cover Davante Adams, a guy who gave the Cowboys a lot of problems. Because we know about your starting corners. We get that. But how good are your nickel and dime backs? They’re going to spread them out and throw at them all day long.”
Packers fans, by and large, expected to beat the Dallas Cowboys last Sunday, even with Rodgers banged up. But what’s the mood in Green Bay this week? Do they expect to beat the defending Super Bowl champions on the road?
“I think they expect to win it for a few reasons,” Butler said. “The first game plan was (to not throw) at Richard Sherman (at all). So (Rodgers) didn’t throw to the right. This game plan, we’re going to throw it at everybody. The second game plan, there’s a lot of people that’s going to play (this time) that they did not have (last time). They also think they have the better-coached football team. I think, for the most part, the tipping scale is you possibly have an MVP quarterback. And we don’t really care at this point if he’s not 100 percent. There’s nothing wrong with his arm. Who cares if he can’t run? Just throw the football where it’s supposed to go.”
Indeed, no quarterback was better outside of the pocket this year than Rodgers, but he was pretty darn good inside the pocket, too.
“I think that’s the reason why he beat Detroit in the second half,” Butler said, referencing Green Bay’s 30-20 win over the Lions in the regular-season finale. “He went 11-for-13 and won that game when he hurt his calf. Then he beat the Dallas Cowboys not being 100 percent.”
“A wounded animal can still hurt you,” Butler continued. “Just because he’s wounded doesn’t mean you walk up to him. You may get bit. You may die. It’s just one of these things. As a matter of fact, guys, he said his calf may even be worse than last week. But he also knows this is the NFC Championship Game. This can separate (him) from a lot of quarterbacks who won just one championship. (If he win this game, he) get a chance to be a repeat Super Bowl winner.”