GREEN BAY – You want revenge. You shouldn't. It doesn't work.
In my former life, when I covered the Jaguars, I saw a fan base devastated by three losses in one season to the same division opponent. It was the only team to whom the Jaguars lost that season, but they did it three times. Talk about the sting of defeat!
The year was 1999 and the Jaguars finished the regular season 14-2. They held homefield advantage for the playoffs and quickly dismissed Dan Marino, Jimmy Johnson and the Dolphins, 62-7. Next up, the Tennessee Titans in the AFC title game. Surely, the Jaguars wouldn't lose to the Titans, again.
Revenge was the storyline all week long. The setting was perfect. In Jacksonville with the Super Bowl on the line. It was as though fate was a Jaguars fan.
Be that as it was, there was a perceptible lump-in-the-throat feeling all week long. The Titans were back in Nashville preparing to play a football game. The Jaguars were in Jacksonville talking about revenge. They never did get focused on the real storyline, the game, and the Titans hung 23 unanswered points on the Jaguars en route to win No. 3 and the second in Jacksonville that season.
Then came the bomb: Titans coach Jeff Fisher took a postgame verbal jab at the Jaguars, referring to Alltel Stadium as one of the Titans' home fields. Now, it was personal, but it was too late to do anything about it.
The Packers won't lack focus for this Sunday's game against the Seahawks. Mike McCarthy eliminated any focus issues early this week when he told his team and the media revenge would not be the motive. You've seen and heard the players speak this week; they've echoed their coach's comments.
What about you? Are you focused? Not to play the game, but to enjoy the game. Have you cleared your head and heart of useless hurt so you might go to the game on Sunday to provide the positive support the Packers need?
Let it go, folks.
Here are 10 things the Packers have to do to beat the Seahawks.
1. Stop Marshawn Lynch – He's the guy that beat the Packers last January. His 157 yards rushing included a late-game outburst that sparked the Seahawks' rally.
2. Win the physical battle – It's how you beat the Seahawks.
3. Feel the crowd – Lambeau Field will be every bit the homefield advantage the Seahawks enjoy in Seattle.
4. Start fast – The Packers did last January.
5. Finish – The Packers didn't last January.
6. Secure the ball – The Seahawks forced three lost fumbles last week.
7. Defend the deep seams – That's Jimmy Graham's territory. Packers safeties must defend it.
8. Sack the quarterback –Russell Wilson went down six times last week.
9. Find where Kam Chancellor isn't – He's too good of a player not to miss.
10. Achieve balance – Eddie Lacy is Aaron Rodgers' best pass protector.