GREEN BAY—A week that will end with a season-deciding game in Seattle began with the obvious question to Offensive Coordinator Tom Clements: Will you avoid Richard Sherman, again?
"We'll have a plan for the Seahawks and we're in the process of developing it," Clements said.
Here we go!
More than four months ago, this season began with an opener in Seattle that will forever be remembered as the night the Packers didn't throw at Sherman. It will almost certainly be one of the big storylines this week, as the Packers prepare for a return bout with the Seahawks for the right to represent the NFC in the Super Bowl.
How are the Packers different on offense now than they were in that Week 1 game, when the Super Bowl-champion Seahawks scored an easy 36-16 win over the Packers?
"We're in the process of trying to develop a plan to beat them," Clements said.
It would seem the plan will be new. Different? Probably that, too.
One of the big differences in the Packers offense from that game on Sept. 4 is that back then Aaron Rodgers had two healthy legs. Now, he has only one. If that doesn't sound promising, consider this: Since his left calf injury surfaced three games ago, Rodgers has thrown for 860 yards, six touchdowns, no interceptions and passer ratings of 108.1, 139.6 and 125.4, and he did it all on one leg.
Has Clements ever seen a more courageous performance?
"No, I haven't," he said. "We've had a lot of guys perform injured. We've had a lot of gritty performances, but that's certainly an outstanding performance on his part."
Can Rodgers do it again? This time, it would be against the No. 1 defense in the league, which also happens to possess the league's No. 1 pass defense.
Yeah, the Packers will have a plan for the Seahawks and they're in the process of developing it.
Defensive Coordinator Dom Capers is also in the process of developing a plan. His most recent plans have only allowed more than 21 points to be scored in a game once since the season turned into Nov.
"You can't keep doing the same thing every time. If you have an experienced quarterback, he's going to hit the weakness," Capers said as he reviewed Sunday's win over the Cowboys and previewed Sunday's game in Seattle.
The plan in Week 1 didn't work, but that was a different Packers defense back then.
"We're a lot different team. We've made a number of changes. We're a more confident team. We understand the environment we're going into and I think our guys accept the challenge," Capers said.
The big difference is the Packers' run defense. In the first half of the season, the Packers were last in the league against the run, and the Seahawks rushed for 207 yards in the opener.
"Having played against one of the top running teams in Dallas, it's certainly good preparation for what we're going to see in Seattle," Capers said.
What will Seattle see from the Packers?