A look at the Seahawks' opponent in Sunday's NFC Championship game, the Green Bay Packers:
When: Sunday, noon, CenturyLink Field
Record:12-4 during the regular season to win the NFC North and clinch the No. 2 seed in the playoffs; 1-0 in the postseason after defeating the Dallas Cowboys 26-21 on Sunday.
Where they rank:No. 1 in offense (2nd rushing, 5th passing) and tied for No. 4 on defense (11th rushing, 2nd passing) during the playoffs; No. 6 offense (11th rushing, 8th passing) and No. 15 on defense (23rd rushing and 10th passing) during the regular season.
What's at stake: The winner of Sunday's game advances to Super Bowl XLIV on Feb. 1 at University of Phoenix Stadium in Arizona.
TV: FOX (channel 13 in Seattle), with Joe Buck (play-by-play), Troy Aikman (analyst) and Erin Andrews (sideline).
Series: Packers lead 8-7 in the regular season, but the Seahawks have won the past two – 36-16 in the opener in this season and 14-12 in Week 3 in 2012, both in Seattle; the Packers lead 2-0 in the playoffs and won both games at Lambeau Field – 33-27 in overtime in a wild-card game after the 2003 season and 42-20 in a divisional game after the 2007 season.
Aaron Rodgers.** Mr. Discount Double Check turned in a double-take performance against the Cowboys on Sunday. Playing with a calf injury that forced him to limp to the huddle after plays and took away his ability to bolt from the pocket and run for first downs, Rodgers completed 24 of 35 passes – to seven receivers – for 316 yards and three touchdowns for a passer rating of 125.4. "We've had a lot of gritty performances, but that's certainly an outstanding performance on his part," Packers offensive coordinator Tom Clements. And all of that came after a regular season in which Rodgers was considered the favorite for league MVP honors because he had a 112.2 passer rating that ranked second in the NFL to the QB the Packers eliminated on Sunday – the Cowboys' Tony Romo (113.2). Rodgers completed 65.6 percent of his passes for 4,381 yards, with 38 TD passes and only five interceptions. He was even better in the fourth quarter – a 106.6 passer rating, 66.7 percent completions and seven TDs compared to two interceptions. And Rodgers was even better than that on third downs – a league-leading 121.7 passer rating, with 15 TDs passes and two interceptions. But it was Rodgers gimping his way to another productive day in ousting the Cowboys that caught everyone's attention, including Pete Carroll. "He still can make the plays, he threw for 316 yards and had a fantastic day," the Seahawks' coach said. "Which is a great statement about a great player being able to adapt to what you have available to you."
Davante Adams. When it comes to those who catch all those passes from Rodgers, there's Jordy Nelson, who had 98 receptions for 1,519 yards and 13 TDs during the regular season; Randall Cobb, who had 91 receptions for 1,287 yards and 12 TDs; and even running back Eddie Lacy, who had 42 receptions for 427 yards and four TDs. But in Sunday's win over the Cowboys, there also was Adams, the rookie from Fresno State. He caught seven passes for 117 yards and a TD – and 78 of those yards came after the catch. And Rodgers knows it will take an all-hands-on-deck effort against a Seahawks defense that led the league in average points, yards and passing yards allowed during the regular season. "We're going to have to be efficient against them," he said after Sunday's win. "They're a great defense, they've got Pro Bowlers all over the place and they're well-coached."
On The Spot
Whichever Packers receiver is being covered by Richard Sherman.** In the opener, Rodgers did not throw one pass in the direction of the Seahawks' All-Pro cornerback. Expect that to change on Sunday, and expect Sherman to take advantage of actually getting some opportunities this time. He had his first postseason interception against the Carolina Panthers, and it came on one of those plays where the former wide receiver at Stanford locked onto Cam Newton's pass before the intended target, Philly Brown. "I think we've developed as a team and we have more threats I think now that we did in Week 1," said Nelson, who had nine catches for 83 yards in the opener – three more passes than the rest of the Packers' wide receivers combined to catch.
How much will Rodgers' calf limit his mobility this Sunday? And how will that play into the Seahawks' pass rush being able to disrupt the Packers' productive passing game? In the 2012 game at CenturyLink Field, the Seahawks sacked Rodgers eight times. In the opener this season, the Seahawks got to him three times. But on Sunday, the Cowboys sacked Rodgers just once and he was still able to move and make plays.
Numbers To Know
Plus-14, turnover differential for the Packers in the regular season to lead the league. … 13, giveaways by the Packers, which tied for the lowest total in the league and was one fewer than the Seahawks. … 18, number
of missed tackles by the Packers in the season opener against the Seahawks. … 11, number of missed tackles by the Packers in their past three games, including four against the Cowboys. … 13, touchdowns by Eddie Lacy during the regular season – nine rushing, four receiving. … 134, points by Packers' kicker Mason Crosby in the regular season, which tied him for fourth in the league with the Seahawks' Steven Hauschka. … 49, punts by Tim Masthay during the regular season, fewest in the NFL. … 66, number of snaps Rodgers was in the shotgun against the Cowboys, when his only snaps under enter where three late kneel-downs. … 29/26, snaps at outside linebacker and inside linebacker against the Cowboys for Clay Matthews, who had a team-high 11 sacks during the regular season. … 151-58, points for and against the Packers in the first quarter during the regular season. … 159-88, points for and against the Packers in the second quarter during the regular season. … 176, second-half points by the Packers during the regular season.
Matt Flynn, Rodgers' backup, was the backup to Seahawks QB Russell Wilson in 2012. Assistant head coach/linebackers coach Winston Moss played linebacker for the Seahawks from 1995-97 and was second on the team in tackles with 106 in 1996. General manager Ted Thompson was the Seahawks' VP of football operations from 2000-04.
The Last Word
"We understand the job's not done. Our expectation is to win a championship. Our goal is to go a lot deeper than the NFC Championship game. Going to Seattle, it's going to be a good matchup and we're excited about it. It's going to be a tough one, we understand that, but we'll be ready for the challenge." – guard T.J. Lang