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Five things to watch: Packers at Seahawks

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Tom Miller
September 4, 2014

1. Contain No. 3—Russell Wilson earned a Super Bowl title in just his second season in the NFL.
Wilson, who spent a semester at the University of Wisconsin and led the Badgers to the Rose Bowl, has become a media darling in Seattle.
Wilson mirrors the Packers' Aaron Rodgers in that he does much of his best work while out of the pocket.
Keeping Wilson and the Seattle offense under control will be a challenge for the Packers defense.
Seattle scored on 11 of its final 12 possessions in the preseason with Wilson and the first-string offense on the field. The only “failure' came when a long field goal attempt clanked off the upright.


2. A little Peppers, please—Tonight's game will give Packer fans their first look at how free-agent pickup Julius Peppers will be used in the Green Bay defense.
The Packers showed little defensively during the preseason. They have been game planning for this contest since the schedule came out, and Peppers will have to be a key component.
A pumped-up Peppers could well be the difference this season.


3. Clay-maker returns—Clay Matthews would be the biggest beneficiary if Peppers proves to be a difference-maker.
Matthews was sidelined twice last season with thumb injuries an also has been plagued with hamstring problems.
The Packers likely will match Matthews up against Seattle's rookie right tackle Justin Britt.
Britt was forced into the starting spot when the Seahawks' first two candidates for the job failed to impress.
Britt also had problems in the preseason. While Seattle might be looking at Packers rookie starting center Corey Linsley as a weakness, the Packers and Matthews likely will target Britt.

4. Hurry it up—Both teams want to increase the amount of plays they run on offense this season.
In limited preseason work, Aaron Rodgers and the first-string offense rolled down the field using Eddie Lacy to gain yards on the ground.
The Seahawks also were impressive moving the ball in the hurry-up mode.
Now we'll see what offense can most effectively carry that over into the real games.

5. Mercy, mercy Percy—Percy Harvin came over to Seattle from Minnesota last season, but he missed most of the year due to a hip injury.
He played just one regular-season game and then returned for the Super Bowl. He took the second-half kickoff back for a touchdown against Denver.
Harvin is healthy, and the Packers will be chasing him around the field, whether it is on returns, receptions or reverses. He averaged 59 yards a game against the Packers while with the Vikings.



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