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Originally published Friday, September 21, 2012 at 9:04 PM

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Packers hit road for 1st time, travel to Seattle

There shouldn't be any surprises for coach Mike McCarthy or his Green Bay players when Seattle's Russell Wilson steps under center Monday night.

AP Sports Writer

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SEATTLE —

There shouldn't be any surprises for coach Mike McCarthy or his Green Bay players when Seattle's Russell Wilson steps under center Monday night.

The Packers saw plenty of Wilson a year ago when he was just a couple of hours down the road in Madison, leading Wisconsin to the Big Ten championship game and the Rose Bowl.

Packers general manager Ted Thompson got quite familiar with the prospect.

"Ted makes his annual pilgrimage down to Madison each year - he actually just did it a couple of weeks ago - and when he came back last year he was very impressed with Russell at practice, and it was no surprise the type of year he had for the Badgers," McCarthy said. "For him to be starting right away I think speaks volumes."

Many of those fans Wilson made in his one-year stint at Wisconsin won't be pulling for him when the Seahawks host the Packers.

After facing the Packers in the prime-time showcase, the Seahawks will play just once at home over the next five weeks - and that one won't be any easier with reigning AFC champion New England the foe. Seattle has road trips to St. Louis, Carolina, San Francisco and Detroit before finally getting a couple of weeks at home in early November.

It's not as though Green Bay is trudging down an easy path. The Packers get their first road game in one of the most hostile environments in the NFL, return home to host New Orleans, then play three straight on the road.

If there's one thing the Packers have proved under McCarthy it's their ability to win away from Lambeau Field. Green Bay has won its last six road openers and is 8-2 in September road games since McCarthy became head coach.

But none of those has come in what quarterback Aaron Rodgers considers one of the two loudest outdoor venues in the NFL.

"Concern is not the right word, but you have to be aware of it," said the 2011 league MVP. "It's a factor. Those fans are intelligent. They know when to cheer. They're so stinking loud out there."

The Packers come to Seattle trying to solve an offense that has yet to show any of the firepower from a season ago. Green Bay managed just 46 yards rushing in its opening loss to San Francisco, and Rodgers passed for just 215 yards in a 23-10 win over Chicago in which the Packers' defense was dominant.

Rodgers started the season with consecutive passer ratings under 100. Dating back to the end of last season, he's failed to top 100 in four of his last five regular-season games. But McCarthy believes it's far too early to start worrying about a stumbling offense.

Missing so far for Green Bay are big plays. Through two weeks the Packers have just eight plays of more than 20 yards - an average of four per game. Last season the Packers averaged nearly five plays per game of more than 20 yards.

"I'm not real big on making huge decisions after a two-game evaluation. I think after four or five games is when you really identify yourself as a football team, particularly as a unit. ... So we're not far off on offense," McCarthy said. "I don't want to say this - I hate when people say: `If we make this play or that play, you wouldn't have to ask me the question.' But we'll play better on offense. I'm confident with that."

When the schedule was released in April, the Packers were probably thinking they would see a familiar face at quarterback after former Green Bay backup Matt Flynn signed a three-year deal to presumably be the franchise QB in Seattle. But that was before the Seahawks drafted Wilson, who has won over teammates at his college stops with North Carolina State and Wisconsin, and now with the Seahawks.

Flynn was left with the job of impersonating Rodgers this week, rather preparing to be his starting opponent.

"It's not my decision to make," Flynn said. "I'm proud of the way I played and how I picked everything up and how I handled coming into a new situation. I can't control anything. I'm just trying to make the team better."

After struggling with protection from the offensive line in Seattle's season-opening loss at Arizona, Wilson was given enough time last week against Dallas to be the game manager the Seahawks want. Wilson threw just eight times in the second half, including a 22-yard touchdown strike to Anthony McCoy, but he wasn't asked to try and win the game. Marshawn Lynch ran for 122 yards and a touchdown, and Seattle's run game did its part to control possession, rushing for 182 yards.

Meanwhile, Seattle's defense held the Cowboys to less than 100 yards in the second half, 51 of those coming on the Cowboys' final drive. But the Seahawks know there are just as many, if not more, offensive challenges the Packers will present.

"They are really smart in that they run the ball when the numbers fit and they throw when they fit properly, and that's all on the shoulders of the quarterback, and he can do it," Seattle coach Pete Carroll said. "They really take advantage of a really sharp signal caller and we're going to have to stand up against some of their best plays."

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AP Sports Writer Chris Jenkins in Green Bay, Wis., contributed to this report.

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