Capsule Preview | Seahawks vs. Packers, 1:15 p.m., Ch. 13
1Can the Seahawks rebound from last week's disaster? Home cooking certainly helps. The Seahawks play better at home for sure. There's the anger factor of wanting to come back from a huge loss and wreak havoc on an opponent as retribution. There's also the fact that the Packers are losers of three straight and have had to deal with their share of injuries to key players. The Seahawks' season is a loss or two away from becoming a major disappointment, and this game is crucial to restore some morale and get back into the thick of the division race. It's rare that coach Mike Holmgren has had to talk to the players about believing in themselves again, but that's exactly what he'd hoped to do this past week.
2Why are the Seahawks struggling this season? Where does one start? It began with all of the injuries at wide receiver. The Seahawks were already shorthanded without Deion Branch and Bobby Engram, and then more receivers got hurt. That has led to a lower completion percentage for QB Matt Hasselbeck, who himself might not play today. There figured to be adjustments to be made on offense with so many new players and coaches, but the defense was supposed to be set and solid. Not the case. The Seahawks can't stop big plays, they've missed tackles, and are just not playing to the level of expectation. On special teams, the kicking has been good but the Seahawks have changed punters and long snappers (at different times) and are missing their main punt returner, Nate Burleson, who is out for the season.
3How important will time of possession be in this game? Well, let's look at recent history. When the Seahawks hold the ball for 30 or more minutes (at least half the game), they are 22-4 since the start of the 2005 season. The Seahawks have won the time-of-possession battle in half of their past 52 games. This season, Seattle has had the ball longer than its opponent in two of four games, but lost one of those two — the San Francisco game. Though the Seahawks had the ball for 12 seconds more than the 49ers, they didn't have it at all in the overtime and lost.
Seahawks: Seattle is 43-15 at home since the 2001 season. ... There have been 73 false-start penalties against opponents at Qwest Field since 2005, the most of anywhere in the league. ... Seattle is 52-32 against the NFC since 2003, the best record in the conference in that time. ... The Seahawks are 5-6 all-time against the Packers, but eight of those games have been played in Wisconsin. ... RB Julius Jones is 11th in the NFL in rushing yards with 373.
Packers: WR Greg Jennings has an NFL-leading 569 receiving yards through the season's first five weeks. That ranks as the most receiving yards for a Packers player through the team's first five games in more than 50 years. ... Four of the Packers' next six games are on the road. ... RB Ryan Grant set franchise playoff records with 201 rushing yards and 3 TDs in last season's NFC divisional playoff game, a 42-20 win over Seattle.
Seahawks: WR Deion Branch (foot), QB Matt Hasselbeck (knee) and QB Seneca Wallace (calf) are questionable. LB Leroy Hill (knee), CB Kelly Jennings (ribs), WR Koren Robinson (knee) and RB Maurice Morris (knee) are probable.
Packers: CB Al Harris (spleen) is out. S Atari Bigby (hamstring), DE Jason Hunter (hamstring) and DE Mike Montgomery (ankle) are doubtful. WR James Jones (knee), CB Pat Lee (back), RB Kregg Lumpkin (hamstring) and DT Ryan Pickett (knee) are questionable.
Last gameSeahawks: The Seahawks traveled to New Jersey and probably shouldn't have shown up. They were hammered by the New York Giants 44-6 last Sunday at the Meadowlands, the 38 points being the largest margin of defeat since 1997. Seattle fell to 1-3 and 2-8 in games following the bye week since Mike Holmgren became coach, and lost for the sixth time in the past seven games played in the Eastern time zone. QB Matt Hasselbeck suffered a knee injury on the fourth play of the game, WR Deion Branch left the game early with a bruised heel, and the Seattle defense was atrocious, giving up 523 yards of offense.
Packers: Green Bay, with QB Aaron Rodgers nursing a sprained shoulder, lost to the Atlanta Falcons at home, 27-24. It was the Packers' third straight loss, as they couldn't stop Falcons WR Roddy White, who caught eight passes for 132 yards. The Packers did gain 408 yards of total offense, but were penalized nine times and struggled on run defense, as well.
José Miguel Romero: 206-464-2409 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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UPDATE - 07:23 AM
NFL, union resume labor talks at mediator's office
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