The Seattle Seahawks hosted the Green Bay Packers 134 days ago in the game that kicked off the NFL season. It feels closer to 134 months ago. That was before the second Ray Rice tape hit TMZ, before Adrian Peterson’s arrest, and before Roger Goodell’s press conference of despair. The key player in that game, arguably, was Packers backup tackle Derek Sherrod, who allowed two game-changing sacks after starter Bryan Bulaga went down with an injury. Sherrod was waived two months ago. He’s a Chiefs player now. Earl Thomas was returning punts and Percy Harvin was Seattle’s leading receiver. A lot has changed in 134 days.
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And yet, it’s hard to see how the Packers might approach Sunday’s rematch with the Seahawks in Seattle all that much differently. Mike McCarthy put together a logical, reasonable game plan to face Seattle with four months’ notice, entered with a healthy team, and still managed to lose by 20 points. And that was when Aaron Rodgers’s calf was whole. Despite what Thomas might suggest, Rodgers is dealing with a torn calf muscle that slowed him against the Cowboys last weekend, even if it didn’t stop him. That was versus a middling Dallas defense with a subpar pass rush. The Seahawks have allowed an average of exactly eight points per game since middle linebacker Bobby Wagner returned to the lineup in Week 12; they hardly need the help of a gimpy quarterback.
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